pinterest logo There is NO WRONG WAY to have a baby.

“I feel like I did everything wrong.”

Those are the words from a new mom who was so traumatized by her birth experience, that it took her 4 months to reply to my emails and phone calls and write down the details and tell me, her natural childbirth teacher, all about it. She blamed herself, when none of it was her own fault.

It breaks my heart to learn that someone regrets her birth experience, or is upset, angry, or grieving because of it.  Though I teach natural childbirth, and advocate natural childbirth as the safest and healthiest way to give birth, life sometimes gets in the way. The medical system in the U.S. is the biggest roadblock to achieving a natural childbirth. Sew seeds of doubt and fear into expecting parents, and you have a recipe for a typical birth in the U.S.-one that does not support or encourage the mother.  We need to remember… 

“There is no wrong way to have a baby. Every single birth is a miracle.” 

“I hope to instill a non-judgmental mindset so if they have their dream birth they are grateful and if they don’t they are grateful too. Either way I hope women would respect their work, their body, their baby and each other.” Rosie Curtis-doula  

After a 36 hour first stage labor with one problem after another and 3 and half hours of pushing, this woman began motherhood exhausted, and feeling as though every choice she made was wrong.  

What were the issues that blocked her path to their goals?


Choices out of their control and choices made for and by them

Other Options


Dr. recommended they go to the hospital
when labor begins to receive antibiotics every 4 hours.

CDC recommends that antibiotics be given every 4 hours, starting more than 4 hours before birth. Since birth usually takes more than 4 hours, staying home in early labor seems like a safe option.

Keep garlic or chlorhexidine
in the vagina for the last 4 weeks of pregnancy; Taking probiotics

Dr. planning his family vacation during your EDD time

Because the doctor was scheduled to leave for vacation during the EDD, she ended up with “5 different doctors by the time the baby was born.”

Her doctor was there at the beginning but had to leave while she was in early labor. Causing lack of support, decreasing confidence, interrupting progress.

Hire a doula so that you are surrounded by both your coach/partner/husband,
but also someone trained
who will be with you from beginning of labor to after the birth.

36 hours of labor with no sleep

Going to your birthplace in early labor is a guarantee you won’t get sleep, “I tried to
sleep but that’s impossible in a hospital.”

Sleep in early labor,
even if it’s a short nap.
Always do these 5 things:
eat, drink, sleep, walk,
take a bath or shower.

Stuck at 5 CM for 12 hours & No sleep for 24+ hours

At 7 AM and at 7 PM dilation was checked and
she was at 5 CM. “All the wind got knocked
out of me when she told me and I couldn’t take it anymore, I was so tired.  I had the epidural.  I was able to relax and sleep a little bit.“

When you’re exhausted, sometimes an
epidural is a good thing.

At 7 PM “contractions were anywhere from 1-4 minutes apart but some of the contractions were lasting
up to 5 minutes.  They
started to get really close together but still lasting 3 to 5 minutes.” Rely on emotional and physiological signs. These were signs of transition and she began pushing an hour later. (It’s easy to look back and make that judgment but when you’re in it, that’s a whole different challenge)

Tell family & friends  you’re in labor

Despite asking everyone to wait at home
until baby was born, they showed up at the hospital.  “My husband’s parents even bought tickets that morning and had flown out, and
arrive even before our Dr. left for vacation.
The drama that ensued taught me not to tell anyone I’m in labor and call after the baby is born.”  

The pressure to “perform”, and the chaos of family arriving at the hospital interfered with
labor progress.

“Ina May Gaskin’s Sphincter Law 

  • • Sphincter muscles of both anus and vagina do not respond on command.
  • • Sphincter muscles open more easily in a comfortable intimate atmosphere where a woman feels safe.
  • • The muscles are more likely to open if the woman feels positive about herself; where she feels inspired and enjoys the birth process.
  • • Sphincter muscles may suddenly close even if they have already dilated, if the woman feels threatened in any way.”
































by Liza Janda 













It’s obvious this mother had no control over her birth experience, She was supported by her coach/husband but staff and family were not respectful of their wishes. Circumstances out of their control caused her to blame herself. Clearly none of the things that happened were within their control.

 Steps to healing from a traumatic birth 

1. Recognize that if you feel emotional pain, regret, lack of support, during and after the birth, you experienced trauma. If you feel traumatized, you were traumatized!
2. Acknowledge that “Yes it is important that the baby is healthy,” but good, positive, supportive birth experiences are just as important to mothers’ emotional wellbeing.
3. You are not alone in this experience and you deserve support. It is okay to feel confused or rattled by it all.
4. Do not blame yourself.
5. Surround yourself with nurturing people. Ask for help emotionally, and get help with the baby.
6. If you have feelings that blame the baby (directly or indirectly), get help through;

Most women’s deep reserves of physical and emotional strength are tested to the limits during labor. Labor is a demanding physical and emotional ordeal that can affect mothers for months and years after. Acknowledge that you have created and grown a person, and brought a baby into the world.

Acknowledge what you lost. Have empathy for yourself. Then, praise and cherish yourself for the hard work you have done. You deserve it.