The birth of your baby is suppose to be a joyful time and for many women it is, however for some women the experience can result in mixed or negative emotions. Sometimes there may also be a physical injury as a result from the birth.
Birth trauma is distress or physical injury experienced by women during or after giving birth. Distress can be emotional or psychological and physical injury can include perineal injury, pelvic floor muscle injury, sexual discomfort post birth, prolapse, caesarean wound complications.
Birth Trauma is a significant issue that affects around 1 in 3 women who give birth. Birth trauma can have long-lasting effects on a woman's mental health and wellbeing, and it is important to raise awareness of this issue and provide support for those who are affected.
Birth trauma can include: difficult or traumatic childbirth experiences, unexpected outcomes, a feeling of inadequate support from healthcare providers, or simply the experience itself. Women who have experience birth trauma may feel a sense of loss of control, fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and anger. Stigma, isolation and lack of understanding can make these feelings worse.
It is important to recognise that birth trauma can occur regardless of whether the birth was a vaginal or a cesarean birth. Trauma can occur during any stage of, labor or birth, including before, during, or after. Some common triggers of birth trauma include prolonged labor, medical complications, emergency procedures, feelings of abandonment or neglect by healthcare providers, or feelings of coercion into things that you really didn't want, feelings of disempowerment, a lack of support and understanding for your wishes during labour and birth, or simply just the labour and birth process itself even if it all went well. It is, important to acknowledge that psychological distress as a result from birth is how the woman perceives her birth, not how anyone else thinks the birth went.
For women who have experienced birth trauma, seeking support and treatment is essential. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider or mental health professional about your, experiences and feelings. Therapy and counseling can help women process their emotions and develop coping strategies to manage their symptoms.
There are also a number of strategies that women can use to manage their symptoms of birth trauma. These may include seeking out support groups, practicing self-care activities, and engaging in mindfulness exercises. It is important for women to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing, during this time and to seek out resources and support to help them navigate their feelings.
I am currently finishing my Masters in Counselling and will specifically be looking to treat women for birth trauma, postnatal depression, antenatal depression and anxiety, and pregnancy loss and grief.
Birth trauma is a significant issue that unfortunately affects many women who have given birth in Australia. It is important, to raise awareness of this issue, break the silence, and provide support and resources for those who are affected. By having the conversation, we can help women to heal from their experiences of birth trauma and move forward with hope and resilience.
Some useful links:
What is Birth Trauma | Brisbane Birth Trauma | Signs of Birth Trauma | Postnatal Depression and Birth | Birth | Postnatal Depression | why do I feel sad | Pelvic Floor Injury | Prolapse | Distress following Birth | Birthing | Hypnobirthing | Natural Birth | Depression | Anxiety | Anxiety after birth | depression after birth | Birth Trauma | Mother Earth Birthing | Pregnancy | Postnatal sadness