There has been a lot to talk about in midwifery land recently. The birth movement has even launched a campaign to draw more attention to birth trauma and even birth violence. Why is it that so many women experience childbirth as traumatic? And is there anything you can do yourself? The professional association of gynaecologists recently posted an article about this, they believe it is mainly due to unrealistic expectations. If then these expectations cannot be met, women are disappointed and are more likely to experience childbirth as traumatic. Of course, it is very important to get good information about what to expect during childbirth. You can also prepare yourself well for this by reading books or taking a course. But research shows that there is an even more important reason why women experience childbirth as traumatic: lack of control. During childbirth, nature does its work in all its glory and it is a very delicate process of hormones, acceptance and safety. A disruption of this process can affect the course of childbirth. Some things you can influence and others you cannot. I have never had women in practice who had the expectation that they could control the birth and that it was going to go exactly as they had planned. Everyone is aware that sometimes things happen during childbirth that are beyond your control. But then what could make the difference. For one thing, good preparation is very important. Knowing what to expect and all the choices you can make helps to maintain your sense of direction. On the other hand, you can ask questions during your delivery if a healthcare provider suggests certain policies. Ask about the alternatives and then make a conscious choice. You don't always have to follow the path prescribed by the protocol. Sometimes situations arise where it can actually be helpful not to follow the protocol. This way, you keep control over your delivery. You can apply this principle everywhere, including during your pregnancy. In consultation with Myrthe, I made other choices during my birth than the protocol would prescribe. At my request, for instance, she only did an internal examination once. This because it went well and the number of centimetres didn't change anything in the policy. Thus, we made a conscious choice together. To prepare yourself for the policy during labour, but also during pregnancy and puerperium, you can find information at vraagdevroedvrouw.nl. This website was set up by an obstetrician who made an overview of all the research that has been done on various topics. So you can read on what basis certain protocols have been drawn up and then, when faced with the choice, make a conscious choice. No matter how the birth, pregnancy or puerperium turns out, making choices from your own direction and strength helps you to look back on this major event in your life with a good feeling.