A twitter friend and reader of the blog has shared her abusive and traumatic birth experience. I’ve heard many of these stories now. It’s a tragedy that we traumatize and make mothers gravely ill as a result of how they are treated during what should be the most lovely and sacred moments of their lives. The blindness of the medical community is staggering.
From The Mommy Scribe:
For the first time in two years, I can tell this story without feeling intense anger and without crying. But it’s a time I will never forget because it’s part of the birth experience of my firstborn. It’s something that happened to me and explains some things about me. But it’s not who I am.
I’m going to walk you through that birth. The dark, scary days following labor, a forced and rather traumatic hospital stay, and the move that brought me to a midwife who provided us with the safest, most healing, most amazing and beautiful birth experience I could fathom. God lead us to her. Nobody can convince me otherwise. I needed it. I needed the healing. (continue reading)
The worst part of the story as she shares it, of course, is that a traumatized mother cannot be present for her child. What is insane is that the medical community does not appreciate that keeping the mother from the child is also child abuse. An infant without it’s mother is also a victim of trauma.
The dehumanization that happens during the birth of a baby to both mother and child has been compared to some of the traumas that happen in psychiatry too even when the mother is not later subjected to traumatic psychiatric “care” as The Mommy Scribe was. The fact is a lot of medicine can be traumatic and coercive, both.
To avoid birthing trauma for both mothers and our newborns we need to understand this and make changes. I’ve often said we live in a culture of abuse. Even the process of being brought into the world is often unnecessarily traumatic when it should be simply joyous.
There are ways to have lovely birthing experiences and you’ll see in the above excerpted article that The Mommy Scribe found a way to do that when she had her second child. Take note one can make choices ahead of time to minimize the chance of anything ugly happening.
See this post too! To the women suffering from postpartum injustice
More on the birthing experience on Beyond Meds:
The violence of birth in modern medicine: often our first trauma — includes documentary featuring RD Laing