Trauma is a word usually associated with violence, war, disasters, conflict, loss, or major accidents. These have lasting psychological, emotional, and physical effects on individuals who experience them.
But did you know that trauma can also be present in childbirth? It is an invisible malady that affects women from conception to post-delivery. Up to 45% of new moms have reported experiencing birth trauma.
As much as we wish that all birthing experiences are like those in movies where everything is easy and perfect, one in every four women reveal that some aspect of their birth experience is traumatic.
If you’re one of those women, we have good news for you: Northeast Doulas can help. Read on to find out how.
What is birth trauma?
Birth trauma is the effect that pregnancy and childbirth can have on moms. It makes your pregnancy journey extremely difficult. It is characterized by intense feelings of fear, being out of control, and helplessness.
Birth trauma can be present when you and your partner are trying to conceive, all the way up to post-delivery. It can have ever-widening ripple effects for you and your child. It can manifest in how you care for your newborn, your transition to parenthood, during breastfeeding, or even subsequent births.
Risk factors for birth trauma include mental health disorders. Low quality of service provider interaction and engagement may also leave you feeling unsupported as a birthing woman. Becoming pregnant and giving birth may also be triggering for women who are survivors of sexual violence.
Your focus and attitude in pregnancy and birthing preparation may also lead to birth trauma. For example, you may feel overwhelmed by the experience. Or if you experience birth trauma, you may feel as if getting pregnant and giving birth has taken over your life and you have no control over it anymore.
Why get a doula in case of birth trauma?
Birth trauma is based on your unique experience as a birthing person. But generally, if you feel any difficulty or go through any difficult situations, you may experience it.
You may feel invisible, unsupported, violated, or disrespected, as everyone, including you, seems is focused on the birth outcome and not how you are at the moment.
Birth trauma is a real and frightening experience. And as much as you will be supported by family, friends, and your medical team during your pregnancy, it is unlikely one of them will be able to recognize your fear, helplessness, and the sense that you feel that your life is out of control.
With a sensitive and experienced doula, she may be in the best position to know if you are feeling unsafe before, during, and after childbirth. Your doula will recognize how hard things it is for you to put your life back on track with the arrival of your newborn.
How can Northeast Doulas help with birth trauma?
Still not convinced that our doulas can help in this journey of yours? Well, here are some ways we can help with birth trauma:
Our doulas can have heart-to-heart discussions with you.
Our doulas will be there to provide you with unconditional and non-judgmental care and support. They will be your sounding board for emotions that may be confusing and scary. Take the opportunity to have open and frank heart-to-heart discussions with her.
Ask her anything you want to know, or anything you’re unsure of. Rest assured that our doulas will do our best to answer your questions in the best way possible.
Our doulas can also help sort through your confusion and anxiety, as well as help you focus on things that you have control over. Talk with her about your hopes and fears when it comes to birth. This way, your emotions are not bottled in but are shared with a trusted labor companion.
Our doulas can assist in the development of a clear and flexible birth plan.
Our doulas can help you come up with a realistic birth plan. This includes discussing the possibility of cesarean birth or the use of medications when warranted.
However, do take note that the more a birthing person is attached to the outcome of the childbirth process, the more likely that they will be to experience birth trauma if things did not go down as planned. Having a clear goal is okay, but being rigid about it is not.
And you shouldn’t be rigid at all. What’s that saying? “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Therefore, you should also make room for flexibility in your birth plan. This way, if you do have different needs than what is in your initial plan, your doula can help meet those needs.
Also, making room for adjustments will help you avoid feelings of not being heard or your preferences disrespected leading to birth trauma.
Our doulas notice your non-verbal cues for help.
Northeast Doulas understand your need for support, even if it is oftentimes unsaid. It may not be in your words, but our very experienced doulas will feel and see it in your actions.
They will be able to recognize your distress, anxiety, confusion, and helplessness due to birth trauma. In times like these, our doulas that will offer you the understanding, care, and support you need to claw your way out of it. You can regain control of the birth experience with the help of our doulas.
Our doulas will validate what you feel.
You might think you’re silly at times when you feel that you are experiencing all these negative emotions. But rest assured that our doulas will never tell you that you are wrong with what you feel. Instead, they will accept it and help you get through it.
And isn’t that what we all need? Someone to just listen to us and tell us that what we are feeling is normal, and that we shouldn’t feel bad about it?
Northeast Doulas is your trusted ally in all kinds of birth.
When you get the services of us at the Northeast Doulas, rest assured that we will come on board your pregnancy and childbirth journey with no agenda except to provide you with the support you need.
We will support you in your decisions to make you feel empowered and in control as you work toward your goals. As mentioned, our highly experienced doulas offer non-judgmental and unconditional support to you throughout your journey.
Our doulas also believe that difficult birth experiences can leave a positive legacy and opportunity for growth for you as a parent. Life throws many curve balls. Going through traumatic experiences and emerging with a clearer appreciation and understanding of your strengths and resilience builds character.
No matter the twists and turns and ups and downs of your journey, our doulas will be there to provide you with a calm and steady presence. They will help you deal with and navigate your way out of birth trauma.
Your feelings and your experiences matter mom. Talk to us and see how we can provide you with the support and understanding that you need in your birth journey.
We look forward to hearing from you.