There are hundreds of books available on the subject of birth and being a new mum. However many of these are usually the opinion of one person pushing new, quirky or repackaged ideas to generate sales. If you read just a few of these books you will soon discover that while each author will convincingly and expertly argue their point of view, there are many contradictions in their respective advice. Though you should feel confident from your research, you only feel confused. In the same vein, some women, once their baby is born, busy themselves trying to find a set of instructions by way of a baby bible that fits their ever-changing baby. This book is different. Not because I am the latest childbirth guru revealing some magic that is akin to foetal whispering but because it does not give you the ‘answer’. There is no one answer appropriate for every woman. There are of course contradictions between the case studies in this book but due to the nature of the format, they are honestly and clearly presented on an equal footing and accompanied by the specific birth story that has generated the advice. Therefore, as a woman you are asked to harness your ability to make up your own mind and make decisions using the information presented to you in these real life case studies and very importantly, your own gut instinct.
The purpose of this book in effect is to provide mums-to-be with the experience of giving birth and becoming a mum, in advance of their own real life encounter, in order to give them the understanding, knowledge and confidence to deal effectively and flexibly with whatever labour lies ahead for them personally. For the one thing that is certain about labour, is that you cannot ever be certain how it will unfold for you.
You will see in many of the examples in this book, that Mum has planned meticulously how she was going to give birth, having comprehensively read and researched the area using books, the internet and ante-natal classes. Such mums, especially nowadays, are often mature, professional, intelligent women who are convinced that as with most things in life, if you prepare for something well enough, that is what you will achieve. Yet when the labour doesn’t happen as premeditated and mentally rehearsed, such women are left shocked, frustrated, disappointed and actually feel like they’ve failed in some way. Sometimes these feelings are absorbed by the joy of their new arrival but in many cases they are still present and seem to have varying degrees of negative impact immediately after the birth and beyond.
In this age of information it seems incredulous to me that so many women are ‘shocked’ and ‘surprised’ by their birth experience (including a mum practicing as a qualified medical doctor). My research encouraged hundreds of women to give honest and structured feedback about their experience - something that women don’t always readily share but a vital contribution to the education of future mums. I wish to thank every woman that contributed to this book by sharing their experience so whole heartedly. Ten percent of all profits made from the sales of this book will be donated to The Birth Trauma Association. I hope you find its contents very useful.