I love and respect my body in ways I never could have imagined before carrying my child. Everyone else in my life was ecstatic, and I was just… meh. That joy was quickly replaced by a sinking feeling of terror. I slept a lot during my pregnancy, and not just because of normal pregnancy fatigue. This is where we need to see practitioners stepping up and doing a better job of assessing for these risks with pregnant patients. Reading books, like When Survivors Give Birth , can also help someone feel more prepared and less alone.
They May Fear Being Retraumatized While Giving Birth The inescapable reality is that giving birth often involves the same parts of the body as sexual abuse does. There were no warnings before I was touched, no explanations about what was happening and what I could expect to happen to my body. Reading books, like When Survivors Give Birth , can also help someone feel more prepared and less alone. Women are told by society from the time they are little girls that the thing that will be the most fulfilling for them in their entire life will be to have a baby. For me, I felt like my body had provided me with something good a rad little baby , instead of just bad feelings. I needed someone to talk to me about it. I left each appointment feeling meek, disrespected, and incredibly unsafe. For other people, their PTSD symptoms look different. This can help the person stay as safe as possible during and after their pregnancy. And this fear contributed to… 3. Regardless of who the perpetrator was — a partner, a friend, a stranger, a relative, a medical provider — and regardless of how old we were at the time — child, teenager, adult — sexual violence is characterized by having control of our body stripped from us in that moment and sometimes repeatedly. That joy was quickly replaced by a sinking feeling of terror. They are specially trained to respond to the needs of the pregnant person, and many have experience with trauma. When Anna told her doctor about her history, the doctor responded in a compassionate way and suggested a support group. Follow her on Twitter at britnidlc. I put more pressure on myself to try to manufacture the kind of reaction that I thought I was supposed to have, which added to my feelings of guilt. Some survivors have difficulty tolerating vaginal exams. There was no space for us to have discussions about my needs. And while midwives are much better at discussing these issues, the medical community at large never really addresses it. They May Worry About Losing Control Over Their Body For many survivors of sexual violence, that trauma involved having our power and control over our bodies taken from us. That means that for me, living in my body can be really difficult at times. I love and respect my body in ways I never could have imagined before carrying my child. Anna's feelings were compounded by well-meaning friends and acquaintances who harassed her when she told them she did not intend to breastfeed. Bringing a support person can be helpful. Since I tend to lose my voice in triggering situations, having the plan written down allowed my partner to carry out my wishes without feeling like he was speaking over me or for me. The Legacy of Sexual Abuse The Legacy of Sexual Abuse One in every three or four women have a history of childhood sexual abuse, and during pregnancy, many of them struggle with anger, shame and other powerful emotions. Articles , Posts Tagged With:
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