These are births that are taking place in million-dollar facilities with highly trained professionals, yet something is so broken that most women are walking away heavy-hearted.
So why are so many of us feeling out of control, despite months of emotional and physical preparation?
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Since the birth of my daughter I have, almost obsessively, set out to answer this question.
The adrenalin of her arrival has already started to fade, and I am left with a hollow feeling of disappointment.
I feel like there has been some kind of misunderstanding, that I was handed a birth meant for someone else.
Late at night, as I halfheartedly scroll shopping websites while breastfeeding, my mind wanders back to that day, searching for clues as to where I went wrong.
If this seems like a privileged position to take up, you’re absolutely right.
The sliding scale of birth tragedy moves well beyond my experience: how lucky I was, in the end, to come home with a healthy baby and a body set for a full recovery.
But there’s danger in denying the experience of emotional trauma.
The attitude of ‘healthy mum, healthy baby’ silences the many women who have walked away harbouring heavy blocks of grief, anger, and regret.
Like me, these women will look back at the early days of motherhood not with a halcyon glow of love and achievement, but something darker. A toxic sludge that oozes into little corners and sticks. Regret.
‘Emotional birth trauma’ is a relatively new concept. Previously, the focus was almost solely on the physiological experience of birth. But over the last two decades, holistic thought leaders offered a new way of approaching childbirth — no longer did you have to hand over complete control to the doctors and midwives.