Updated: Sep 23, 2018
I'm not gonna lie to you, it will really hurt.
If you need drugs, have them. Most women do.
Epidural's are great, take it. You'll kiss the anaesthetist for it.
If you need a caesarean, you won't even care at the time.
Okaaaaay. Yeah, I have heard midwives say these things.
I sat in the corner and cringed. Is it my responsibility to stand up and say that it won't be that way? It isn't like me saying it will be okay will remove what they have just said. The woman petrified, the midwives saying 'I have to prepare you.'
Is this preparation? Is this just fuelling the negative suggestion that birth is in fact awful and exactly like we see in the media? Is that because our midwives are brainwashed too? Is it all they know too? The medical intervention, coercion, obstructed by hospital policies, can't see that women are experiencing these things because of what the midwives themselves are saying and doing?
Midwife means with woman. The core of midwifery care IS normality. Why are we placing intervention on the women in our care, before they even get into the labour room? Especially women who are considered healthy, with no medical issues?
I think it would be wrong to tell a woman that birth will be the most comfortable thing they have ever experienced, will be totally straight forward and take a matter of minutes. It is the same as I could never tell them that it will end in disaster, caesarean, horrific pain, drips, forceps, loss of control and everyone being traumatised. Both are potentially possible, but neither are images that women should have of birth.
Preparation isn't about painting the best or worst scenario. It is about discussing events and options objectively, without emotional connections. It is about providing women with the information they need to remain in control, so that things aren't unexpected, but without placing fear in their minds.
Midwives, students, doctors. Know that women CAN birth. Things will deviate from normal. Women will choose analgesia. It will get crazy at times, but always consider why. But others just want you there. They can thrive on their own. They will birth in a pool, on the bed, breathe deeply and calmly. They will make primal noises. Others won't make a sound. They will read shit online, some will be hypnobirthing and want your full support. Respect the route that birth takes. Most difficult births originate from fear and that should not be affirmed by a midwives own belief and experience.
What is your experience with midwives and the nature of birth?
Are you a midwife? Have you ever spoken to women like the above?
If you have been told horror stories by your midwife (or even if you haven't!), do consider hypnobirthing. It WILL change your birth.
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