Does it traumatise kids if they see labour and birth?
by Janelle - Trust Breathe Birth
by Janelle - Trust Breathe Birth on 14 September, 2016
I talk a bit about my own births when teaching my HypnoBirthing classes, and one thing I sometimes get asked by second/third/fourth time parents when explaining my fourth birth (which was a planned homebirth after 2 previous caesareans), is: “Did the kids mind seeing you in labour? Didn’t it traumatise them?”
The answer is: Not at all. They were completely fine.
As a family of 5, they were obviously used to living around noise. Seeing me in labour didn’t traumatise them one bit. If anything, they were just excited to see their baby sister be born!
My sister was in the other room while I was in labour, and if anything, she was quietly freaking out more than my kids! Hehe! She was pacing back and forth while my kids watched TV and just went about their day.
It was my kids who told her “Don’t worry… Mummy’s still making noise… that just means the baby isn’t born yet.”
I love my kids.
(…and I love my sister too. Gosh that story makes me laugh!)
I’ve never sheltered my kids from birth videos or birth education. They loved the book “Hello Baby” (which is one of my favourite children’s books about birth… you can buy it here). They know exactly what happens during labour and birth. They know that there might be noise during labour and birth… Mummy’s body is using it’s muscles to help the baby come out!
They tell me the noise is like the noise people make when they use their muscles to lift something really heavy… or (in my kids words) it’s also the same noise as when “Daddy gets up off the couch, but he’s not quite so loud”. lol! #truth
Mummy’s body is just using a muscle. Mummy’s allowed to make noise if she wants. Mummy isn’t making noise because she’s suffering. She’s making noise because her body is working hard. That’s not a traumatising thing to witness.
My midwife wrote such beautiful notes of my birth. She didn’t treat it like a medical event… It was the day our family welcomed our newest member into this world!
And because of this, my gorgeous midwife brought my kids into my official notes too, which I treasure to this day.
On one line, I’ll never forget… she wrote…
“1312 – Girls watching Mum from kitchen bench. They are very proud of their strong Mum!”
I have tears in my eyes just reading that again!
The photo above was taken while I was in labour with my fourth daughter. It was the day my beautiful VBA2C baby was born. My 2 year old had been wandering around the house singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”… with no pants on of course – because that’s just who she is and why should this day be any different… and for a while, every time I’d make a noise, she’d come up and pat my head and check that I was ok. She’d then happily wander off, walking around the pool, finishing off her serenade of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
She was my beautiful little doula for the day.
My girls all remember this day as a good day. And I loved having them there. It was most definitely not a traumatising event for anyone.
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Birth, HypnoBirthing, VBAC