Can birth be both beautiful and terrifying?
Is it possible to have a difficult and positive birth?
Can you find birth hard, intense and awesome?
We've all heard the 'horror stories' and been told to 'leave our dignity at the door', and at the other end of the scale we've heard of the 'hippie love ecstatic orgasmic pain free' stories. It seems we can have one or the other...but what if I told you that for most women the story was neither of these?
Many women will tell you it was 'hard but worth it' and that you 'forget the pain once you have your baby'...
On the birth stories scale there is a 'birth experiences scale' correlating with a 'support and respect scale'. The birth experience is determined by the birthing woman's feelings about her birth and has nothing to do with 'birth type'.
The perspective of the birthing woman is the only one that matters. If she says her birth experience was positive, it was positive. If she says it was bad - it was bad. The birth story is also influenced by the level of support and respect she experienced. Women can describe their experience using words that the listener may feel are negative (intense, hard, overwhelming, long, difficult) but the context is positive because she also felt empowered, supported or respected. Likewise, a woman may describe her birth with words the listener may feel are positive (fast, vaginal, drug-free, natural) but the context is negative because she also felt scared, out of control, disrespected or unprepared.
The key to being able to tell a positive or empowering stories is in the support. The first step in Informed Birth Preparation is to choose the care provider that aligns best to your birth philosophy.
Birth Journeys is a collection of positive birth stories.
Selected Articles by Catherine
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birth without fear
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