birth · motherhood

Thank you for my Trauma

There’s a fascinating phenomenon in medical care when patients actually thank their Doctors for causing iatrogenic damage:

Definition of iatrogenic

  1. :  induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures

We are all cultured to be ‘good’ service users, trusting the protocol in place and handing our bodies (and our baby’s body) over to consultants who call all the shots.

I had a cesarean and it saved my baby’s life – thank you (says a mother whose baby had foetal distress (a heartbeat going very high or low) due to a chemical induction, and her bladder was cut during surgery)

You saved my baby’s life with a forceps delivery, thank you (says a mother who was encouraged to do directed pushing before her baby had fully rotated into the easiest position to birth, and now has a cut into her anal muscles, and temporary or ongoing bathroom issues).

I’m so grateful for the induction, thank you (says a mother whose baby was induced at 37 weeks due to fears that he was large-for-dates, and is pulled out as a premature-for-him 6lb baby who cannot nurse effectively for weeks).

What we often don’t know is whether these interventions really were life saving.

To take one example: nuchal cords. It has been usual practice in some days and ages to cut the cord and unwrap it before the baby’s body is born – this entirely severs the baby from her source of life, and should there be any delay in the birth she may become severely compromised – this is a typical case when babies will need resuscitation, and parents will thank the care provider…BUT, the need for resus may well have been fully caused, or at least worsened, by the intervention itself.

For those of you interested in nuchal cords, more reading here:

Nuchal Cords: the perfect scapegoat

So why are some of my posts all the doom and gloom? If you’re expecting you have an opportunity to get knowledgeable NOW and make informed choices for your future birth.

You cannot prevent every intervention, and indeed some really are life saving, but you can create an environment for the most gentle and healthy labour and birth for both yours and your baby’s short and long term health and well-being, physically AND mentally.

What are you waiting for… Let’s connect!


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