A moving post over at Blacktating from an anon-mom about what it was like giving birth after a traumatic rape experience and her difficulties getting any help or support addressing her concerns along the way. Fortunately, her birth experience was positive and her breastfeeding empowered her rather than causing any flashbacks or discomfort (past the normal BF discomfort anyway).
She notes that frequently victims are urged or persuaded to bottle feed to save themselves from the potential triggering of breastfeeding. She found breastfeeding as a way to take back her sense of self. I think that's fantastic.
She also discussed her visit with a hospital psychologist who treats people who fear giving birth and how this doctor just didn't get it.
While in no way a direct analogy I can somewhat sympathize with the writer. A few years ago, I was treated for a Bartholin cyst. [Note: I am TMI-ing for the greater good here. Also, no, it was not STD/I related.] It was a nasty, nasty painful thing - not the cyst, but having it treated through a process called "marsupialization." It was done in the OB/GYN's office and treated as no big deal. The doc said I probably wouldn't be able to hit the gym that evening, but past that, no problem.
LIES! It was horrendous and I choked back sobs on my way back to the car. I think it was particularly awful because they mangled my pain expectations as badly as they had just mangled my lady bits. I could barely sit to drive home. I couldn't sleep because of the pain. And I was told to take ibuprofin. That's it. Nothing more than advil or motrin for pain relief. When I finally called the advice nurse, she offered a vicodin prescription past the point of the worst pain.
Since then TWO doctors' jaws have hit the floor as I described this to them. Apparently, there should've been more post-op care and certainly actual pain meds provided.
How does this all relate to birthing? Well, I never had a problem with pelvic exams before - after the marsupialization, NO SIR. I can try to remain calm, but my body's all like, nope, I'm going to just seize up here because, nope.
So I told all the docs I saw and every nurse with every shift rotation that I had some issues so please be mindful. They all were. But I hated that it was even an issue.