…and how to heal from it
Text by By Anthea Thomas for hyonobirthing.com
You yourself may have experienced a difficult birth, and let’s face it, you only have to start talking to couples about their births, and the horrific stories start pouring out. Clearly the system around birth is not working, because it is not your body that is failing. Let’s look at how birth trauma is defined.
Birth trauma is defined as
- A loss of a sense of control
- Not feeling heard by health professionals
- Feeling isolated and alone
- Feeling anxious and afraid
- Fearing for your baby and your own life
What does it effect?
- Sense of self: when you believed you could birth, and you ended up feeling like a failure. It can have a profound effect on your self esteem
- Self-confidence: doubting your ability to be a good parent, good partner, doubting your ability to read your babies cues correctly
- Relationships: partner, family, friends, social groups, feeling withdrawn
- Bonding: don’t get the rush of hormones, affects bonding, let down, recovery, energy, ability to cope
- Future births: trauma stays with you, and you take that trauma and fear into the next birth
- Development of baby: staying inside, not interacting, no stimulation, lack of bonding, baby may then lack a sense of security which can lead to future mental health of the child and a delay in the child’s development
Can you ever forget?
Child Birth is a monumental and transformational event in a couple’s life, and whether it’s the most powerful, ecstatic, joyful experience or the most terrifying horrendous experience, the fact is that it is never really forgotten. Birth stories are written and videos are shared all over the internet, and no one birth experience is exactly like another. Every woman has a different journey. It is deeply personal and something she will carry always with her.
Can you heal? The great news is ‘Yes’!
Don’t suffer in silence, even if you don’t think that your birth was ‘bad’ enough to warrant getting help.
What we perceive as a great birth, can actually hold some deep trauma for women because of the way they were treated, or because of how they were feeling. In HypnoBirthing we teach that fears, beliefs and previous births experiences can have a profound effect on the way we give birth, and our couples go through a process of releasing the things that may get in the way of them having a positive birth. We see increasing numbers of women reaching out to us because they don’t want to experience another birth like their last. And the same techniques we use in HypnoBirthing can be used to heal your birth trauma, and help you find inner peace again. Doing that inner work is where it is at.
“Women need to know there is help and support out there if they have experienced a traumatic birth, and they all deserve the support. I believe even women who have had mostly positive births still need to debrief and process aspects of their birth as birth itself is such a huge process, physically, emotionally and spiritually!”
– Diana Fischer, Clinical Hypnotherapist & HypnoBirthing Educator
Top image: birth trauma tree by ‘unfold your wings’ in the UK. The roots represent some of the causes that may lead to trauma, and the leaves represent the symptoms you may feel. Bottom image: Sacred Healing, artist unknown