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Did your birth experience affect your baby?

I was with a friend today who has 3 children, and the two who she had difficult births with were 'difficult' babies, whereas the one with a straightforward birth was an easy baby. By difficult I mean various issues with feeding, not a good sleeper, crying a lot for unknown reasons etc.

I had a crap birth with Sam and although he is what I would call very easy now, for the first few mpnths he would only sleep well in my arms and wanted to be BFed all the time for comfort. I accepted this as normal baby behaviour, but I wonder if he was traumatised in some way from how he entered the world. He was badly cut and bruised by forceps, and couldn't even open his eye for over a week due to forceps cut, so it wasn't a very reassuring start to life... :\(

How do you think your birth experience affected your LO, if at all?



  • My labour has mirrored E's personality, she is very quick i.e. very impatient and essentially an easy baby with a few painful bits along the ride.

    I think that's what cranial osteopathy is meant to correct in some way, issues from difficult births in most cases.

    My best friends first labour resulted in a emergency section after baby got stuck and she is a nightmare baby and hasn't slept a full night, had terrible colic, is always ill and extremely demanding. Her second was a quite quick and easy VBAC and is the polar opposite to her sister, sleeps well, eats well, no issues at all in 8 months. So in her case it could be contributed to her labours and birth experience.

    Have you had any closure on your experience like a meeting with MW or consultant to go over your notes, its seems to still be on your mind alot? Tell me to bugger off if I'm being daft.x
  • Hi hon
    It's on my mind a lot because I really want baby number 2 but the thought of all that again is putting me off (oh, and two trimesters of puking constantly :roll: ). Have just moved to new area so won't be at same hospital, and not sure whether they will let me meet with consultant rather than midwife only when I'm next pregnant. My GP in last town offered my counselling but that's what my friends and you lot are there for! image
  • I thought it might be because of baby no 2, I can fully sympathise about the sickness a whole 9 months of it again scares me silly especially now I have E to look after. Just said to L that I shouldn't have put that coz I realised straight away why it was on your mind.

    I'm sure you'll be really well looked after this time and Sam is a gorgeous little boy and I'm sure worth it all in the end, its just horrendous that you experienced it in the first place but they do say no 2 labours/births are the same. So the next one will just pop out when you sneeze!!!! image

    Keeping my trap shut now :lol: Sorry I feel awful.x
  • I had a long difficult birth with my daughter but she was the most easy going baby ever. We are ttc number 2 and the birth does play on my mind. I would like to experience a more laid back (possibly water) birth. I also worry about sickness as I was sick constantly but only for the first trimester. I worry I won't be able to give dd the attention she needs if I'm
    like that again. Dds birth mirrored almost exactly my birth so I'm hoping number 2 mirrors my sisters birth. My mum had her out within half an hour of hospital breaking her waters!!
  • I am sure you know that no two pregnancies are the same, I can certainly vouch for that! Like MummyR2B says, you are a fab Mummy, and I think that will shine through in your next lo regardless!

    I had an easy birth, and I would say an easy baby, but I am not sure if that's rose tinted glasses or not. I know I had terrible problems feeding, but in the grand scheme of things, I had a happy contented baby.

    When you are pregnant with number 2, they will go through your notes from Sam. I found this so helpful, and now I have a plan of action to avoid any repeats of the things that went wrong last time. I feel much more relaxed this time!!
  • Hi
    I had a difficult birth too; induction, back to back labour, baby's head coming out the wrong angle which resulted in a forceps delivery :cry:
    However my DD was/is a little treasure - slept well (the odd bumpy bit along the way!!!), ate well (FF) and generally a chilled out baby.

    The birth still plays on my mind A LOT too; mainly because I'm having an op done to repair my episiotomy - had a pretty rough recovery. I've been offered to go and speak with the consultant before we even embark on TTC no.2 so I'm looking forward to that.
    I've already been told I would have to have a c-section next though.

    Sorry for going off on one there!!!! But to answer your question; IMO no I don't think so xxx
  • coco - I think that's a really interesting question! I won't go into it, but I think labour and birth may have been why Jak cried continuously unless I held him for his first week's worth of nights, the two we spent in hospital were the worst of my life. He's gone on to be a very 'easy' baby with a lovely temperament, but I think that's down to his dad rather than me!

    My friend was saying her two sons (who are grown up now) were very different as babies. Her first labour was long and hard and then she battled with breastfeeding and exhaustion and gave up at 8 weeks. She said he was an 'easy' baby - sleeping through, eating well, etc. Her second was a quick and easy labour, she says she managed on NOTHING because she was so out of it in her first labour, she was petrified of the same thing in her second so wouldn't let anyone give her anything! It only took a few hours, but her second baby was a difficult sleeper, constantly wanted holding, etc.

    By the way, I'm like you, I'm very apprehensive of another baby. It stops me sleeping, lol!

    Hannahs_Mummy - do they really go through your notes with you? That sounds wonderful! I don't want to be pregnant before they do it though...
  • i had a straight forward birth. water birth at home with very little gas and air, and nothing for the actual pushing part. she went straight to the boob for a feed too. it was a very calm environment (my living room!) and she was born at 5am, which i wanted throughout pregnany. i think i would have felt self-conscious (ridiculously) labouring during the day. animals mainly give birth at night. dont cha know. everyone always commented on how contented dd was in the first few weeks. she slept well, piled on weight (she only dropped 100g after birth and was more than her birth weight at day 5), and was a total joy.

    however, she does feed a lot, and has always comfrt sucked at the breast. i dont see this as a problem though as it increases my milk supply for her. better for baby to be at the breast in the early days than on a dummy.
  • I had a very easy and positive labour, and Abby has always been a very easy going baby (athough she's a head-strong, stroppy toddler now!) My friend had a nightmare birth with her little boy, and he still (at 20 months) doens't sleep through the night.
  • Calleigh - you have no idea how jealous I am of your birth experience!

  • Hannahs_Mummy - do they really go through your notes with you? That sounds wonderful! I don't want to be pregnant before they do it though...

    I was quite surprised when they got my notes out at my booking appointment image I was saying to the midwife "well last time such and such happened", and she got my notes out and explained everything. She answered every question I had.

    I think you can do it before you are pregnant, my friend had a horrific birth, and needed to go through it to get closure. Not sure who you would ask though?
  • hi i had a 'difficult' labour, induced at 40+3 due to high bp, back to back and born by em c sec at 40+6 due to fetal distress... ds was 'difficult' in those early months (although he was sleeping 11pm-5am from 6 weeks which was fantastic! and 12hours straight by 6months), however, thats because at 17weeks he was diagnosed with cows milk intolerance and from then on he was a completely different baby, so happy and content, an absolute dream really, makes me feel so bad that he must've been so uncomfy and in pain for it to have made him as unsettled and constant crying as he had been. so once his milk issue was sorted we had a very easy baby, and at 17months (don't want to jinx it...) he still is for the most part. i'm due baby no2 in december and although i'm worried about the labour/birth again (with ds i ended up with ptsd) i'm not worried that that will define what nature she has, i also knwo thta this time if she shows the same symptoms as ds then we can get it sorted much much quicker and (finger's crossed) have another 'happy' baby... i'm really not sure on the whole labour=temperament thing, my brother and sister are twins, so identical birth, and yet they are chalk and cheese, my sister is and always has been very difficult and highly strubng, my brother couldn't be more laid back if he tried...

    if ur still struggling with ur birth and labour u can ask ur hv and/or gp (or even surestart or PALS) to put u in touch with a 'birth after thoughts' counsellor, most areas offer a service like this, where at any time (even if ur lo is at school by then) where u can meet with a midwife trained in counselling who will go through ur notes and discuss them with u face to afce so u can address any issues and see what can be done next time to stop history repeating itself..i found it a huge help, the midwife referred me to a further counsellor which is where i then got diagnosed with ptsd (where as my gp had thought pnd). i found it really helped me to understand everything that had happened and why, and she even wrote a letter to the matron of the maternity unit outlining a lot of the issues that had arisen, on my behalf and i'm due to meet the matron soon so we can talk through what can be done this time, as i'll be giving birth at the same hospital and there were a few 'minor' errors made on their part (which came to light in the birthafterthoughts meeting) that had they not happened i might have had an entirely different experience, the birth may have been the same, but it would most likley have been far less traumatic. hope this helps. xx 26+3

    ps, u don't ahve to be expecting babbyno2 to do that counselling meeting, i had mine a year ago when ds was 8months old. neotehr my mws nor my consultant this time have bothered going thorugh my notes from last time, which i thought they were going to do at my 20wk consultant appointment, so nobody has even dicussed my issues from last time yet, just asked if i want vbac or planned c sec...

    [Modified by: WoW Baby on September 05, 2010 07:41 PM]

  • I had a bad birth experience. I was induced then had meconium in my waters but no one realised for 12 hours and I was so out of it on gas and air that no one took me seriously that my waters had gone or that there was something wrong. 46 hours after I was induced and 2 failed epidurals later it took them an hr to get a spinal in and I had an emergency c section. I took my son to a cranial osteopath in week 2 and that helped as he was very unsettled and windy. However he also had tongue tie that was only spotted at 13 weeks and I think that's why he was unsettled ie hungry and the wind is another symptom of tongue tie. My ds is generally happy and contented so overall I don't think that the traumatic labour has overly affected him but then the cranial osteopathy might have helped.
    I talked to the Drs after his birth and have been given options for no 2 but at the moment I can't face it.

    [Modified by: bodlondon on September 05, 2010 07:45 PM]

  • Calleigh - you have no idea how jealous I am of your birth experience!

    one of my firends says the same. she started off in a midwife until for her first and ended up blue lighted to hospital for a section. her second started in hosptal and turned into a very serious section. really scary. she doesnt talk about it, just to say things like her hubby really spoiled her after as she nearly died.

    do know i was lucky though. i did all the thigs they tell you to do to get baby into the correct position and hypnobirthing etc and was well-researched on everything! but i was very aware that all it took was baby to move in the wrong way and it could have been very different.
  • DD was an emergency C section and promptly whisked off to SCBU for low blood sugars. After 36 hours of episodes of convulsions of increasing severity, she was given a brain scan and found to have suffered a massive brain haemorrhage. She spent a month in SCBU, three weeks of that in the NICU; and was subjected to horrific procedures including having a IV line put in her scalp and a 'long line' IV needle inserted along pretty much the entire length of her forearm. Pretty much the most traumatic start to life you can imagine, yet she was the most chilled out baby, and is now a very chilled out daydreamy 4 year old. DS was a planned section, very calm, never separated from me; and whilst generally very calm and happy he is SO clingy, whereas DD never was!

    I think kids just have their quirks and personalities, and don't think they are in any way 'traumatised' by their birth emotionally speaking. I think sometimes a physically traumatic delivery can impact on them but cranial osteopathy can normally iron out any problems!
  • My first labour wasnt horrible it was long yes but it was the aftermath that was horrible, i was pushing for hours and in the end i had a large Episiotomy that didn't heal well. Anyway dd was a very difficult newborn, she had silent reflux and has never settled to sleep anywhere but her cot so going out proved difficult. She reacted badly to all her injections and teething has been a long and hard process (at 23 months she still has 4 to go). She was also the most CLINGY baby you could ever meet, she would scream if anyone dared to talk to her that wasn't me or daddy.. it was so hard! We would go to partys and she would literally scream and cling to me.. my poor mum even missed my wedding because she was outside with dd as she was screaming! She is obviously a tantruming toddler now but is no longer clingy.. so yes she is hard work but boy i love her image

    DS birth was a breeze! It was more painful as i didn't have pain relief but it was only like 5 hours long and pushing only a couple of minutes, no stitches or infections and i was shopping in Asda the day after! amazing! DS is now 9 weeks old and wow what a cool little dude he is... unbelievably easy i don't even know i have him! I mean maybe because he is my second i don't have time to fuss over him so he has learnt to entertain/settle himself but still at 9 weeks old i am yet to experience a screaming fit and he didn't even hardly cry when he had his jabs and had no reaction at all. I mean things could change but so far he has been fab.. he even goes bed at 7pm with dd and settles himself to sleep!

  • Well I had the whole birth researched, I did hypno birthing as well, however I had to be induced at 38 weeks die to pre-eclampsia and although the birth was super quick (especially for my first) 2 hours 4 minutes in total, it was quite traumatic and a massive shock for dd and me, her heart rate dropped dramtically, I only had gas and air but I concentrated on getting her out and had to have an episotomy, when she came out she never cried and they whisked her away to clean her and they cut the cord and checked her, she was perfect but she still didnt cry, the only time she cried was when she was given the vitamin k injection, Olivia was great for the first 6 months except for colic and reflux but she slept all night and then at 6 months she changed wouldnt sleep, threw tantrums etc...however we think that this may be linked to me developing PND around this time, I am still waiting for an op to fix my episotomy and I had an abnormal smear and they took a biopsy at this time, anyway I was out on anti-depressants about 2 months ago and I have found since my mood has improved so has Olivia, there are few tantrums now although she still isnt sleeping through the night. So I dont think that the birth actually affects them but I think our moods do, on Friday I hurt my back really severly and she came over giving kisses but she has been a lot more upset over the last few days and every time I make a noise signalling i'm in pain she starts to cry.
  • I completely sympathise coco as i didn't have a good birth, forceps delivery aswell. Weren't you offered a c-section at your last hospital? Hopefully that's on your notes and you will be consultant-led. I know you are entitled to see your notes so do you think it's worth asking?

    My big fears for baby 2 are a bad pregnancy again, I was basically really sick all the way through, lost loads of weight, and a repeat of the birth. Oh and a tear, PND ...!

    K xx
  • I completely sympathise coco as i didn't have a good birth, forceps delivery aswell. Weren't you offered a c-section at your last hospital? Hopefully that's on your notes and you will be consultant-led. I know you are entitled to see your notes so do you think it's worth asking?

    My big fears for baby 2 are a bad pregnancy again, I was basically really sick all the way through, lost loads of weight, and a repeat of the birth. Oh and a tear, PND ...!

    K xx
  • my third was definately my worst pregnancy, labour and birth. after 2 very straightforward pregnancies and births my first 2 were brilliant babies and toddlers, and are now realtively well behaved children, my third on the other hand was a nightmare from the moment of conception, bleeding, pains, laying in difficults positions was how he was throughout the whole pregnancy, then came the horrendous birth, he was oblique posterior lie and no matter how much my body tried to push his head down he wasn't budging, then came the fetal distress and i ended up with an emcs 5 weeks early, and funnily enough he is now very stubborn, very impatient and a general pain in the arse lol, my fourth was very very quick labour although she had a very traumatic start she is a very placid baby and hardly ever cries, if all babies were like her i would have 10 lol xx
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