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Do We Have Permission to Talk About Our Birth Experiences?

Is your birth story top secret? Photo by BSK

Today a negative comment was left on my post about pregnancy horror stories. While my post was really relating a story from a much older woman in the grocery store who was just flat determined to share a horror story with me no matter what…

What I want to discuss is another comment left afterwards in response by Brannan.

She says:

How sad is it that pregnancy and birth is talked about SO little that the only time someone who had a bad experience feels like they can get it off their chest is when someone else is pregnant (which clearly is the ONLY time to discuss ALL things baby)?

Gah.

Birth junkies, unite! Come hash it out with me, good and bad, any time – EXCEPT when I’m pregnant.

Her take is that women who had unexpected or traumatic birth experiences only feel safe discussing those experiences with other pregnant women. Which makes me really wonder – is that true?

I’m a doula and childbirth educator. A HUGE part of my job when I meet with clients who have experienced childbirth before is to listen to their birth stories of previous births. Often traumatic experiences is what is driving them to seek out my services in subsequent births. So listening to what they went through is a big, big part of what I DO when I have my “doula hat” on.

Do most women not have that ability with knowledgable friends and family? Do most women not have anyone to help them process their birth story? I know for me, my mom and midwife borth are women that I turn to and rehash each birth with. It helps me fill in the mental gaps, answers questions I may have had about something that was said or done during the birth, and just helps me feel a sense of closure.

Maybe the women who accost a pregnant woman in the grocery store aren’t looking to burst her bubble. Maybe they are looking for their own sense of closure on an experience they didn’t fully understand and no one helped them process.

Those of you who are Mommas already, what has your experience been? Do you have a safe place to turn to process your previous birth experiences (good or bad) or do you feel like you’ve never been able to do so?

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