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That is just sad. Thank you Ricki for trying to help save women from these traumatic births thru education. That woman did not have to go thru that, but felt as though she had no choice. I just pray that more and more women everyday get educated about birth choice and stop being frightened into unnecessary intervention. If you arm yourself with knowledge you will get an outcome that you are happy with.
Articles that describe situations as extreme as this one leave me in complete and utter disbelief. Why become a doctor? Why take an oath "To first do no harm", when you have no intention of keeping it?

I can't decide what makes me more angry, the fact that they are making a wonderful experience like child birth in to a war zone, or the fact that they are destroying many people's trust in physicians with their insensitive and barbaric behavior. Both are tragic.
"9 percent of postpartum women screened met criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD, according to the mental-health diagnostician's Bible, the DSM-IV."

Wowza! And that's just the women who were screened. Thanks for this.
Such a sad article. Sheila Kitzinger wrote a very interesting book about birth trauma called Birth Crisis and she estimates that 1 in 20 women in the UK are coming out of hospital with PTSD.....

Tracy

http://www.GentleBirthUSA.com
Very interesting, yes. Even an educated woman with birth experience can end up feeling violated by a medical birth experience. I certainly went over and over my youngest son's birth. He was fine, but it left me feeling violated. I thought my doctor was on my side. I explained my previous birth experiences (a hospital birth and home birth, both no drugs, both very positive). I told him I wanted a natural birth. I should have known his silence was not agreement. When I was in active labor he practically yelled at me to get an epidural, said it at least 4 times. I refused. He wouldnt let me walk around, pain intensified. I asked for Nubain. An hour later nurse came in, didnt check me, gave Nubain. I was in transition. Baby born 15 min later, had to stay in nursury 5 hours due to Nubain. Nursing was delayed, formula given, took 2 months to really get nursing on track. The worst part is the guilt. I am an intelligent woman and I could not get what I needed for me and my baby. Birth should be an empowering experience, not one that leaves you feeling like a rape victim who blames themselves for not fighting back. Other women should not further the guilt by saying that an educated person should be able to get the birth they want. Unfortunately that is not always the case in a medical environment that is stacked against the women it is supposed to be serving. I wanted to have a birth in a hospital because I was 40 yrs old and I was having problems with high blood pressure. Women should be able to have the benefit of medical advances without religuishing the right to not be violated at a most vulnerable time. I look at my son and he is doing great, hes adorable. But I would change some of the events surrounding his birth. I dont think "oh well, it all worked out because he is ok now." I think," it is too bad that it could not have been a better experience for both of us". I feel like I lost something in those first few hours of his life. I do not think that the end justifies the means. I dont like to feel bitter about something so wonderful but I guess I still do. if we just brush these stories aside and say, well at least the baby was healthy and mom is ok, then it will just continue and women will come to expect to be violated and dismissed as hysterical.
Until docs and hospitals in the US change their view on pregnancy and birth the only way to save people from these experiences is education. I'm willing to bet most women don't even know that they can turn down an epidural or that they should move around during labor. So it's not fair to say that even education doesn't help, it saved me from unecessary intervention. Your situation could have been even worse had you not been educated, that's the point I was trying to make.
"Birth should be an empowering experience, not one that leaves you feeling like a rape victim who blames themselves for not fighting back."

Oh, my goodness. Yes! This! Exactly! May I quote you on this?
Yes you may. Just writing about this is helpful. Birth doesnt have to be traumatic, but some parts of it were this time and it is and its good to have a chance to express that.
I am not willing to self-diagnose myself with PTSD, but my baby's birth was traumatic and rarely does a day go by where I don't feel like I'm re-visiting (re-living?) some aspect of the labor and/or birth experience.

How I revisit it, though, changes. Sometimes I revisit the experience and it happens as it happened. Other times I revisit it and see myself getting physically and verbally assertive, putting doctors and nurses in their places and stopping the unnecessary interventions that were being forced on me.
I've heard that it can be healing to revisit a traumatic experience and see it going the way you wanted it to. It also helps to try to see how the experience shaped you as a person in a positive way.

The birth of my first child was traumatic and I would never want to have that experience again. For years I regretted the experience and hated the way things played out. Over time and through the healing birth experiences of my other children since then, I've come to realize that that first birth experience taught me so much. It taught me to be stronger and more assertive, to do more research and find more options and find out how to achieve my goals. It's taken time, but I now feel 100% more sure of myself and more informed than I was 10 years ago with my first baby. Another good thing that came of that experience is that I have a much deeper understanding of other women who go through the same thing. I can relate to them on a level that I never could have if all of my childrens births had been flawless and beautiful, and I'm grateful that I can be there for those women who need that.
"Another good thing that came of that experience is that I have a much deeper understanding of other women who go through the same thing. I can relate to them on a level that I never could have if all of my childrens births had been flawless and beautiful, and I'm grateful that I can be there for those women who need that."

Cherylyn,
I feel exactly the same way. Exactly the same. It definitely opened my eyes to the pain that others experience and how to relate to those women. It also brought to my attention the need to speak out about post-cesarean/birth trauma emotional care. I had NO idea there was a need for such a thing until I was in desperate need of it myself with no one around to provide it or even recognize that I needed it. Am I glad this happened to me? No, but I am glad that I am able to connect with and support others in a way that I would not have been able to do otherwise.

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