I have recently joined a Facebook support group for women who suffered Birth Trauma.
I am amazed at how many horrific stories are out there yet people feel scared/ashamed/unwilling to talk.
Birth trauma is real. It needs to be spoken about. Women need to be able to talk about what happened to them during childbirth.
I started to think that maybe my first birth wasn’t so bad. Why was I so affected by it? Was I just being a wuss?
But then I read a story that someone posted from their obstetrician and one line really made sense.
“Trauma is incredibly personal”.
Thank you thank you!
My birth doesn’t seem as ‘bad’ as others on paper. But for me, it was horrendous. And left me quite mentally damaged.
Long story short I had a 4kg posterior baby who had the cord around his neck and was stuck in the birth canal. Add to that two failed epidurals, decreased foetal heart rate and then an emergency Caesarian which I could feel, so I was knocked out. I woke up not pregnant but without my baby and husband.
Far too many people wanting a piece of my new baby added to shitty bonding between us, failure (in my mind) to breastfeed, failure (again in my mind) to give birth ‘normally’, no debrief or explanation for why everything went pear shaped and thoughtless comments from people, including the ob.
My body wasn’t very damaged compared to many other women. But this was my personal trauma and my mind was affected so badly I ended up with PND.
I felt the pressure to just enjoy my baby and get on with it. I had never heard of Birth Trauma before. I had not considered the effect birth could have on the mother.
Only recently I did some reading and figured out I also suffered from PTSD.
It’s is all real and it’s ok to talk about it. Birth also happens to the mother. Her body is a vessel for the baby to enter this world but she needs support and positive guidance post birth. Especially if she had endured Birth Trauma.
Its not ok to say “well at least you have a healthy baby”. That throw away line completely invalidates the trauma that the mother may be experiencing.
She needs to talk about it. She needs to wade her way through the ordeal and her emotions. She needs time to heal, both mentally and physically.
I think people forget just how dangerous childbirth can be. And the toll it takes on the mother’s body and mind.
It’s not realistic for us to get back to normality a few days post birth. And especially if the birth has been traumatic. But this is what society demands of us.
The village mentality has been chewed up and spat out. We need to bring it back.
And we need to love all over those who have suffered a traumatic birth. It may not seem like a big deal to you, it may even seem like it was a great birth, but like I said above: trauma is personal.
You can’t gauge how a person will be affected. We are all different and deal with trauma in different ways.
Let’s open the conversation surrounding Birth Trauma. No shame. No judgement.