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7 Bumps

Childbirth and breastfeeding as a sexual abuse survivor

This will be my second baby and I have spent months reading and research nothing I'm finding is very helpful and I've done counseling with limited results. If I did choose to labor this time it would be a VBAC since my last child was discovered to be breech at 8cm but after 17 hours of going in and out of reality I just can't do it again. I mean the epidural helped a lot and probly kept me from having a panic attack or kicking anyone in the face during an exam(male or female) but I was still not all there so my c-section was quite a relief. My abuse involved my breasts a lot so breastfeeding triggered a panic response for me or just generally disassociation with reality. I spend whole feedings trying to suppress the urge to chuck my son against the wall.
Ok now that you have the back story I really am struggling with my choices this time around if the VBAC would be a good idea or if I should just go with what I'm comfortable with? Because it seems like I only really want to experience a vaginal delivery and nursing because I hate that this is still effecting me after this many years and I don't want to disappoint people.
Any comments are welcome just please be nice and I would really appreciate some from women who have been in the same situation?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:46 AM on Jun. 6, 2011 in Pregnancy

Answers (13)
  • Who are you worried about dissapointing? After the traumatic experience you have had you should do what feels comfortable to you. Also, have you tried changing therapists? Maybe someone else can help you more. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.



    Answer by Ashoonik at 1:53 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Maybe you shouldn't breastfeed. It's not for everyone. I would think your mental well-being is more important for you and baby.

    Answer by Kathy675 at 1:55 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I don't know how to help but I'm sorry for the hell you have been through and my prayers are with you. This makes me want to cry.

    Answer by sugamama3 at 1:56 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • i wouldnt and didnt... as a survivor you shouldnt if it makes you that uncomfortable.. have a c-section and bottle feed.. dont continue to traumatize yourself based on an unfounded opinion that someone will be disappointed.. and if they are maybe you should reconsider having them around..

    Answer by girlglow6 at 2:05 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I understand .

    You should go with what you are comfortable with.

    But with *a different kind* of help, you can have that and what is safer, too.
    A VBAC.

    You can have better care and a safer birth experience.
    No one needs to check your cervix or even LOOK down there---
    --depending on who you hire for your care, you can have a totally (!!) different experience.

    I encourage you to look into a VBAC with a CPM.

    Best wishes!


    Answer by doulala at 2:14 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • First let me say that I am so sorry that you are having to deal with any of this and that you are not alone. Now moving on to your questions... some women survivors find a vaginal birth empowering. It makes them feel strong and in control. You can have a better safer experience if you find someone that understands your past and will work with you to keep you comfortable. However, if you are feeling like the experience would be more traumatizing then go with the c-section. This is about a healthy happy you and a healthy baby. There are many ways to get there. And the breastfeeding thing. Bottle fed babies do just fine. Don't let anyone judge you or guilt you into doing something you are so uncomfortable with. You will bond just fine if you bottle feed. Your baby will grow and thrive on formula. No more guilt, Mama. You are a survivor! Do whatever you need to do to feel safe! Good luck

    Answer by jspencer1014 at 6:58 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Have a c sec, FF. Motherhood should be joyous, not triggering PTSD experiences. You child will be fine in both situations. Don't make it harder than it has to be.

    Answer by Saya at 8:59 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • im sry to hear this happend to do watever you feel is safe and comfortable with...i wouldnt worry about disapointing and your baby is who try looking into diffrent kind of going to a group called pervail they are absolutly amazing they do all shorts of tharapy like group or individual which ever is best for look into it....i wish you the best of luck

    Answer by rachel216 at 9:29 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I would recommend looking into the breastfeeding groups on here for a lot of helpful advice. Also, consult a lactation consultant. I had a hard time bfing my son but did not have as difficult time w my daughter. Do what is best for you mentally and physically. If breastfeeding causes you to be depressed and have abusive thoughts towards your baby (I had this w my son) do not feel like you are letting anyone down by choosing formula. Good luck to you and your growing family.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:12 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I would recommend a clip from the film "Orgasmic Childbirth."
    This movie highlights several different stories, and one of the women talks specifically about this issue. It was a very touching and beautifully done segment. You don't have to watch the whole movie to view the clip. On the menu, you can choose to watch her story. It is available through Netflix, but unfortunately not instantly.

    Answer by squish at 4:17 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

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