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If you knew what birth entailed from the start

(83 Posts)
DrVonPatak Thu 14-Mar-19 12:32:34

I'm asking this from an observer's point of view. If someone sat down with you before going into delivery and gave it straight to you about what will happen from a-z (proper 1-1 explanation, not birthing courses where half the info is geared towards saving money ) do you think this would make you more assured or would have made you run for the hills?
The thing is, I sometimes work with women after the birth and I do come across the view of having birth done to them IYSWIM, as midwives/doctors take over. I can appreciate that healthcare professionals have a vast knowledge that can't be imparted in a couple of sittings, but sometimes it does feel like being told exactly what is going to happen would maybe help women stay on the ball and be more in control of what is going on.

Emelene Thu 14-Mar-19 12:34:59

Yes I agree with you that control is important. I did a hypnobirthing course and it was fab, all about things you can control like breathing. Very empowering. I ended up having a home birth as a first time mum and it was fab. No regrets.

But yes I think people need to be informed and empowered about birth to avoid regrets. smile

FaFoutis Thu 14-Mar-19 12:35:03

It's impossible to be told exactly what will happen.

Goatrider Thu 14-Mar-19 12:36:16

You can't predict what will happen though

I think women these days have plenty of access to information of what can happen

Tiptoetiptoetiptoe Thu 14-Mar-19 12:38:36

If you are told every single thing that could happen you’d never want to do it, some possibilities are very scary!
I wish someone would have told me it BURNS when your baby crowns, but otherwise ignorance was bliss. My MW explained changes as they happened and encouraged me to trust my body and her. I feel that’s how it should be.

Slazengerbag Thu 14-Mar-19 12:38:52

The thing is no one knows what’s going to happen. My first was an easy text book labour that lasted a few hours. My second birth was horrific and it lasted 73 hours and ended up with foreceps, an apisiotomy, my son very distressed after birth. Before the start of labour it was expected that it would be quick and easy again.

FaFoutis Thu 14-Mar-19 12:38:55

I liked having birth done to me. it's was great. That's what I wish I had known.
You are never in control. Your body could fuck up at any minute and there's nothing you can do about it. That's the reality.

HK20 Thu 14-Mar-19 12:38:58

I'm nearly 33 weeks and am actively avoiding any situation/classes etc where people try to explain what will happen when I go into labour.

I have severe anxiety and would spend the next 7 weeks terrified for what's to come, rather than enjoying my pregnancy.

I think everyone is so different - it's impossible to find a one size fits all solution to birth prep.

babysharkah Thu 14-Mar-19 12:41:01

Knowledge is power. No offence but I don't agree with @HK20, if the shit hits the fan you need you and your advisers to be able to advocate your position.

there is nothing to be gained from hiding reality.

Ribbonsonabox Thu 14-Mar-19 12:41:02

No one could ever tell you that. Every birth is different... all horrendous in thier own ways lol but positive in other ways... I've had two and they couldn't have been more different to each other... one with every medical intervention going bar a section, and lasting nearly 3 days, strapped to a bed covered in wires... another completely drug free, lasting 4 hours, three of which were spent outside in a park.
Both were horrific tbh! And there was no way to have predicted how they were going to pan out... I dont see how any medical professional couldve taken me through what was about to happen because they seemed as surprised and worried by the whole thing as i was...

Sexnotgender Thu 14-Mar-19 12:41:28

I think women need more information on what is likely to happen and why.

They need to know they can accept or decline or discuss their care.

I had an awful first birth as like you say I felt that the medical staff took over and I had birth ‘done to me’ rather than having any say.

My second birth was 5 weeks ago and was a totally different experience. I felt more in control and whilst I didn’t get my water birth (too fast!) I did feel listened to and respected.

FaFoutis Thu 14-Mar-19 12:42:48

All you need, HK, is to put yourself in a position where people who know what they are doing will look after you.

Huggybear16 Thu 14-Mar-19 12:43:19

What happened during my pregnancy and birth could never have been predicted, so a prior to event explanation would not have been possible.

Pregnancy and birth, for me, was one of the most difficult and scariest times of my life. Family, friends, doctors and midwives all said that I was just very unlucky and that most pregnancies and births aren't like that.

Now that I know and love my son, I'm glad I did it. However, I will never do it again. I don't mean that in the 'heat of the moment' way that a lot of people say during labour - I really mean that I will never do it again.

A detailed description and explanation at the outset is just not possible as the number of potential problems, interventions, outcomes are just too great.

RoseReally Thu 14-Mar-19 12:44:30

If I knew what my (DD's) birth was going to be like from the start I would have kicked up a much bigger fuss to get pain relief (any at all would have done) earlier and maybe not spent days in tortuous hell. Breathing was never going to cut it for me.

No one knows how birth is going to go in advance, unless maybe they have a planned section.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 14-Mar-19 12:45:18

I'm very grateful to my DM for being honest about my own birth and how horrible she found it and the aftermath. I think we should be more honest.

MyBreadIsEggy Thu 14-Mar-19 12:45:29

I made it my business to fully understand the mechanics of it all when I was pregnant with my first. It helped me massively to understand WHY it hurts, not just that it hurts.
Obviously no one can tell you exactly how your birth experience is going to go though.

DrVonPatak Thu 14-Mar-19 12:45:30

Ladies, thank you very much for your input. Yes, I totally agree that different people prefer different approach.

The reason I am feeling like women should be more informed is that I find those suffering from the PND very much in the "I wish I knew" camp. Of course, I am still in the ttc camp, so can't really provide my 2 pennies.

TheDarkPassenger Thu 14-Mar-19 12:48:22

I’m glad I’d didnt know what was going to happen with my first, I was young and blissfully unaware, the only baby I knew was my niece and her mum popped her clean out no issue. I ended up with a short labour and straightforward birth, I would have been at panic stations if you’d told me just before it that I could be in labour for 12 hours or so!

GottenGottenGotten Thu 14-Mar-19 12:48:43

I think that what is needed are midwives that LISTEN to the woman in labour.

I had that for my second birth, when I chose a home delivery over a repeat of what went on in my first, and the only issue (that manifested in different ways) is that they didn't bloody listen. Because clearly as a first time mum I would have no clue as to what was going on with my own body.

I didn't go to any ante-natal classes, and don't feel I needed any more information in advance.

DelurkingAJ Thu 14-Mar-19 12:49:14

I was genuinely horrified at the NHS antenatal day how little some expectant mothers knew. I had no direct experience but had got books from the library and looked online so yes, I knew a bit. Clearly not everything but I do think that people can and should find stuff out. And I was several weeks less pregnant than some of the others.

Camomila Thu 14-Mar-19 12:52:53

I think it’s impossible to know not just how your birth you’ll go but how you’ll feel about it...
Ie, I had a 3rd degree tear which on paper is bad, but I feel like I had a good birth (got stitched up straight away by a surgeon and had a follow on check up/scan at 3months ...so very good after care).

MsMustDoBetter Thu 14-Mar-19 12:55:34

Many people go on to have more children, some of despite horrendous first births. You can't really fully understand it until you've been through it.

Redorangeyellowgreen Thu 14-Mar-19 12:55:49

I think the information should be available if women want it but I don't think they should be forced to listen to it.

Personally I read everything and anything I could find before giving birth and thoroughly terrified myself. Even though I did have what some might class as a "traumatic" experience, it still wasn't worse than I was expecting. I'm not sure it was the most sensible approach TBH and I don't see anything wrong with @HK20 approach. That's just not who I am though so I could never have done it.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 14-Mar-19 12:57:47

I see the expression "I felt robbed of the birth experience I wanted" all the time here along with mums gutted to have had c sections or epidurals. I think birth is being built up as this empowering experience so no wonder many are getting PND afterwards.

RoseReally Thu 14-Mar-19 13:00:33

You can't really fully understand it until you've been through it.

Completely agree with this. I did feel pissed off for a while after DD's birth as I felt I wished someone had told me, especially my mum. But I wouldn't have really got it and even if I had I suppose I would just have been more scared.

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