I have been working with moms for 14 years. When I say that outloud, it sounds totally crazy, because I am only 31, less than a month I will be 32, but still.
I became a massage therapist, yoga instructor and energy healer at 18 and very quickly found my niche working with pregnant women and new moms. At even younger age, I vowed to heal all of my wounds so I could reach my fullest human potential and best the best wife and mom I could be.
When I became a Certified Doula two years later, at age 20, the majority of my clients that came to me where women who had had seriously traumatic first births and were determined to heal and “get” the birth they had wanted the first time around. I learned so much from working with those brave and wounded women. And now 4 years post partum myself, I have a much deeper understanding of birth trauma. How it arises, how it affects women and how it can be healed.
If a woman experiences or perceives that she and/or her baby were in danger of injury or death to during childbirth, her birth is defined as traumatic –psychologically, physically, or both. Usually, she experiences extreme sense of helplessness, isolation, lack of care, fear, and anxiety . Traumatic childbirth occurs in as many as 18% of all births. Approximately one-third of those women may develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Source.
Being traumatized from birth is very, very hard for a new mom to process. Many women don’t even begin to process the trauma of their first birth, until they are pregnant with their second, because they had to put the trauma in a neat little box and tuck away the key so they could function, survive and even enjoy being a new mom. And often when they pregnant again, the trauma is triggered, just by being in the sensitive energetic space that comes along with being pregnant. Sometimes the mom knows why and see the correlation and other times it’s just generalized anxiety that comes up seemingly about something completely unrelated.
Sometimes birth trauma is a original trauma, in which the birth is horrific in whatever way and it is the first time the mother has experienced trauma. Or birth trauma can re-trigger, and re-traumatize a woman’s previous experience with abuse and trauma. 1 in 4 women have been sexually traumatized in some way during their life, usually before childbirth, which leads to much higher chance of birth being a traumatic experience. It’s heartbreaking and gut wrenching and can be so hard for some women to come back from.
What’s worse is that no one is really talking about it. If you have a healthy child, who is alive and well, no one gives the mothers mental-emotional state a second thought. How many times have you heard other people say to a woman, “but at least your baby is alive and healthy, that is all the matters.”
All that matters?? No, it is not all the matters. I speak from personal experience, having been born by Cesarean birth, to a mother who experienced severe birth trauma, that was a re-trigger/re-trauma of earlier childhood trauma, who then in turn, went down a slippery mental health slope, in which she had no means of escaping by herself and in turn abused and neglected her child. Me.
So I firmly believe that when we help mothers heal, we enable them to be the kind of mothers children need. The kind of mothers who are able to pull themselves out of the depths of darkness, with help from other,s so that they do not continue the cycle of abuse and trauma.
My training and life experiences have led me to a place where I can help mothers heal from birth trauma. I use several different techniques and tactics and meet my clients where they are and what they ready for. If you think you are ready to start peeling back some layers and start working on healing your birth trauma or you need help release fear and anxiety about an upcoming birth, please let me help. You can buy a half hour mentoring/healing session with me here, and then email me to schedule your appointment.
I am 100% confident that I can help you feel better. And I know that when you heal your birth trauma it effects all areas of your life. Immediatly you will correlations and other areas of your life improve too. From eating habits, to your marriage, to your ability to parent and run a household.
If you are not ready to talk but want to explore this topic more, these are some great resources to begin with:
- My eCourse, From Maiden to Mother.
- When Survivors Give Birth, by Penny Simpkin.
- ICAN, International Cesarean Awareness Network
- PATTCh, Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth
- Birthing From Within