December 3, 2014
Trauma and Birth
Healing from a traumatic birthing experiences could be achieved through reflection. A traumatic birth experience can be described differently by all demographics of women and cover a wide range of reasons for labeling the birth as traumatic. According to Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress (1) One of the leading causes of post-partum post-traumatic stress disorder is when a women’s reflection of her birth includes some recollection of feeling as if either her life of that of her child was in danger. In some instances depending on if a mother was predisposed to depression ...view middle of the document...
The most common trauma described by women during a child birth is when a surgical birth is required. Often time’s mothers who have endured an invasive caesarian section are not only left with the physical discomfort and pain but the psychic trauma. Dr. Phyllis H. Klaus writes that “women who have a surgical birth are more likely to experience feelings of loss, grief, personal failure and lower self-esteem. (2) To combat these negative emotions, and feeling and to advance the healing phase of our trauma proper support is necessary. There are several community organizations available to women who are suffering postpartum depression, post traumatic stress disorder specifically related to birth as well as groups specifically for mothers whom had surgical births. International Cesarean awareness Network or commonly referred to as ICAN, is an example of the support community available. This particular group not only helps with the healing of a surgical birth but also aids in a family’s emotional preparedness to grow a family after such a birth. ICAN organizers and volunteers state, “After a difficult birth, parents must often cope with the physical and/or emotional scars left behind.”
Peer groups to reflect on trauma can be therapeutic and provide comfort in relating to others who have been in a similar situation. These groups offer a wide range of women in the healing process. For some it may be a very recent trauma, while others may be attending long after they have healed from the trauma and are there to offer support and hope to others. Besides peer group women should seek professional counselors or psychological services. Medications are available to aid in the healing process and help counteract the effects of depression. Depression can be scary for a women, the feelings of being overwhelmed or feeling lost can cause a women to feel hopeless. When symptoms are present they should never go ignored. No women should ever feel ashamed or that they failed if they require help.
Partners and spouses are also effected emotionally by a traumatic birth. In more extreme cases if a woman’s life was in danger a loved one may be feeling lost as they had been recently processing the feelings of having a close call with losing a loved one. Or perhaps having almost lost their partner and child. In the less extreme events, mom and baby are home and the partner is now faced with their partner suffering depression. They have a spouse who may be irritable, unhappy and potentially...