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This IS a thread about a thread

(99 Posts)
Mintyy Wed 16-Jan-13 19:00:34

but I am doing it because I don't want to upset the op of the other thread, and I don't want to hijack what she has started.

But can we please de-bunk the myth that anyone can have a lovely birth as long as they are PREPARED and have the right mental attitude! It is extremely damaging psychologically for women to feel that they have failed (if they had interventions/caesarian/still birth) because they were not properly tutored or well-read enough in childbirth.

The healthiest, most physically and mentally perfect women can have things go mildly wrong or catstrophically wrong in childbirth. All the birthing classes in the world cannot fix that.

Am v angry!

AnEventfulEvening Thu 17-Jan-13 14:25:15

In the thread in question, the OP was particularly vulnerable and posted in a similar vain some months ago something similar. I think its someone who is genuine. So it really needed/needs a particularly sensitive approach and why it is probably better to keep this debate here rather than link to it.

The responses that sparked this thread were made by another poster who seems to be a strong natural birth advocate with three home births under her belt, and no clue whatsoever.

BitBewildered Thu 17-Jan-13 14:41:07

Thanks, poor other thread OP sad. I'll try to find it anyway Eventful, not to bring this discussion with me hmm, but because I am interested.

herethereandeverywhere Sun 20-Jan-13 18:45:26

For me it's not just the success/failure element but the utter shock that half the complications were even possible.WHY can't we get statistics for the likelihood of having interventions during a 1st labour/birth? WHY didn't I know that it was possible for an episiotomy to break down? WHY didn't I know that the Keillands forceps delivery I had was nothing like the "gently pull" experience described on the NHS website? WHY aren't we explained the likelihood of urinary/faecal incontinence - both temporary and permanent? My NCT teacher couldn't give me stats for the likelihood of having stitches and only gave information on how to look after a stitches/painful bits after I pressed the issue. I feel I was denied the truth and the facts about childbirth and I'm sure that had I been armed with this information my birth would have felt less traumatic and my ability to recover mentally and physically would have greatly improved. It's not as if anyone said "you're not getting a full realistic picture from NHS antenatal appts and NCT, if you want the facts look on the internet - in fact you're discouraged from reaching for google and finding "horror stories".

t few days of her life.

inadreamworld Sun 20-Jan-13 20:41:31

DD2 born yesterday morning - 4 hour labour, no interventions. Arrived at hospital just in time fully dilated and 3 pushes and she was out. I didn't get the epidural I said I would never do without. BUT I am still in favour of drugs and interventions, they save lives, and no one knows what kind of birth/labour you will get. It is stupid of some women to say just because they did it without drugs that everyone can - depends on all kinds of factors eg size of baby, complications eg cord around neck etc. It is not fair to say cause one women did it naturally then everyone else can. My labours were totally different and the first is mostly the hardest.

DD only 7lb 1 oz with a smallish head circ. I dread to think what could have happened if we had been 10 mins later and she had been bigger and got stuck. My ist labour was induced with epidural and I am grateful for a healthy baby. Pain and doing things naturally is not a badge of honour - I had no choice about it but would have taken anything to get rid of the pain.

herethereandeverywhere Sun 20-Jan-13 23:23:38

* Oops, not sure what happened re: the random few words at the bottom of my post!

DuelingFanjHoHoHo Sun 20-Jan-13 23:30:19

Yes. I agree op. I think it helps to be informed about labour but all the hypnobirthing in the world won't stop the fact that things go wrong. People who have natural, lovely births are just lucky.

Londonmrss Mon 21-Jan-13 19:01:31

I agree. I want scared of labour. I really thought that because we have perfectly evolved to do this, I would just breathe my baby out.

72 hours of agonising contractions in my back and 2 failed epidurals later, I had my baby.

I still don't know why my latent phase was so long and painful. I don't know why all the passion was in my back (not a back to back baby).

for a long time I felt like my body had failed me.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Mon 21-Jan-13 19:17:49

Fantastic thread OP, I couldn't agree more

I had four fairly normal 'easy' deliveries so imagine my shock at my last two babies being born by crash c section. My body gives birth very well but what good is that when there is something wrong that could be fatal for the baby, I couldn't have predicted the cord accidents my babies had and there was no way to prepare. If left I could have given birth with no drugs and no intervention quite quickly, but the babies I gave birth to wouldn't have survived

Preparation and positive mental attitude can really help in childbirth but there are always elements completely out of our control and anyone who doesn't 'get' that is naieve at best

BitBewildered Mon 21-Jan-13 19:26:40

Exactly. Preparation helps. Unfortunately medical accidents and unforeseeable complications happen anyway. This is not a case of mind over matter.

cravingcake Mon 21-Jan-13 19:36:25

Another one agreeing.

My birth plan was fairly simple and was more a list of preferences for certain circumstances and was more for my DH benefit than anyone else. i.e. if I ask for pain relief give me the darn pain relief, would prefer vontouse to forceps, if for any reason we had to be separated DH is to stay with baby rather than me etc. We ended up having a very traumatic time, I specifically heard the consultant say 'baby will need resus' before he was even out. We had forceps, episiotomy, shoulder dystocia, 4th degree tear and a pph and an over an hour in theatre being stitched up after. No amount of planning could have prepared me or my DH for this.

I will admit I was fairly naïve and thought 'it wont happen to me' and that I would have a reasonably textbook normal birth but I did do a small amount of looking at what can happen but there are so many ifs, buts and maybes its impossible to think of every single scenario.

After speaking to other new mums, out of about 15 of us, only 2 or 3 had the 'textbook' birth, everyone else ended up with emergency C-section or assisted delivery (forceps/vontouse).

PoppadomPreach Mon 21-Jan-13 19:41:46

100% agree OP.

I had one EMCS and one ECS and I feel like I've won the lottery as I have two beautiful and amazing children. THAT to me is the only success factor - a baby at the end of the journey. Yes having a lovely journey is all well and good, but it's the destination that's the key factor (and obviously having an not-too traumatic journey).

Gracefulbirth Tue 22-Jan-13 08:50:32

I'm not sure what the other thread is, but maybe It can help to change some terminology.
Instead of "Birth Plan" You could say "Birth Preferences" which leaves things a bit more "open" in your mind.

Instead of "Natural Birth" It could be "Positive Birth"
Some women have a traumatic "natural birth" because they felt left, not listened to, and very very afraid. Other women have a positive difficult birth, because every step of the way they felt cared for, and listened to.

I think many "natural birth advocates" as you call them just want women to have positive empowering experiences, and often, women are not given the kind of care and information that leads to a positive experience. (whether that be "natural" or more medicalized)

Birth Trauma is real, and women who are upset after a traumatic birth should be listened to and not told that "all that matters is a healthy baby". It's not about having "failed", it's about having to recover from something that was very difficult to go through. A women experiencing birth trauma (from any sort of birth) is experiencing it because of what happened, not because there are a bunch of "natural birth advocates" trying to make her feel bad.

Loislane78 Thu 24-Jan-13 19:27:30

Don't know about the other thread but totally agree with you minty and all previous posters.

My birth was probably middle of the road, easier than many but DD was not breathed out by any stretch: G&A (x lots), epidural at full dilution due to anterior lip/poor positioning, 2 hrs pushing and 2nd degree tear.

However I had v little expectation and just tried to stay calm and go with the flow as and when things happened - what more can any of us do than that? I feel happy when I think of my labour; epidural, catheter, stitches and all. My baby is healthy and we both survived. Helps I felt I was treated respectfully and with dignity.

YoSaffBridge Thu 24-Jan-13 21:40:24

God, yes. Your body will do what it wants to do, your baby will be in the position it wants to be, and you and your baby will be as healthy or unhealthy as it is going to be. All the healthy mental attitude in the world won't help in most situations.

All that matters is having a healthy baby and, hopefully, mum coming out of the experience as well as possible.

A year on from our babies birth, one of the NCT mums had a big competitive chat as she was the only one to have an unassisted vaginal birth. I was flabbergasted when she kept dig, dig, digging to the rest of us about our c-sections. Apparently I was "ok" because my baby was very poorly so my c-sec was acceptable shock The poor other mums whose babies were in an odd position.

The implication that if you don't have a vaginal delivery then you have done something 'wrong' is just unacceptable.

AmberLav Fri 25-Jan-13 13:37:09

I went into childbirth being fairly certain I'd have a big baby (I was 9lb 12ozs, and DH was 9lbs 6ozs), and also being suspicious that I might tear (big sis had). Both those things happened, and so I was probably the most relaxed person in the room about the fact that I had to go up to theatre after to be fixed. Other than that I did manage to have a good positive experience, but I do put that down to luck. (and not letting the midwives sew me up, as that had messed my sister up big time - follow-up surgery 10 months later!)

At all the follow up appointments, everyone seemed to think I'd been through some sort of trauma, and I spent the next 6 months, and then this pregnancy again, saying that it wasn't that bad that I hadn't had the "perfect" natural experience. The Health professionals seem to be the worst proponents of the "perfect" birth.

Of my NCT group, all the other 4 had ventouse/forceps, and of the 3 that had epidurals, 2 had the leaking brain fluid "mishap" (stats say this is a 1:80,000 chance!)! No c-sections though, which I think is fairly unusual... Ironically, I got the most follow-up, despite being the least traumatised!

Got no idea what will happen this time! But I'll go with the flow and see what happens...

shagmundfreud Fri 25-Jan-13 14:49:15

I agree. Sort of.

Look at the figures.

Normal birth (that's birth which starts spontaneously, with no c/s, no instruments, no syntocinon, no episiotomy) figures for healthy first time mums who have their baby in hospital: 46%

I think it's very important to say to someone who REALLY wants an uncomplicated birth that WHERE you have your baby and HOW you're looked after is vastly more important in determining outcomes than anything you can do for yourself.

It's also reasonable to point out that more than 2/3rds of healthy, first time mums who give birth away from hospital DO have a completely normal delivery. smile

BitBewildered Fri 25-Jan-13 18:52:30

I think it's very important to say to someone who REALLY wants an uncomplicated birth that WHERE you have your baby and HOW you're looked after is vastly more important in determining outcomes than anything you can do for yourself.

That must be where I went wrong, Shagmund, I didn't REALLY want an uncomplicated birth enough. hmm

stargirl1701 Fri 25-Jan-13 18:55:22

Agreed. A trouble free birth is just luck. I had a lovely water birth but I know I was just lucky and the next one (here's hoping!) could be totally different.

SoYo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:15:13

This is a brilliant thread, well done OP.

This is a thread that's actually here to empower women that no matter how your baby is born, you've done something amazing by bringing them into the world and you've got them here as safely as possible because at the end of the day delivering your baby is about having a safe mum and baba at the end of the process, not about what pain relief you used or assistance was needed or what music was playing at the time!

About bloody time everybody started talking like this and made more women realise it's just as amazing to let somebody stick a pair of forceps up their floo and risk all sorts of badness just to get their baby out safely when their distressed as it is to have a 2hr labour in a pool and that which of those is your birth story is just luck!

Rant over, well done all of you!

SoYo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:15:58

They're, not their, was too busy ranting and raving to notice that!

MrsBungleBear Fri 25-Jan-13 19:28:24

Totally agree.

My first birth went wrong, ended up being traumatic and a baby who had to be resuscitated. I was well prepared, ante natal classes, hypnobirthing etc. Made no difference to the outcome.

Second birth, my baby was in an excellent position and I was only in labour for under 2 hours, out in 5 pushes. I did zero preparation (apart from being shit scared and assuming it would all go wrong again).

I must have REALLY wanted a good birth the second time but not the first? hmm

YoSaffBridge Fri 25-Jan-13 19:31:35

Shag, you're kind of suggesting that you do think it is partly down to a woman's attitude. Can I ask if this is what you really believe and, if so, can you explain any more?

To me, the 46% says that more mums don't have a 'normal' birth than do - ergo it's not actually normal.

RobinSparkles Fri 25-Jan-13 19:43:12


Some people are lucky and have wonderful births, some don't. I think it is down to LUCK.

Before I had DD1 I couldn't have given two shits how she came out as long as she did. I didn't care whether I had pain relief, a csection - whatever, I just wanted my beautiful baby.

I ended up with 65 hours of contractions, back to back baby and I had an epidural, episiotomy ending with a drip as I was starting to haemorrhage.
At the time I didn't care - I had my lovely DD. It is only since then that I've been made to feel a bit shit about "not being able to hack the pain" and giving in to having an epidural. And it's purely other women who have made me feel like that! angry

chocoluvva Fri 25-Jan-13 19:43:28

What a sensible thread.

And please would someone tell my SIL to stop going on about how her incredible breathing skills and zen like calm were responsible for her amazingly easy births (thereby implying that my emergency section which left me feeling like a failure could probably have been prevented if only I'd been more like her) angry

RobinSparkles Fri 25-Jan-13 19:52:39

And I must add:
There was no positive thinking on my part when I was pregnant with DD2. I panicked the whole way through that she would be bigger than DD1. I went begging the consultant for a CS. I was crying in her office but she declined. I thought on the bright side I could have an epidural.

Had a FAB birth, absolutely wonderful. My luck had changed for the second one!

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