BTCanada

There are a number of negative aspects reported to us that cause or contribute to birth trauma before, during and after childbirth.  Some of them are:

  • Denial of or ineffective pain relief during labour/delivery, placental expulsion, sutured/surgical repair of genital tract trauma and post partum recovery.  Pain during labour and delivery is extreme and excruciatingly painful.  Pain after a vaginal delivery is also severe.
  • Poor pain management during and after cesarean section
  • Dissociative psychological symptoms and amnesia.  This is called ‘baby amnesia’ when it happens during childbirth and it is extremely common.  It is treated in a less dismissive manner when it happens to torture victims, combat soldiers, sexual assault victims and accident victims.
  • Loss of control – both of bodily functions and medical treatment
  • Lack of privacy and dignity
  • Hostile, dismissive, sanctimonious and insensitive childbirth educators and medical personnel
  • Unwanted multiple caregivers during labour and unwanted spectators during delivery
  • Betrayal of trust and failure by caregivers and/or support person(s)
  • Labour interventions – amniotomy, pelvic/vaginal examinations, intrauterine monitoring, induction/augmentation, IVs, urinary catheters, etc.
  • Delivery complications – operative assisted deliveries (forceps and vacuum extractors, episiotomies), emergency cesareans after labour, shoulder dystocia,  spontaneous or deliberate separation of pelvic bones,  retained placenta, hematoma, uterine inversion, uterine atony, blood transfusion, hysterectomy to stop post partum bleeding, obstetrical shock, amniotic fluid embolism, etc.
  • Obstetrical lacerations  - both spontaneous (as the fetal head passes through the cervix and vagina) or deliberate (episiotomies cut by obstetrical caregiver), genital tract bruising and swelling and pelvic nerve damage
  • Prolonged or obstructed labour
  • ‘Short’ and rapid deliveries
  • Tetanic contractions
  • Infections of obstetrical lacerations and cesarean incisions (includes hospital acquired infections)   Necrotizing faciitis (flesh eating disease) and toxic shock syndrome are two of the deadliest.  Women who don’t die of these diseases are severely maimed.
  • Medical mistakes- Obstetrics is the specialty with the highest malpractice insurance rates. 
  • Not being listened to, being disrespected, being denied medical records (or given medical records that were clearly doctored), being denied explanations for care (or lack of), having birth plans ignored or disrespected
  • Sleep deprivation/maternal exhaustion
  • Guilt or pressure about delivery choices and breastfeeding choices
  • Sexual dysfunction – pain during intercourse, incontinence during intercourse, rupture of scar tissue, vaginal looseness, loss of sensitivity, loss of libido, fear of sex
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction – urinary incontinence, anal incontinence (both stool and flatulence), chronic pelvic pain and pelvic organ prolapse.  These are often long term and chronic problems that young women (and women as they age) deal with or undergo further surgery to correct. 
  • Interference/ unwanted support by medical professionals and others
  • Dishonesty about realistic expectations and risks by childbirth educators, medical caregivers and other mothers
  • Discrimination by society and the medical profession against single mothers by choice, lesbian mothers and women who choose not to involve their partners.
  • Difficult and complicated pregnancies.  About ½ of all pregnancies involve some type of complication. 

  • Baby requiring stay in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery Unit (SCNU)

  • Death of baby
  • Miscarriage

 

 

 Further information can be found on the ARTICLES/RESEARCH page.