This is a fascinating thread
I have a friend whose first birth was in a private hosp with epidural and forceps = no reason medically for the forceps and the epidural was not working well at that point. No one allowed her to push, she was made to wait for the doctor who then pulled the baby out. She was young and believed that it was all normal, her ob came the next day and patted her on the knee and said "lucky you - no stitches, you must be very happy with that" She agreed at the time and went home believing she had had a good birth because she did not have stitches.
Next pregnancy she experienced total panic and went to a different (and more empathetic ob, fortunately) and demanded an elective C/S. He had the insight to discuss the first birth in detail and assure her that things would be different this time - and they were. She had a very healing birth experience.
My point is that the trauma she suffered was very real, but she was unable to identify this at the time of birth and agreed with all that the first birth had been fine. Ten years later she discusses this with me, a newly made friend, and the pain is still evident.
I do believe that many OB's do not have the slightest idea how much they sometimes traumatise women, whether this is due to women NOT complaining at the time (at least not directly to the traumatiser) and very few who actually complain later either, or to their (often) blase and overbearing attitude - believing that the delivery of a live child is the only important outcome.
I recently had a situation where I personally was traumatised by the brutality I witnessed, but the OB stated to me later that the woman was very happy with her care! This made me wonder about the discussion he had had with her and the slant he must have put on things, because I cannot imagine any woman being truly happy to have been subject to the assault that I witnessed.
My CNM at the time told me that I could not state that the couple had been traumatised, because it was MY perception and theirs may have been different - true enough I guess but.........:-(
One only has to listen to women of all ages and backgrounds - we all love talking about our births, good or bad, the joy or the pain stays with us forever.
On a more positive note - this week I was 2nd midwife at a delightful birth with a lovely couple. There was a persistent and prolonged 'anterior lip' and she seemed to take a very long time to get past that point. As I was just standing quietly awaiting I remembered something someone posted a while back and thought I would try it so I said to her "What is your biggest fear right now?" She didn't answer for a couple of contractions then suddenly burst out " My biggest fear is that I won't be able to birth the baby" What do you know - lip went and baby started to appear!
So thanks to whoever it was who posted that one - it's good to tap into all this wonderful midwifery wisdom.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
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