The Afterbirth

The trouble is, traumatic memories have a habit of jumping up and biting us on the bum just when we’re least expecting them. Even when any physical damage has healed, the psychological wounds remain as raw as ever. They could be as obvious as nightmares, or as subtle as a feeling of guilt when you look at your child. They could reappear as feeling sick when you catch a certain smell, or bursting into floods of tears at hearing about someone else’s birth.  But, because they are so raw and mixed up, it can feel easier to push them away again and try and forget about them.

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Unleashing the Lionness

What do you need to bring that nice cool cave to life? What you need may be totally different from the relaxation kits you can buy for a tenner – Led Zeppelin full volume is another woman’s aromatherapy candle. Think about how you usually handle stressful situations. Do you need to retreat off and be alone or do you want support? Do you get flustered and jittery or angry and irritable? Think about what you have done in the past which helped you deal with difficulty – but also what you have done which made things harder for you.

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The Perfect Birth

The thing that is often forgotten amidst all of these choices is that the choice is YOURS and yours alone. Where you birth your baby, and how you birth your baby are (up to a point) entirely up to you. All of those people with their scary stories and helpful advice can tell you those things because it’s not their body, and it’s not their baby. Many women don’t realise they even have a choice about their birth, and often entering into a medical environment can bring out the 5 year old in us, leaving us nodding meekly even as we’re hooked up to monitors and strangers come in to explore our nether regions…. But you CAN ask questions and you DO have choices.

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