Within a couple of days, the aftershocks struck. A friend came by and changed his nappy. I just let her take over but something inside of me wanted to say “he’s mine, I think. Maybe I should be doing that.” But I couldn’t say it because, at that point, I felt like I had to ask everyone’s permission to do anything for him. The day after L was born, the obstetrician walked in, patted me on the leg and said “not going to have a big family then are we!” I was devastated. Childhood memories of tearing about the house with my three siblings were something I wanted for my own brood and I definitely wanted a brood, at least four! I suddenly felt robbed of that. It was as if she was saying birth was no good for me and that I should quit while I was ahead.
On Thursday 6 November, 2008, I gave a presentation entitled ‘The VBAC Wars’ at the Australian Midwifery Expo in Brisbane and then again at the Birth After Caesarean Internventions (BACI) Consortium Seminar at University of Technology in Sydney, NSW in April, 2009. Since then, Queensland Health as instituted a new VBAC policy which not only promotes active management of labour but shows no respect for women’s autonomy over their own bodies. Despite a huge amount of feedback detailing the flaws and issues with the draft policy by consumer groups such as Caesarean Awareness Network Australia, the International Caesarean Awareness Network, and Maternity Coalition, the new policy went ahead, unchanged.
In recent years, research has found that a distressing childbirth experience can trigger Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is estimated between 1.5 to 6 percent of childbearing women would meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following a traumatic childbirth experience (Beck, 2004b). Cheryl Tatano Beck is one of the leaders in this field of research and below is a review of her key findings about birth trauma and PTSD.
The UK health visiting service offered weekly non-directive counselling sessions with a midwife for eight weeks after diagnosis of PND. So, for eight weeks, Kate, broad smile on face, enthusiastically had planted herself on my floor while I talked about Liam’s birth and about the way things were unfolding for me on any particular week. There was no judgement. There was no hint from her that I was an incompetent mother. During those eight weeks I felt free to tell her anything and everything.
The first time I went to Birthtalk, I was pregnant with my second baby, and I was feeling broken. Up until that point, I had thought that the trauma of my first birth was my fault and that I was defective. I felt alone and scared and didn’t think anyone else would understand what I… [Continue Reading]
Professional birth support (doula) in the Ipswich, West and South West Brisbane areas. What is a doula? Doula is Greek for “woman’s servant.” And, quite literally, the doula’s role is to serve you by providing emotional, informational and physical support to assist you in achieving your best birth. What does a doula do? Studies show… [Continue Reading]