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Natalie Clauss

What I am ashamed of during birth

I know many women who also have feelings of shame during childbirth, who are afraid of doing something wrong or not living up to expectations. I would also like to talk about possible shame situations during birth. All in all, our feelings of shame prevent us from developing freely and from being guided by our intuition.

Shame is such a hindrance because it makes us tense. It puts us on alert, which is not conducive to birth. When we are on alert, organs that are responsible for fight or flight(sympathetic nervous system) are activated. The heart beats faster and the blood flow to the extremities is increased, to name just two examples.

Now, however, I need exactly the opposite for a relaxed birth. I need rest and relaxation. Blood flow and therefore oxygen supply are restricted in the abdomen and also for the baby on alert because the priority is different.

Pia Mortimer has also already written in her article about how we can get rid of our shame and fears (in short) and what are important factors for a relaxed birth. In the following, I would like to discuss possible shame-related aspects in relation to birth.

It is important to create an environment in which I can feel safe. In which I am not afraid to be loud. Such an environment can also be created in the hospital. Strangers don't have to come in all the time, to give just one example. To take care of your own needs, a partner who communicates them clearly can be helpful. This allows you to focus entirely on yourself and your baby.

Too loud

For many women it helps to be loud during birth, to sound or to sing. It supports the power of the waves. Also, there is a connection between the cervix and the mouth. I have heard midwives say that they can also tell the cervix is open by the opening of the mouth during labor.

If you are one of those women who are fine with being quiet, that's perfectly fine. However, if you are one of the majority of women who are helped by supporting contractions with sounds, that's also fine and dandy.

Stool loss

During childbirth, it is not uncommon for women to lose some stool unintentionally. This happens especially during the so-called expulsion phase, i.e. "pushing". The reason for this is the strong pushing during labor. This automatically exerts pressure on the intestines and the muscles surrounding the intestines are also tensed. This is a normal process and not at all bad. Many women feel disgusted and ashamed when other people are present, especially if they are strangers.

In the hospital, it is not uncommon for an enema to be given beforehand to expel the intestinal contents before pushing. Of course, this is also possible in a home birth or birth center birth. However, it is not necessary. The baby cannot be "contaminated" by stool or get sick from it. In most cases, the baby does not even come into contact with the excrement.

Strangers see me naked

First of all, no one is forced to be naked at a birth. It is not necessary. I know several women who wore a short dress or skirt during birth because they did not want to be naked. Every pregnant woman should look at what she needs for herself, how she feels most comfortable and safe.

But the other aspect is that every obstetrician has already seen naked women giving birth. It doesn't matter if they are fat or thin, with stretch marks or without. It is their job to accompany you during your birth as you need it. The important thing is always to be clear about your wants and needs and express them (or make them clear through your partner).

My husband finds me repulsive afterwards

I firmly believe that a strong and stable relationship, further strengthens and consolidates the experience of childbirth. Men see their wives becoming lionesses, doing what requires a lot of strength from them, also mentally. They see how strong their wives are and they see how they give them the most wonderful gift in the world by giving birth to the child.

Yes, a birth is a very intense experience and no matter how it goes the experience must first be processed. Your husband will certainly see you differently afterwards, but definitely not in a repulsive way. It doesn't matter how the birth went, whether it was a vaginal birth or a cesarean. Any birth requires an incredible amount of strength.

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