Birth Trauma Awareness
Birth trauma is real. A woman can have (according to others) a perfect birth where mum and new-born are healthy and fine, but mum can still feel like she’s had a traumatic birth. So how can we as a society recognize that and help.
When a woman gives birth she’s completely open, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. She’s transforming from a woman into a mother. Giving birth is a beautiful transformational experience that should be treated with the right amount of love and respect as when the baby was made. And here’s where things go wrong. Birth is being over medicalized with protocols, checks, dilation protocols, IV’s, forceps, etc. etc. Sad but true, our maternal care is not designed for women to experience joy, connection, empowerment and nourishment during their birth experience and we need to get love back in giving birth.
According to a survey held in 2015 with 2300 women we found out that:
37% of the women don’t get to hold their babies after the birth;
3 out of 5 women didn’t get the chance to walk around during labor;
6% only had skilled labor support like a doula while 37% wanted a kind of support as a doula;
68% of the labouring women pushed their babies out on their backs. Which is a non-helpful position during the last phase of labor because it decreases the pelvic bones with 30% and therefore the space a baby has to come out of;
31% had a C-section, the doctor decided, not the couple and the doctor together;
It’s very important how a woman describes her birth.
The subjective experience is so so important. A woman is open during birth and her perception is 100 times higher.
A traumatic birth kicks in when women feel they lost control, lack of privacy, unaddressed fear, not being listened to, overwhelming pain, forced interventions, loneliness, violence of a doctor or midwife, etc. etc. The list is endless.
It’s important that care providers become more self-reflective in order to be able to provide more sensitive connection and care. Care providers should check their emotions at the door. When they’ve had traumatic births themselves and still carry that trauma with them, consciously or subconsciously, they bring that into the room and are unfit to care for a labouring mom. Especially when that trauma isn’t healed in a loving way.
Women put their faith and health in their hands.
The least they can do is treat that with respect and dignity
Many women say that they desire to reclaim the joy and power of birth and their birth right. And for that healing after a traumatic birth is fundamental. It’s so strange ….. that during a wedding it’s all about love and focus…… during birth it’s completely different.
Many mom’s aren’t listened to. Friends and family tell them to forget about it, leave it, because the baby is healthy. When that’s not true. It invalidates the moms experience. Moms are precious beings. And how a mom goes through birth has it’s influence during her whole life. Above all it determines her self-worth, self-respect, her sanity, her relationship with her baby, her partner, etc.
Time doesn’t heal …… it buries trauma’s. And when you least expect it, it comes to the surface, influencing everything you are doing and who you are with. It prevents from being clear, compassionate and presents itself during a second or third birth.
Care providers have a huge responsibility.
Not only to not to do harm but to actively to promote caring care.
Choose your care provider well. Research him/her just as well as you research a strawler, crib, etc. Because you are just as important as everything you need to buy…….. And in my opinion, million times more important. Give that same importance to yourself <3
Much Love Margaretha
Holistic Therapist meaning helping women healing traumatic births
Doula meaning providing the care you need and want during birth
Photocredit by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash