According to PATTCh.org, between 25 and 34 percent of women experience a traumatic birth. A birth is considered traumatic when the individual believes the life of the mother or baby is in danger. Some women who experience a traumatic birth develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the trauma (Source: PATTCH.org)
Starting Friday, March 29 Perri Shaw Borish (MSS, LCSW, BCD) is launching a Postpartum Healing Group to help women process their traumatic births. We interviewed Perri to find out more about traumatic birth and how the group can help.
Perri: The need in the community inspired the group. There’s so much birth trauma that women come to my practice with.
Perri: It’s for women processing their birth trauma – whether they are a new mom and still experiencing the impact of traumatic birth or if you experienced a birth five years ago and connect with a community of women with a shared experience.
Perri: Traumatic birth is anything that is traumatic to you, either emotional or physical. Some physical examples of things that might trigger trauma are complex vaginal tearing, bowel control issues, prolapse, poor pound healing, vaginal pain or prolapse.
Even though birth is natural, there can be significant emotional or psychological trauma. This can occur if you don’t feel heard in the birth or if you feel violated/have your autonomy taken away.
Perri: You might be having vivid memories, feelings that suddenly the birth is happening again, trying to avoid thinking about it or bringing up feelings of the hospital stay. There might be parts of the birth that you’re unable to remember. You might lose interest in things you normally do, feeling like no one understands you or have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. You might feel jumpy, anxious or guilty that the birth didn’t go the way you wanted it to go.
Perri: Traumatic birth can have a wide ranging impact and a ripple effect on the relationships with the baby and other family members. It can make it harder to bond with the baby and lead to impediments to breast feeding. If left unprocessed, it can result in pretty severe anxiety in subsequent pregnancies.
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