A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to work with a woman, someone I didn't know, and while she had her own great birth plan (that the nurses actually respected), there were several times when my still emerging awareness of birth abuse and how to avoid traumatizing a woman was called into action.
- Whenever someone walked into the room, I asked who they were and introduced them to the mom and dad.
- Whenever someone was going to touch the mom, I would quickly let her know (warn her, if you will) before they did. Once I even got in an "Is it okay if she touches you now?" I have more work to do in that area.
- Whenever someone talked over mom like she wasn't there, I re-said the comment directly to her.
- When the stranger-doctor dashed in, jammed a hand and then flippantly said mom's pelvis was too small to have a baby that size, I re-phrased it to "the baby's position (persistent, acynclitic OP) is keeping her from coming out vaginally despite the enormous pushes you're doing."
- When the same stranger-doctor blamed mom's innards for being "extremely odd-shaped and sized" and that was why she had a three-hour repair of said innards after the cesarean, I let mom know the doctor was covering, not only her ass, but her ego and emotions. Mom followed up with, "So if they were so different, why didn't she take extra care with them?"
I'm not writing this to rah rah rah me, but to illustrate my own awareness due to the discussions here after my Birth Abuse post. It's not like I've not had any awareness... I certainly have for a long time... but hearing the nuances of what women have shared here, I think, really made an impact on me.
I hope it's doing the same for others.