reviews & endorsements
“The healthcare system can be an impersonal and unforgiving place, but the people who work in it can find themselves in the role of patients as well as caregivers. They are therefore subject to the same issues and challenges as others in the community, but have a unique perspective spanning both sides of the clinical relationship.
By sharing her personal experiences, Sharon Stoliar highlights how difficult it can be to be heard in healthcare, and the devastating impact it can have on the health and future of affected individuals. She also highlights the simple things that make a difference but are often overlooked, and from this offers a roadmap to better outcomes.
This book should be required reading for all healthcare practitioners and students, and will improve the quality of care they provide. I am delighted to recommend it.”
Professor Vlado Perkovic
Dean of Medicine and Scientia Professor, University of New South Wales
“Sharon Stoliar is the epitome of what it means to be hero. Where most would run from painful memories, Sharon holds hers close, using her brave voice to demand change for the rest of us.”
Author, Mental Health Ambassador, Foster Carer, Host of The Wise Guides
"Sharon's story is shocking, but one that is all too common. By shedding light on the widespread reality of birth trauma Sharon will empower women to have safer, healthier births. Valuable research and an enriching read for mums-to-be and the nursing, birthing, and medical staff who support them."
Dr Justin Coulson
Best Selling Author, co-host & parenting expert of Channel 9’s Parental Guidance, Psychologist
"This is a wonderful book tackling birth and trauma in a compassionate and thoughtful way. Sharon gives voice to many of the themes women and partners feel after a traumatic perinatal period. It’s so important we hear these stories and narratives of birth and healing."
Dr Rebecca Moore
Perinatal Psychiatrist & Make Birth Better co-founder
"After all these years, it remains a searing tragedy, that we are still not getting birthing right. That in our modern world, with all our scientific advances, something so basic goes wrong at a human level for so many mothers and their partners. Sharon Stoliar writes as both a midwife, and a person who has experienced severe outcomes from birthing herself. And who identifies the core problem in a way that can be fixed. We have to prioritize deep listening and respect for the mother at birth. We have to make midwives and doctors' lives workable so they can afford the time to do this. Otherwise the echoes of trauma for mother, baby, and health carer will continue to do immense harm, as they have for centuries. We need to fix this now. This book is an unforgettable signpost to how we do that."
Steve Biddulph AM
Best Selling Author, Activist, Psychologist
“Birth Trauma is real. Birth Trauma experienced at the hands of care providers is also very real.
Reading Sharon’s painful and incredibly personal story is yet another insight into what is happening within our maternity care system. #ItsTime to return to kindness, compassion, empathy and really listening to women/people - as the compulsory prerequisite for ALL birthing women/people.”
Producer, Activist, co-founder of the Birth Time movement, co-writer, director & producer of Birth Time: the documentary
“Sharon's story is a moving personal account of the damage birth trauma can inflict on new, vulnerable mums. She is truly brave for laying it all bare so that others may learn from her experience. Left with crippling injuries and battling a sea of emotions for many years, Sharon is fighting to speak her truth and to have birth trauma recognised.
I fought back tears as I read each page feeling every emotion Sharon endured. It’s a compelling read that will leave you with many questions about how we can get it so wrong in this day and age."
Senior TV Producer, Creative Director, & Presenter - Mummy Time TV
"Sharon's reflections hit me far more personally than anticipated, due to a non-obstetric incident where a hospital ‘accidentally’ overdosed me, finding my blue-black body lying dead in my own vomit, so many of Sharon’s comments hit that raw nerve “…bitterly betrayed by the healthcare system I had placed all of my faith in … I was one of their own, but they had utterly let me down … [with their] lack of proper care … the system that used me, chewed me up, and unceremoniously spat me out … I received a copy of my records … Each entry I read through left me more furious than the one before … To say I was angry at what I was reading was an understatement. I was enraged.”
And as a woman who has given birth several times, I became a Midwife who strongly advocated throughout my career, to passionately prevent avoidable birth trauma, and to thoroughly debrief unavoidable birth trauma, because I know how dreadfully it can haunt a mother, for the rest of her life. Sharon gives sound to the many unheard voices.”
Midwife & International Best-selling Maternity Author
“The miracle of birth, is just that. A miracle. If everyone makes it out of there okay, we say, that’s all that matters. And of course, in the big picture, there’s truth to that. Yet, research tells us, birth experiences matter a great deal when it comes to how things unfold in those first few months of a child's life. And unfortunately, in many cases- can have a negative impact for years. In Scars of Gold, Sharon’s post labour experience depicts the physical and emotional damage, that can occur when women aren’t listened to. Sharon’s story exposes the raw pain of a traumatic birth, and the hope that her experience would change the way maternity care is provided to women.”
Radio Presenter & Producer, Hope 103.2