Childbirth Experience - Water Births and Traumatic Births
The childbirth experience has been an unpleasant one for many women. You've no doubt heard the stories of hours of pain, uncomfortable hospital beds, unwanted c-sections, invasive doctors, incompetent residents and undesired inductions.
But there are an equal amount of positive stories about the birth experience, even in hospitals. It's true that there's generally more medical intervention in hospital birth which can increase the chance of a traumatic birth experience. Doctors can be rushed, pressured to get a baby delivered and a woman out of the hospital as soon as possible in order to free up a bed for another laboring woman. But with the right staff and a patient, open-minded doctor can prevent an even a more difficult labor from becoming a horror story.
Will I Have a Difficult Labor?
Even with all the advancements in medical technology over the history of childbirth, science still hasn't been able to create a birth experience predictor. Even if you've already had a child born after a difficult labor, this doesn't mean the current pregnancy will end in a hard labor. And the same holds true vice versa. A pleasant pregnancy experience the first time around doesn't mean you'll have a difficult labor the second time around. It also doesn't mean you'll have an easy one. There's simply no way to tell.
The only possible way you might be able to guess if you're giving birth experience might potentially be extremely challenging is by the types of labors your female relatives have had. If you mother, for example, tended to have long and difficult labors, there's a chance that you might too. Still, even this isn't a foolproof indicator.
Natural birth advocates say that a more non-medical focused labor, like a water birth experience, can reduce the difficulty of labor. But there's no concrete proof that it does.
Reducing Traumatic Births
The birth experience is rarely and easy event in any woman's life, but some births are more traumatic than others. Throughout history, women have often had the help of other womenfolk to help them through difficult labors. Unfortunately, with the advancements in medical technology, the birthing experience has become a more scientific procedure meant to be hastened so it can be finished as quickly as possible.
This attitude increases the chances of induction which can make labor more intense and unnatural since the body isn't always ready to give birth when induction is started. Some experts suggest the scientific attitude towards having a baby has also increased the number of c-sections performed even when they're not entirely necessary. More doctors are taking on more patients which means there's not always the time available to dedicate to each patient as there should be.
Women who have had an incredibly traumatic birth experience suffer from a type of psychological strain that's not too much different than the effects of a life-threatening event like war or a natural disaster. This is even truer if women don't receive the necessary support throughout their pregnancies, during labor and after childbirth.
Before and during childbirth a woman needs to make sure she has sufficient medical care. Good medical care is more than simply taking care of the woman physically. She needs support psychologically as well and emotional support is just as crucial.
Some women have such traumatic births that they experience anxiety and fear in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. Some experience severe depression and guilt over any ambivalent feelings toward the baby. It's important for any woman to have good post-labor care, but it's crucial for a woman who has experienced a traumatic birth. This means responsibility of sharing the care of the new baby needs to be shared. The woman needs exercise, rest and adequate nutrition so she can heal properly. Counseling may be necessary and should never be considered a sign of weakness.
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