Kooij, Loes van der
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Research by several gynecologists has already shown that 10 to 20 % of women found their childbirth process traumatic (Hollander & Stamrood 2017). Further research has even shown that 1 to 3% of women are even left with post-traumatic stress disorder (De Graaff et al. 2018, 649; Hollander & Stamrood 2017). In the study by Hollander and Stramrood (2017), 2200 women with traumatic childbirth experiences hardly mentioned any medical reasons for their trauma because, even though childbirth in the Netherlands is physically safer than ever, resulting in minimal maternal and infant mortality in this century, many women feel they have lost autonomy over their childbirth, which they perceive as the primary cause of their trauma. According to anthropologist Davis-Floyd (2003), over the last 300 years in the Western world, we have increasingly shifted toward a technocratic birth system in which emotion, intuition, and respect for the physiology of birth have been replaced by the assumptions that the baby develops mechanically and involuntarily in the woman's body, that the physician is in charge of the baby's proper development and growth, and that the physician will deliver the baby at the time of birth (Davis-Floyd 2003, 28). A system that provides a physically safe birth and environment for mother and child, in which lives are saved and opportunities are generated. But at the same time, this system also causes a loss of confidence in the body by the care provider and woman, which reduces the woman's autonomy during, but also before birth.