Many people experience events during childbirth, as well as during pregnancy or immediately after birth, that are considered medically traumatizing. These can include, and are not limited to:
- An unplanned C-section
- Physical injury
- Perineal trauma
- Unexpected hysterectomy
- Fetal trauma
- A difficult or unexpected diagnosis
- ..and more
For others, it is not always the sensational or dramatic events that trigger childbirth trauma but other factors such as loss of control, loss of dignity, hostile or dismissive attitudes of the people around them, feelings of not being heard or the absence of informed consent to medical procedures. Trauma, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Approximately 34% of people giving birth identify their experience as traumatic.
The birth of a baby is a major life milestone, for the created family, for the child, and for the birth of the parents. When that milestone is encased in trauma, it is a great loss and should be grieved as such. However, with the grief can come great joy over new life felt within the family. This can be confusing and invalidating to the grief process.
Having a traumatic birth experience can make the world feel scary and even impact the bond you feel with your baby. We want to help you get back to a sense of safety so that you can feel in control of your emotions again. You deserve the space to grieve and to be able to process your trauma in a safe space at your own speed. It can be incredibly helpful to talk with someone who understands the impact that birth trauma can have on your life, who can assist you in integrating techniques to shift out of the cycle of trauma response, and into a place of healing and hope. Processing your trauma with an experienced professional can help to relax the fear and anxiety, and create space for the love and joy (and frustrations) of parenthood!