4 Personal experiences of childbirth
In this activity, you consider whether official policies on the need for increased choice for women during childbirth have become a reality for women having their babies.
Listen to the audio tracks below, where you will hear three contrasting reports of women’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. After each audio track, make brief notes on whether you think each of them felt they had a choice in:
- who cared for them during their pregnancy
- where they received their care
- the place and type of delivery.
After listening to all three audio tracks, consider:
- What were the constraining factors that influenced whether or not those women had a choice?
- Whose voices were heard and whose views were not listened to?
Transcript: Audio clip one
Transcript: Audio clip two
Transcript: Audio clip three
You have heard three quite different stories of childbirth from three women who had different levels of knowledge and who experienced positive and negative relationships with the practitioners involved in their care. You may have found Faye’s story quite distressing; thankfully she and her son are fully recovered and enjoying life. These stories demonstrate that choice in childbirth is not always a reality and can be constrained by a number of factors.