Giving Birth: Not something you can plan

Meet Rachel, an energetic, witty and full-of-life 37 year-old mother. Just over four years ago she was about to give birth for the first time. Being the intelligent and inquisitive sort of woman she is, Rachel was well-prepared and well-informed. She had read up on all the different birthing options and places, and through NCT and NHS birth preparation courses she had familiarised herself with the different ways of medical intervention that can be used during labour.

But – like so many of us – she didn’t think that she would have to go down the intervention route at all. She was having a normal, straightforward pregnancy, so why shouldn’t she have a normal, straightforward labour too? In fact, she was confident enough as a ‘first timer’ to prepare for a home birth in a birthing pool, as her husband and her liked the idea of the birth experience being as natural, relaxed and parent-led as possible.

Despite her best efforts during her labour, Rachel ended up in hospital where she had every possible intervention bar a C-section. She has been so kind to tell me her birth story for NetDoctor here. In the article Rachel describes how she came to terms with having a very different birth experience than expected. Her main coping mechanism: to talk about it. A lot!

I have tremendous admiration for Rachel’s inner strength and optimism in overcoming her birth trauma. Her easy and positive retelling of her story (she even managed to crack a few jokes!) confirms how well she has accepted it.

Facilitator of the Bristol Positive Birth Group, Marinella Benelli, endorses that talking about a birth trauma is of utmost importance. Marinella is an antenatal and postnatal yoga teacher and massage therapist who helps women with fertility-related issues. She encourages wholeness and wellness during pregnancy and postpartum. She also provides support to women who have difficulties in conceiving, and to those who suffer pregnancy loss or birth trauma.  She explains in the NetDoctor piece why receiving body therapies after birth trauma is healing not only for your body, but also for your mind and spirit. Marinella’s work is invaluable in this fast-paced, let’s-just-carry-on sort of world that most of us live in. She shows us women how to reconnect with our inner selves and teaches us to allow ourselves time to heal before we try and move on.

Please read Rachel’s full story and Marinella’s further advice here.

Laetitia Tempelman

I am a freelance journalist whose specialist area is women and their extraordinary lives and achievements. Additionally I am a PR manager for a Bristol-based creative media agency. I’ve held several Journalism and PR roles at Reuters, Future Publishing, Gartner and currently at Publicity Matters. Originally from the Netherlands, I studied English Language and Literature at the University of Plymouth (BA Hons). I subsequently finished a Masters in European Journalism at Cardiff University.

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