“I had an awful birth experience. But I didn’t die. My baby didn’t die… So why does that tale even need to be told?”
A blog about the trauma of childbirth is being widely shared on social media – and it is prompting others to share their experiences.
The Every Mum Should Know post has been viewed over 90,000 times.
It’s written by Sarah, a mum from Yorkshire, who began blogging to help cope with her feelings after the birth of her daughter, who is now almost two years old.
In the blog, she says: “Birth is not always a positive experience. And being honest about that should not be something that women are made to feel shame or guilt over.
“Expressing natural feelings of sadness or anger about a difficult birth doesn’t mean that a new mother is ungrateful for a healthy baby, the opportunity for motherhood, or anything else.”
Speaking at the beginning of Birth Trauma Awareness Week, Sarah told BBC News: “It isn’t always about life or death – nearly losing a baby or your own life. It’s also about the way you are treated during birth.
“I think one of the reasons new mums suffer in silence is that they think they have no right to feel traumatised if they leave hospital with a healthy baby.”
Her own experience was a birth that began in a birthing pool but developed into an assisted delivery. She says they “nearly lost” her daughter a number of times.
“There was a general feeling of panic in the birthing room. I went from feeling really empowered to feeling completely out of control.”
Things didn’t improve when Sarah went home. “I knew something wasn’t right. I couldn’t sleep. I was constantly in fear that my new baby would die if I stopped watching her sleep or listening for her breathing.
“I struggled on quietly, thinking this must just be what being a new mother feels like.
“It wasn’t. It was hypervigilance: a common…