Dear First Time Pregnant Ladies

Dear First Time Pregnant Ladies,

I need you to know this statistic. I wish I had known it before I had Oddler.

Approx 50% of first births will end in intervention. 25% of those will be (emergency) C-Section, 25%of them forceps or ventouse.

That means 1/2 may not get the vaginal delivery they have been expecting, planning or hoping for. There are lots of things you can do to try and minimise your chances of intervention but ultimately what happens, happens and it is most important YOU DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF FOR ANY OF IT.

I spent too long blaming myself for Oddlers Birth and subsequent time on NICU with Oxygen Starvation, I wish I had realised sooner it wasn’t my fault, but a set of circumstances combined, which ultimately we have all healed from, and for that I count my blessings.

That’s not to say an assisted delivery will always be a traumatic experience. I know many women who have had very positive assisted deliveries. In my own case although forceps were used (and I had in my head that I would rather a C-section than forceps) ultimately they saved my daughter from being any more oxygen deprived and they had to be used- a C-section could have been so much worse. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but it wasn’t the worst part of the birth, so please don’t be too scared of assisted deliveries, they can save the life of you and your baby.

I wish you a lovely positive birth experience that you will cherish, and I wish you all the very best on your journey into motherhood. However if sadly you don’t have that experience (1 in 10 women will suffer birth trauma, and that could be regardless of whether you have a vaginal or an assisted delivery) I beg you not to blame yourself for it and to seek help if you are struggling with what happened. The Birth Trauma Association and Maternity Matters are excellent sources of support and information. I also kept this blog detailing my journey of healing so that I could go onto confidently have Omble, which was a healing wonderful experience that I would be happy to repeat- maybe a home waterbirth next time (though it was still quite ouchy! ;))

Lots of labouring love


P.S Always more than happy to talk to women about birth trauma if you wanted/needed. Email me or contact via twitter.


11 responses to “Dear First Time Pregnant Ladies

  1. There are so many things “I wish I had known…” prior to having my first child. Birth trauma is often misunderstood and those suffering from birth trauma are often stigmatized in our society. I appreciate your post as it raises awareness of a very real issue. Please feel free to read my story of my own personal birth trauma at This link may also prove useful to others suffering with birth trauma. Thanks-Lauren

  2. I think the whole birth plan thing is a stupid idea. I had one with my first. Was deluded by magazines and midwives into thinking you planned what you wanted and thats how it pans out. I planned a pain relief free, essential oil scented, water birth.i got per-eclampsia. 8 got induced. I was pretty ill, and stuck on a bed, gave birth and ended up with me in intensive care for 12 hrs and baby who was luckily fine in the nursery being looked after by midwives. I was quickly fine, and was soon reunited with my gorgeous girl, but left somewhat disappointed that I hadn’t go my dream birth. With my subsequent two I had a much more go with the flow attitude, with some generalised ideas written for midwife about cord-cutting etc. both births were quick and tho very painful, easy and straightforward. Never did get my water birth tho have given birth in rooms containing the pools twice! Little buggers were too quick! I think the recommendation should be – have a read, have some ideas about what you would and wouldn’t like, but be prepared that things may pan out quite differently. The bottom line is, the only important thing is that at the end you have healthy mum and baby! Xx

    • My birthplan from #2 was worked out with military precision with the head of the delivery suite, I had a laminated copy and she had a copy sent to every possible midwife who might be on shift when I went into labour! It did allow for lots of eventualities (and ultimately I didn’t get my planned early epidural as there was a crash section needing the anaethetist) but because my care was top notch and we had worked so hard to put everything in place to support me from going into meltdown, ultimately I had the most wonderful birth that didn’t quite go to plan despite the plan! Was great! Think key is the planning of the plan!

  3. This is a great post. We had a traumatic delivery with my daughter which ended in intervention. I was just grateful for a safe delivery however we fell into a bit of a hole when it came to our after care. I did put a complaint into the primary care trust but was fobbed off. In our case I think my husband found the whole experience far more traumatic than me.
    At the end of the day I am lucky to have a healthy daughter.

    • Always think it is good to complain (and likewise praise) about care- makes things change even if you get fobbed off. Glad you came though it ok. x

  4. Great post. Such a lot of angst surrounding labour experience. I’m convinced I had PTSD/birth trauma after dd1, even though it was a seemingly normal labour.

    Home water birth 2nd time. Still frigging hurt, & I still loathed the experience, but was the least traumatic it can be. Let me know if you do want any info on home birth.

  5. Looks like we had opposite responses to first labour probs- I gave up all plan, and you planned even more carefully! Tho despite being so ilI was only left with disappointment and sadness after first rather than a sense of trauma. I think you prob had a far worse time of it. Luckily my subsequent births have been straightforward, despite needing inducing again with number three- little sod did not want to budge!

    • My stance was what happened before could never ever happen again else I would have had a nervous breakdown that there would be no coming back from. I was open to another instrumental delivery but I needed them to know they needed to look after me and take care of me and talk me through what was going on- hence wanting that in writing.

      Your first experience sounds scary – am glad you weren’t too traumatised by it- I hear 3rd labours can often be tricky which is making me ponder re. #3 😀

  6. Actually apart from being induced number three was what I laughingly refer too a very painful hour. I was induced, pessary, first then they broke my waters and within an hour he was born. A bit frightening as was from nothing to incredibly painful within five minutes flat. But having come across some really horrendous stories thru friends I am aware of quite how easy it was! Went in at lunchtime, had him by 3, at half eight I was home on my own sofa! That’s it tho. No more for me! All this despite initially being told after first baby that I must never have anymore as had been so ill.

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