67% Of Mums Say Birth Was Positive Experience

2/3 Mums Say Birth Was Positive Experience
6 May 2016

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.

77 comments

  • Kim M.

    I loved both of mine. Both started in very similar ways but were different as progressed I'd do it all again tomorrow if my other half would let me x

  • Kate H.

    Both of mine were awesome and empowering and I'm almost sad I'm very unlikely to do it again.

  • Yvonne E.

    Im sorry i found my 2 natural births horrendous and so painfull. My c section was great and i recovered emotionally and mentally a lot quicker.

  • Jeni W.

    Haha - 2 out of 3 of mine were positive. I'm a classic statistic then!

  • Bobbie J.

    Absolutely loved it and the labour pains lol

  • Kayleigh S.

    I was fully prepared for mine to be terrible! It wasn't it was actually beautiful I felt empowered by the whole thing and felt incredibly grateful about the whole thing xx

  • Rachel L.

    Means to an end for me!

  • Claire L.

    The worst experience of my life. I genuinely felt alone, that the staff didnt listen to me and that id be there suffering until i died. Had emergency c section in the end.

    • Joanna H.

      Snap.

    • Clare P.

      Mine was horrendous too, I thought it would kill me! But we are kicking ass as mums though!

    • Emma W.

      Make sure you go back and speak to them about is... Speak to your old community midwife team about who to speak to because this shit can stay with you a long time.... My first child I had a really crap time and was made to feel like a piece of meat... But asked to meet consultants etc to discuss it and found ways to make sure that second child experience was a lot better... Really helped me let go of a lot of the bad memories xx

    • Claire L.

      i requested my notes from the hospital and did discuss it with midwife you visited at home a little, (she wasnt that helpful) but it took me 1-2 yrs to be able to discuss my labour experience without sobbing. Im sure i had undiagnosed pnd. It doesnt help that you cant build a relationship as dont see the same person more then once.

  • Claire C.

    I had a positive experience. I got two beautiful babies at the end. I agree with Yvonne Edwards, I found my c-section was much quicker to recover from than my natural birth.

    • Eloise G.

      If you don't mind me asking how long did it take you to recover from the section?? And how long were you immobile ?? Thanks

    • Claire C.

      I had trouble sitting up for a few days, but I wasn't immobile. Being immobile wasn't an option, had new baby and 2.5 year oldto look after x

  • Charlotte S.

    I love giving birth. 7 natural births and one emergency c section. A most beautiful, and intimate experience for me Nd hubby. Feel very blessed :)

    • Amy G.

      8!! Your bonkers. Hats off to you :tophat: 2 is more than enough for me :see_no_evil: xx

    • Clare P.

      Wow! Supermum!

  • Janice F.

    I'm I alone in not remembering much of my labour? X

    • Sarah L.

      Nope your not alone! I don't remember much either to be fair :grin: X

  • Clare B.

    Sadly not for me :disappointed_relieved:

  • Laura H.

    Obviously all those bragging about there fantastic births either had exceptional nhs care, or they were paid to write on here.. Ha!

  • Samantha E.

    First 2 natural births were great loved every minute. Unfortunately my 3rd 17 months ago ended up as a c section n was the worst time of my life. Still recovering now.

  • Kirsten R.

    Im positive I'm no doing it again! Lol

  • Helene W.

    Well it was awful at the time but of course it was a positive experience- without it I wouldn't have my girls.

  • Leanne G.

    Extremely positive for me! Nice quick natural labour with great midwives! Loved every second of it xx

    • David C.

      Girl power

  • Melissa A.

    Very positive. Hoping my next due in July will be positive also :)

  • Leeanne T.

    traumatic experience . hopeing this time will be different

  • Kathryn S.

    I would say mine was positive. I wasn't scared. I was excited to finally meet my rainbow baby. She was bloody quick too. 82 mins from 1cm to delivery with no pain relief. I believe instinct took over and I went with the flow.

  • Caz L.

    Loved all of mine!

  • Ally O.

    Seriously?! Most awful hell I've been through!

  • Danielle C.

    Traumatic, scary, difficult but amazing.

  • Sally W.

    Maybe it depends on you're pain threshold and mind set at the time, not sure I would use positive to describe either of my labours, worth it for the end result tho!

  • Lisa L.

    Loved it would do it again tomorrow

  • Katherine C.

    Honestly the worst experience ever.. Nothing to do with pain but first one lasted five days from seven cm and waters breaking and I was left till my son stopped breathing and second I wanted a c section as low lying placenta and placenta rupture from17 weeks and baby back to back (as with first).. I ruptured during labour and almost died and then was sent home hours later to completely prolapse.. I was left with my whole pelvic organs hanging between my legs for two month till I could have surgery. I honestly think I have been left with ptsd..

    • Gillian C.

      If I was reading this before I'd had kids I don't think I would have had any!! What a horrible experience! :slight_frown: xx

    • Emma L.

      So sorry to hear that you had such bad experiences. You are a phenomenal women for going thorough all that. I had it easy, So I take my hat off to you.

      You said your 1st labour your baby stopped breathing? I hope you had a happy ending?

    • Clare P.

      I'm so sorry that happened to you!

    • Katherine C.

      Aw thank you.. I had two happy endings. One is three and one is almost two. I have been sterilised now so I don't go through it again. I wouldn't change it though, my children give me a reason for life. X

    • Vix B.

      I had a horrible, horrible experience with my first one too, and just like you think I had PTSD from it- I was so sad, so angry and so traumatised- I never stopped thinking about it. BUT 8 years later I've recently had my second, a planned c-section, and I feel like it was a really calm positive experience, it's helped me move on from the first, at last! I hope you're able to come to terms with your experience in due course and just enjoy the beautiful children you brought into the world (easier said than done I know!) xxxxx

    • Katherine C.

      Thank you vix, I am sorry you went through it but I am glad you finally found a Way to deal with the negative experience. Congratulations on your second x

  • Kimberley H.

    Of course it was positive, I got my beautiful babies from it. Sure it hurt like hell, and I had stitches and haemorrhaging and all sorts of other nasty shit but we all survived it. Twice. That's pretty positive in my opinion!

  • Cheryl S.

    I gave birth for the second time yesterday and it was amazing! First birth ended up in theatre with complications but all natural second time and the sense of achievement is phenomenal! :smiley:

    • Janine R.

      Congratulations on your 2nd baby. X

    • Cheryl S.

      Thank you! :blush: x

    • Clare P.

      Congratulations!!

    • Jaime Y.

      Congratulations. I felt the same way and even though it bloody hurt I felt so amazing and proud of myself.

    • Daisy M.

      Very similar to my story. New one is now almost three weeks and I still feel amazing about everything!! Euphoric state! :sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart:

  • Kerry W.

    I had it easy 2.5hrs labour, fell asleep between contractions.. 5.10 baby...breaking my little finger hurt more haha :joy::joy:

  • Rebecca H.

    No! No no no not positive lol; end result great because I was pain free and had my baby but no! And recovery was def a good 6 weeks x

  • Yvette A.

    Amazing experience (maybe distorted by gas and air) with my mum and husband by my side, very positive. I was expecting so much worse! We are lucky to have such a good health service X

  • Laura P.

    Both my birthday where AMAZING!! Id don't again in a heartbeat if it didn't bring a screaming child with it :joy::joy:

  • Nicola C.

    Lost six pints of blood on both births after two hemorrhages.Son resuscitated and pre clampsia on both births.Im not having a third but alive to tell the tale :smile:

  • Hazel T.

    God no lol

  • Emma L.

    Both my labours were natural no pain relief at all. Felt rvery part of it.

    1st he got stuck, Had a vontouse delivery. That bloody hurt as I had nothing to help lol.

    Second Was easier, Birthing pool right until last half hour then pushing on bed, I watched as I pushed him out. Bit less painfull lol.

    I found both experiences amazing even though the 1st had complications I wouldn't change a thing.

    I felt everything that happened when bringing my boys into the world and I love that.

    I was lucky. I was some how able to do it all with nothing(Don't know how I have such a rubbish pain fresh hold) Not all women experience labour in such a good way, zBut so long as we do what it take to get our babies here safe and sound, We have all achieved wonderful things :heart_eyes:

  • Claire F.

    Both of my labours were amazing experiences, and if I didn't have to keep the child at the end of it I'd do it again and again

  • Kathryn R.

    I absolutely LOVE it.

  • Charlotte E.

    Definitely!! I had a completely natural water birth and it was amazing. Definitely sugar coated the memory of the pain though :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Debbie L.

    My first - natural with forceps was horrendous. My second - elective section was AMAZING!!!

  • Clair K.

    Very positive. I got the exact birth experience I wanted. I know that people say not to bother writing a birth plan, but I did, and my midwife was really mindful of what I did and didn't want - even refusing me an epidural! I could've killed her at the time, but I was really glad afterwards.

  • Iona M.

    Both times I proved to myself that I am capable of anything I fully set my mind to and I'm stronger than I thought.

  • Eloise G.

    Obviously the reward amazing.. The actual birth horrendous both times! :cry: first induced, forceps delivery, second natural, no pain relief 3c degree tear :cold_sweat:..

  • Pamela M.

    Had both quick labours! 1hr 20 with my oldest and 45mins with my baby! Out hosiptal on the same day! :blue_heart:

  • Stef R.

    Gave birth to my daughters, one in 2008 and the other in 2012, both without any pain meds of any kind, not even gas and air. Within an hour of contractions starting they were out, didn't need any stitches or treatment after either. Best feeling ever, as many women I spoke to before my first told me how they felt out of control of their body with an epidural or gas and air, so I think I was determined to go it alone. Lol

  • Eleanor W.

    I would have my third over and over again. Natural, 4 hours, no pain relief and finished with the sweet sound of a crying rainbow baby. The 'healing birth' I needed after 1st was a 19 hour, forceps delivery and she needed resuscitation (she's a healthy 8 year old now!) and my 2nd was a still birth. I would have had a 4th if I could have.

  • Sammie I.

    Yes! 2 successful water births :blush:

  • Jamie D.

    Loved my labour, 2hrs 37mins from waters breaking to holding my daughter with just gas and air :blush:

  • Katy S.

    My first was 40 hours and ended up with both of us getting an infection leading to an emergency c section. My 2nd was 5 hours and a water birth with gas and air thank goodness, a much more positive experience! Both times I had amazing care and am very thankful for our amazing NHS :heart:

  • Danielle F.

    Apart from holding a midwives hand hostage with my vagina (she tried to put a clip on my sons head and I had a contraction causing me to slam my knees shut on her hand whilst it was still up there) I'd say pretty positive! :joy:

  • Charlotte A.

    Had my boy charlie 2014, easy birth for me, dint quite get wot i wanted for my birth plan but things happend all quick and he came quick 3 hrs 37 mins the whole lot

  • Amy T.

    3 horrible pregnancies followed by 3 horrible births. Birth plans ignored, medical notes ignored, letter of apology from hospital for my sub standard care..... Sad not to be having more children but glad I not going to go through any more pregnancies or births like those again

  • Maria N.

    Little bit of both I must say lol. Certainly something I'll never forget

  • Kelly C.

    I must be in the one third that thinks both births were the most horrible things that ever happened to me!!

  • Linzi F.

    My last labour = Awful and terrifying. I will be forever grateful for epidurals regardless of the stigma attached . And forever grateful to the doctor who somehow got my twins out alive and the army of midwives who knew exactly what they were doing. Because as much as it's great to be in charge of your babies births when things go wrong it's the medical team you look to to sort it out! God bless the NHS.

  • Angela H.

    First labour induced, nasty midwife, very confusing to know who was staff and who was bored husbands looking for something to do whilst I was waiting for my midwife that I was sharing with 3 other women!! She'd turned the drip up too high then left me for hours before "noticing" with a laugh and an "oops". Nearly punched her and I am the least violent woman ever!! 2nd labour, fastest delivery on earth, baby born in the "bag", no time for drugs (eek and I'm a wimp!), but so much more calm, discharged by 2pm after giving birth at 7.01am. Perfect. Much better.

  • Clare P.

    100% positive! Loved every minute of my 4 labours! Would do it again in a second!

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