A 'positive experience might not be the first phrase that comes to mind if someone asks you what giving birth is like but that's exactly how two out of three mums say they'd describe what it was like to give birth to their babies.
According to a new study, 67 per cent of the 2,200+ mums who were polled said they found giving birth to be a very positive experience.
The Mirror reports:
Despite the horror stories, two out of three mums say giving birth was a "positive" experience - while one in four even claim they actually 'love' being in labour.
And six per cent claim they even enjoyed an "orgasmic" birth, according to new research.
But while more than half of new mums (55 per cent) said they 'fell in love' instantly with their newborn, one in six (16 per cent) admitted they didn't bond straight away.
A quarter of mums (26 per cent) reported feeling shocked while six per cent were 'worried about the responsibility' of caring for their child. However, 53 per cent agreed they were 'in awe' of their baby from the first moment they saw them.
I love this nugget of data - and yes, I am totally side-stepping the whole orgasmic birth thing. I just can't wrap my head around that idea so I'm not even going there.
But I love the thought of expectant mums - many of whom are likely to be anxious about what lies ahead in the delivery room - reading that the majority of mums look back on the experience of giving birth to a baby as something which was overwhelmingly positive. I know that would have given me some comfort when I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first baby.
It's got to be a good thing that we spread the word that the horror stories we've all heard about labour and giving birth are only part of the picture of what it's like for mums.
That said, of course, birth trauma also happens - I was present for the very traumatic arrival of a friend's baby myself - and for mums who didn't have a positive birth experience, I'm all too aware that studies like this can stir up difficult emotions. If you're in that position, do seek support and don't suffer in silence.
The Birth Trauma Association is a brilliant resource for sufferers of birth trauma, and this publication on coping with a difficult birth experience is particularly useful.
Counselling and therapy resources are available by clicking here.
Above all, I hope this latest study inspires confidence in expectant mums, and encourages mums dealing with difficult birth experiences to seek the support they deserve.
If you'd like to share your birth experiences, both positive and challenging, feel free to join the conversation in the comments below or over on our Facebook page. If something particularly helped you have a positive birth experience or deal with a difficult one, we'd love to hear about it so it can help other mums, too.