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Childbirth after rape

(36 Posts)
anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 19:28:17

I don't have a clue where to even begin with this one, but just wondered if you thought the staff would react differently if they knew the baby was conceived during a rape? My midwife is aware, and I'm booked in for a section in a few weeks time. I just can't help feeling really paniced and freaked out by the thought of it all.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 21-Apr-14 19:30:05

I'm so sorry flowers

There's no reason to think staff will treat you differently.

Finola1step Mon 21-Apr-14 19:34:15

You've told your midwife. That's a really good start. It's ok to feel vulnerable and panicky. Can I ask though, why do you think they need to know? Are you nervous that you won't be acting and responding in the "normal" way? I'm sorry if my questions are seen as insensitive, I'm just trying to understand a little more about where you are coming from.

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 21-Apr-14 19:36:59

I think it would help if they knew so there was no questions about the dad, but I suppose midwives are pretty sensitive to lots of "different" scenarios.

I can't see them treating you in any way that would make you feel bad.

Maybe talk to your midwife first if it's causing you to panic, she might put you at ease or advise you better.

Best of luck thanks

Shallishanti Mon 21-Apr-14 19:38:51

I think they would treat you with extra concern and compassion
I think it might be helpful for them to know- you may not want to have vaginal examinations for example, and you don't need to say why, you can just say you don'it want them, but it might help the people caring for you understand better.

anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 19:39:43

I'm just worried I'll react badly to being 'on the table' with my bits on show etc if you see what I mean. Bit worried how I'll cope with being immobile for the first few hours after surgery if you see what I mean. I spend the whole day prior to midwife appointments feeling sick at the thought of being touched, and she only examines my stomach!

Shallishanti Mon 21-Apr-14 20:04:23

OK- you don't need to be lying on your back with your legs open- it's better to be up and mobile for as long as possible, and you could be dressed in anything loose and comfortable- no one should come in your room without knocking, and you could have a sign on the door to remind people- when you are actually pushing the baby out, you might feel better kneeling on the bed, you could have a sheet over you most of the time
It's very understandable that you feel like this and I think the midwives will only want to try and help. Talk to your community midwife. It might help to visit the place where you plan to give birth. Or maybe think about a home birth, maybe you'd feel more secure there?

anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 20:08:29

I'm having a section shallishanti. I'll attempt to talk to my midwife on Weds, failing that I'll wimp out and text her instead.

Thanks all.

wolfofwestfieled Mon 21-Apr-14 20:10:09

Shalli, she's having a c-section.

OP, if it helps at all - I have had an ELCS. Apart from a very, very brief moment were they inserted the catheter I was covered at all times.

I would mention it to them, if you feel able, so that they can be aware and reassure you. I had a traumatic birth (no comparison with what you went through, obviously) and all of the staff at my ELCS were aware and very considerate.

wolfofwestfieled Mon 21-Apr-14 20:11:37

Have you got your green notes, OP? The m/w may have put something in there already. If not, I would ask her to if you feel able.

wolfofwestfieled Mon 21-Apr-14 20:12:10

(sorry - to clarify, I had a traumatic first birth, the ELCS was my second birth and it was brilliant)

anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 20:12:15

I'm dreading the catheter, and will most likely beg them to remove the thing as soon as i can walk. I've had one before and kept wrapping it round my leg (opps!)

MrsKCastle Mon 21-Apr-14 20:14:10

Anxious do you have a birth partner that you trust? Could you write something in your birth plan, then your birth partner could show it to your mws and the other professionals before your section.

Or even write a note to be put at the front of your notes?
I'm sure the mws will be very sensitive to your feelings if they know.

TheXxed Mon 21-Apr-14 20:14:21

I Am not sure if you have thought about post natal recovery in hospitals. Some hospitals allow for partners to stay overnight in shared wards. You might want to have a separate room, having limited mobility post birth and having strange men in such close proximity is something I found distressing.

wolfofwestfieled Mon 21-Apr-14 20:14:48

They were happy to remove mine as soon as I asked - it's helpful to be up and about asap after a section anyway (obviously not overdoing it).

anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 20:21:04

I'll have a think about putting something in my notes, as much as I feel it may be helpful for them to know, if they start with the "aw you poor thing, how awful" stuff I may scream.

I'm going it alone, as personally for me, the less people the better. And I'd spend the whole time worrying about my birth partner feeling ill/fainting etc.

Hadn't thought about male partners being allowed to stay overnight on the ward - argh. That'd be my worst nightmare come to life sad

wolfofwestfieled Mon 21-Apr-14 20:24:41


I think your best approach may be to speak to your m/w - she can put something in your green notes explaining that you don't want to speak about it, but wish them to be aware.

There might well be a protocol at your hospital for flagging this kind of thing - I've heard of some notes being marked in some way to indicate previous pregnancy loss/traumatic birth etc.

With regards to the ward, I think it'd be completely out of order for a male partner to be allowed to stay the night. Do they have any private rooms at your hospital and could you afford one if so? They may not let you stay in one after an ELCS - some don't - my hospital were happy for me to be in a private room and it made a big difference.

Stay strong, you're doing really well thanks

AWombWithoutARoof Mon 21-Apr-14 20:26:04

My hospital didn't allow any visitors outside visiting hours, so I don't think it's by any means a done deal that there will be men on the ward at night.

AHardDaysWrite Mon 21-Apr-14 20:26:22

Anxious, have they explained everything that happens in the section? As well as the catheter, at the end they give you a quick clean up down below so you are briefly exposed then. You're still completely numb at this point. You might want to ask if it can be on your notes that everyone non/essential leaves theatre at this point so you don't feel too exposed?

Will you be ok with a male surgeon operating?

anxious123 Mon 21-Apr-14 20:28:39

I'll deal with whoever the surgeon is, in my head, the surgerys 'essential' so i've kind of got my head around that part of it. It's everything else that's giving me the wobbles at the moment.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 21-Apr-14 20:31:18

Very few hospitals allow overnight visitors on the ward.

girliefriend Mon 21-Apr-14 20:33:56

You might not want to have the catheter taken out too soon, I did post c.section only to go into retention and have to have another one put in.

I would hope that the Drs and midwives would be supportive and sensitive if they know, have you had some counselling? Have you got support for when the baby is born?

beenthroughittoo Mon 21-Apr-14 20:34:04

I've been through this (although baby wasn't conceived with rape and it happened 10 years before) didn't tell them till the last minute as was planning a homebirth where less intervention is expected anyway so didn't think anyone would ask questions when I didn't want VEs etc...

Didn't have the home birth I wanted and was in labour for 40 hours, when I went into hospital I had my partner tell the midwife looking afyer me as I couldn't face it but also couldn't face VEs. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't nice, BUT I think it was because I went through the whole birth process rather than c sec. I had epidural so felt very out of control and had legs open on those leg rest things. It was pretty horrible. However, the midwife and other staff were brilliant and understanding, and sensitive, making sure i was ok (as I could be) with everything and finding alternatives where possible. (Eg I did a sort of VE to find out where baby was)

Did you get offered a section when you told your midwife about the rape?

I think you should tell your midwife about your worries as they are completely individual to you, and they can probably find ways to help with them or at least talk them through with you before hand.

In hindsight I am glad I told them...

TheXxed Mon 21-Apr-14 20:40:30

Anxious the doctrine is right very few do allow overnight stays. Unfortunately mine did, I gave birth at Kings College in South London it might be worth checking your hospitals policy.

JetcatisBack Mon 21-Apr-14 20:41:54

Anxious, I could be you. I also had an elective CS and was worried sick about everything you have said here, and more. I think you've been very brave and taken an excellent first step in telling your midwife. I told mine and she was absolutely lovely - and like you, I wanted to be on my own for the CS, but she actually came in as my birth partner and arranged for her lovely colleague to be there as midwife.

From my experience, I needed to feel on as much control as I could. I too was worried (to the point of panic attacks ) about being on the table, and while it wasn't great, because my midwife and explained the situation to the consultant etc , it was a little easier than I feared . And re the catheter, the midwife did that in my private room so I felt a bit more comfortable.

I think what definitely made it easier for me was having her there talking me through absolutely everything, in minute detail. It was so different to my first DD when I had horrendous flashbacks, became absolutely hysterical and then suffered PND as a result.

I don't want to go on too much , but just wanted to say that you're not alone , and that I know it's really hard to put your trust in people after such a horrific experience, but if you can try to - then things may be a little easier for you.

Please feel free to PM me if you have specific worries, and I wish you all the best thanks

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