Positive birth stories

As soon as someone announces a pregnancy it never seems long before someone wants to tell them a horror story about their own birth or that of their friend’s sister’s mother…

But is this helpful? Well in a word, no!

Women are surrounded by negativity of birth from a young age. From horror stories to TV programmes which normalise dramatic births. As a result, many women are anxious without even feeling a contraction. This leads to what is known as a ‘fear- tension- pain cycle’ and reinforces itself. Just imagine if you planned to run a marathon.. Would you listen to people who tell you how awful it was and it was the worst thing in the world? Or would you seek out success stories, good resources, strong cheer leaders and find all the skills you need to complete the marathon?

Are there any positive birth stories?

Try to remember that for every horror story there are so many positive birth stories. Sadly many women feel the need to offload any negative birth experiences and who better to listen than a new mum?! Someone who has had a great birth experience often doesn’t want to speak up about it for fear of being branded “smug” or “lucky”.

Here are two top tips for you:

  1. Stop the negativity: Politely ask people not to bombard you with their difficult stories. Furthermore, practice the hypnobirthing and relax class exercises which encourage a ‘shield’ to the negativity.
  2. Boost the positivity: Fill up your knowledge bank with positive birth stories. These sites have loads: www.PositiveBirthStories.com and www.positivebirthmovement.org


Group B Strep (GBS)

A big question I am frequently asked about is Group B Strep (GBS), which many women find out about in pregnancy and the results can have a big implication on birth preferences.

There is lots of risk analysis to weigh up with GBS so everybody’s decision will be individual to them. A great place to start is by getting informed.

gbs baby pregnancy sara wickham aims book

Some things to think about include:

    • What is GBS and when is it tested?
    • Who has it and are there any symptoms?
    • If I have it in pregnancy does that mean I will have it in labour?
    • Is testing accurate and when is the best time to test?
    • What does the research say about treatment options?
    • Are there advantages and risks of treatment or in fact- no treatment?
    • Are there particular risk factors to consider?
    • How does GBS status alter birth preferences?

Where can I get more information?

An excellent resource for more information is by Sara Wickham. She is a midwife researcher and has written some excellent articles on GBS (and many other topics). See www.SaraWickham.com. There are also AIMS booklets available (Association of improvements in maternity services) and these have a small charge but are packed with  information. See www.aims.org.uk