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you must have more than a basic understanding of birth."
Do not leave one of the most precious moments of your life up to chance. You have the power to shape your birth experience by being more informed about your options.
The end of pregnancy can be full of landmines you did not see coming. I can help you navigate the decision-making process right now.
Let's dive a little deeper and hit all the essentials you will need as you head into the last few weeks before birth.
Vaginal birth after cesearean can be a difficult path to navigate. Let me help you get clarity and confidence.
The whole kit and caboodle. Head into your birth experience feeling confident, knowledgeable, and prepared.
I help pregnant families make safer, more informed decisions about their care options.
For nearly 20 years, I have been supporting families during the birth and postpartum period as a birth expert and nationally recognized birth advocate.
Pregnancy, birth, and the 4th trimester is unpredictable but you have the power to shape your experience.
Mistreatment in childbirth can take many forms, from rude staff to full-blown physical assault, but they all have one thing in common: a lack of respect for the person giving birth. Some of these forms of mistreatment fall under violations of legal rights (like, being touched without your permission; having a procedure done without your knowledge or consent; being forced to do anything) and some fall under violations of ethical, professional, or human rights standards (being told you must use a bedpan or may not have food and drink; being spoken down to or ignored; being separated from your support team against your wishes).
Simply put, there is no reason for anything to change unless people are putting pressure on the system to change. Our collective silence is what allows that trauma to happen again to someone else. It’s time to break the silence and break the cycle.
Filing a formal complaint is a crucial step that can empower you, help in the healing process and create change for other families.
The Accountability Toolkit by ImprovingBirth is a helpful resource that walks you through the process of filing a complaint.
Birth trauma is defined as an event occurring during the labor and delivery process that involves actual or threatened serious injury or death to the mother or her infant. The birthing woman may experience intense fear, helplessness, loss of control, and horror. In some cases, she feels stripped of her dignity and autonomy.
While there are amazing, wonderful. and compassionate care providers who give women accurate information so they can make informed choices and who support women in those choices, there are providers who do not. I frequently hear from people who report that their care providers gave them inaccurate information and were unsupportive of their decisions. Many also report being bullied, coerced, and abused.
Many share feelings of numbness, grief, shame, guilt, or sadness, and experience nightmares or flashbacks after giving birth. The well-intentioned cheer “at least you have a healthy baby” can feel dismissive and even cruel if you are feeling shattered by your birth.
We often tell ourselves, “Why am I complaining? The baby is great. Who cares how it all happened?”. But deep down, you are hurting, and it's time to change that.
The Pathways to Healing Guide by ImprovingBirth is a wonderful tool to help you navigate your feelings and begin the process of healing after a traumatic birth experience.
Visit ImprovingBirth's website now to download these free step-by-step guides to healing and accountability.
A Healthy Happy Mom is a Healthy Happy Family.
Dawn has been featured in major publications including Vanity Fair Italy, Huffington Post, local news outlets, Dr. Stu's podcast, Progressive Parenting, and the Daily Beast.