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The Birth Rape Phenomenon

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"Birth rape," the term used to describe violent and disempowering experiences that occur during labor and delivery, is a hotly debated topic within many mom circles. Momlogic recently covered the phenomenon of orgasmic birth, in which some women experience extreme "ecstasy" and even reach orgasm during labor. Birth rape is the exact opposite.

woman giving birth
In an article that first appeared on Salon.com, activist Amy Reed further defined birth rape as, "when an instrument or hand is inserted into a woman's vagina without permission, after which the woman feels violated." She goes on to say, "Fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors ... these are the tools of birth rape, and they are wielded with as much force and as little consent as if a stranger grabbed a passerby off the street and tied her up before having his way with her." Some new moms even report having post-traumatic stress disorder after delivery.

There is a lot of backlash regarding the term, and some question whether or not it is an appropriate use of the word "rape."

Moms, share your stories. Do you agree with the term?


next: My Daughter Suffers from High Self-Esteem
30 comments so far | Post a comment now
Paula October 30, 2010, 11:05 AM

I don’t agree with describing it as rape. Yes, the instances described are wrong, but I don’t think they fall into any category like rape, sexual assault or assault. It is bad medical care, in many cases bordering on or actual malpractice, but those things happen in all medical situations. It is not different because it involves the vagina.

alexis October 31, 2010, 8:44 PM

I’m with Shawnee, unless something REALLY bad happens (think torture) the term which should be used is traumatic birth.

myssnoma November 1, 2010, 1:49 AM

I have had three children and the last two I technically died for a minute during labor. All three delivers were by the same doctor and he knew from the moment I walked into his office what I expected with the first child up until he double checked with me that I wanted my tubes tied. With my last child he had to use forceps to finish pulling the child out because the child had manage to hit a nerve that caused me to go unconcious thanks to a condition we did not previously know about. Afterwords he explained to me why he intervened and I thanked him because if he would not have made that call I would not be here and neither would my son. Rape: not a chance. Tramatic maybe if you had higher expectations that some books and shows led you to believe. Personally I believe it is a pity-party and the labor is just the start for some mothers on a rocky road unfortunate complications. Ask parents with children with down syndrome, autism or ODD if parenting is what they thought it would be and they’ll all tell you it was not what they had expected just like no two labors will be the same.

M January 5, 2011, 6:35 PM

As someone who is currently in therapy over “birth rape”, I feel it is an accurate descriptions. Until you have experienced a doctor putting his entire arm inside you without your consent and moving it around for 15 minutes while pressing on your stomach, you have no right to comment. I will be having reconstructive surgery to repair my pelvic floor from the “birth rape”. If someone put a broom stick, dildo, or other object into you without your consent, it is rape, so why isn’t a doctor’s fat arm and huge hand rape?

M January 5, 2011, 6:38 PM

As someone who is currently in therapy over “birth rape”, I feel it is an accurate descriptions. Until you have experienced a doctor putting his entire arm inside you without your consent and moving it around for 15 minutes while pressing on your stomach, you have no right to comment. I will be having reconstructive surgery to repair my pelvic floor from the “birth rape”. If someone put a broom stick, dildo, or other object into you without your consent, it is rape, so why isn’t a doctor’s fat arm and huge hand rape?

M January 5, 2011, 6:39 PM

As someone who is currently in therapy over “birth rape”, I feel it is an accurate descriptions. Until you have experienced a doctor putting his entire arm inside you without your consent and moving it around for 15 minutes while pressing on your stomach, you have no right to comment. I will be having reconstructive surgery to repair my pelvic floor from the “birth rape”. If someone put a broom stick, dildo, or other object into you without your consent, it is rape, so why isn’t a doctor’s fat arm and huge hand rape?

M January 5, 2011, 6:43 PM

One more thing. My birth rape took place after I delivered a 4 lb baby vaginally and my doctor was trying to grab the second baby (twins) and pull him out. He was mad he couldn’t get him and had to do an emergency c-section with me under general. I can’t believe what some of you have posted about other women on here. I hope something like this never happens to you.

Dale O. Gorman March 31, 2011, 2:46 AM

Many thanks

LeRoy H. Cherry April 8, 2011, 4:41 AM

Remarkable

louis vuitton outlet May 4, 2011, 4:45 PM

I undoubtedly did not know that. Learnt some thing new today! Thanks for that.


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