Positive Birth Stories from Real Mums
When you’re an expectant mother, positive birth stories seem to be few and far between. For some reason we only ever hear about dramatically terrifying birth stories, focused on pain and panic. It’s enough to make any pregnant woman quake in her boots!
But for many women, childbirth is actually an incredibly positive and empowering experience. Increasingly, we’re seeing platforms for stories that celebrate the miracle of childbirth and our incredible bodies that bring life into the world. Positive birth stories are becoming a bigger part of the conversation. So, we asked our DockATot community to share some of their positive experiences of childbirth.
Positive Birth Stories
Anna, mum to three boys (11, 10 & 8)
‘My eldest decided to wait as long as he could before making an appearance, so I was induced at our brilliant local Women’s Health Centre. I did require pain relief, but the midwives around were attentive, caring and responsive. I never felt alone, out of control or in a state of panic. Everything felt very natural, like my body had been preparing for this very moment (which, of course, it had!).
I cannot describe how miraculous the pushing stage was - my body just took over. I had no idea quite how involuntary those moments would be, how natural and perfectly normal it would feel to push my baby out. All I really remember of the last stage of labour was my midwife’s beautiful Scottish accent at the end of the bed, encouraging me and guiding me to the very last moment.
And there’s absolutely nothing like the pure joy of meeting your very own baby for the first time. We didn’t find out the gender - the last-minute reveal of each of our three boys were the best surprises we’ve ever had.
My other two boys were delivered by elective caesarean, which is an entirely different experience altogether! Knowing the date of delivery gave us a head-start with planning, which was a real gift at the time and allowed us to pace ourselves in the run-up. Both of their births were extremely calm and I felt completely cared for and surrounded by professionals who didn’t let me worry or panic for one second. The after-care was brilliant - I even had a breastfeeding nurse sit with me for one whole night, helping me get to grips with each feed until I became confident! I remain grateful to this day for a fantastic team of healthcare professionals who helped me bring life into this world.’
Sarah, mum to a boy (6) and a girl (3)
‘Reading about some women’s experiences of labour as an expectant mother was terrifying for me. You only ever seem to hear about the horror stories describing how much it hurts! So I was surprised to find that for me, it wasn’t as bad as people make out. So much so, that I was holding-out for gas and air until I found the pain unbearable, but before that happened my son was born! No painkillers needed.
Labour ‘pains’ are just your muscles contracting. It’s your body doing what it needs to do – it’s good pain, not bad. I’d describe it as waves of really intense stomach cramps, each one bringing you closer to meeting your child for the first time. Thinking of it like that really helped me to ride those waves. And I’ve never felt prouder of myself than I did having given birth – honestly, I felt like a superhero!’
Kathryn, mum to a boy (8) and a girl (6)
‘The main objective for my daughter’s birth was to feel like I was in control and could choose my own pathway, and for medical professionals to respect the fact that I knew my body. Of course, things don’t always go to plan, but I wanted to be empowered and supported in my choices as far as was possible.
After the birth of my son, I had discovered that fear and its physiological implications can often result in increased pain and complications in labour. I decided to employ the services of a doula (someone who supports women throughout labour and birth). Bryoni was incredible: supportive, thoughtful, practical and calming.
Together, we practiced hypno-birthing, focusing on breathing regulation - and got my husband involved too! The idea was that I breathed my baby out, rather than pushed.
Once my waters had broken and I was contracting consistently every four minutes, Bryoni came to our house. She accompanied us to the hospital, transferred all my bags and baby paraphernalia to various rooms, gave me lower back massages (which were an amazing source of pain relief), got me drinks and even helped me take a shower post birth.
During labour, I was able to use a birthing pool, which relieved the pressure on my hips and gave me a wonderful sense of weightlessness. I had preemptively written out a list of affirmations to be read over me whilst in labour and together with various breathing patterns we had practiced together (and a little gas and air!), I breathed out my baby girl!
What was so brilliant was that I had two lovely, quiet, calm midwives who actually listened to my birth plan and followed it through. And I now have a positive birth story to share!’
Be prepared but don’t be scared
There’s only so much we can plan for when it comes to childbirth. But, whether you have that peaceful water birth you planned, a surprise early arrival on the bathroom floor, or an emergency c-section in the hospital, your birth story can be positive. The sheer exhilaration when you finally meet your little one is worth every moment.
Mama, be prepared for childbirth, but don’t be scared. You can do this.