A new hashtag, #variationofnormal, has women celebrating the differences in their birth journeys – demonstrating that no two births are the same.
It was started by the Birth Without Fear Facebook group who aim to empower, educate and support women throughout their pregnancy and birth.
Asking followers to fill in the blanks Birth Without Fear posted the following:
“I went into labour at _____ weeks, was in labour for _____ hours and pushed for _____ minutes/hours.”
Responses could not have been more different with answers ranging from just a few minutes, to stories of women being in labour for days on end.
Women have shared their experiences of c-sections, forceps, breech births and water births, showing that no matter how much you read up on the process during pregnancy, the situation on the day may be very different, and that’s OK.
No two women are the same and no two births are the same.
“I went into labour at 39 weeks, was in labour for 27 hours, got stuck at 7cm and ended up with an almost but not quite emergency C,” one follower said.
Another said: “2 hours of active but 13 of early, I didn’t push she flew out.”
“I was induced at 42 wks 3 days. I was in labour for 26 hours. I pushed for 30 minutes,” said another commenter.
The idea behind the hashtag is to show women that there is no set plan when it comes to birth and mothers who have experienced multiple births say no two birth experiences are identical.
In reading the stories, it is hoped that pregnant women appreciate that bodies experience labour in different ways and each journey is individual.
I’ve had three children and I can tell you that not one of their births has gone to plan.
The best advice my obstetrician gave me was to have a brief birth plan, but to refer to it as an “ideal situation plan”.
He told me to be open and accepting and said: “Your baby hasn’t read your birth plan so let them do what they will do”.
No matter what kind of birth you have, or how long it takes you to get there, the most important thing at the end is that mum and baby are happy and healthy.