A woman’s birth experience is one of those things in life that is truly in the eye of the beholder. Beautiful births and traumatic births can only be judged by the woman herself. A cesarean section is sometimes, but not always traumatic, and a natural, vaginal delivery is sometimes but not always wonderful.
What determines the level of traumatic impact of a birth depends on whether a woman experiences a combination of both powerlessness and fear before, during, or after the birth. If that has happened, she will likely walk away from the birth feeling things like confusion, regret, remorse, anger or fear. She may believe that she’s failed as a woman, that she is too blame for the process and/or the outcome, that her body has betrayed her, or that she’s been robbed of a very important and rare experience in life.
Our culture does not yet do a great job supporting women with birth trauma. We carry beliefs that as long as mom and baby are okay, she shouldn’t harbor negative feelings about her birth experience. When women perceive that it is unacceptable to feel a mix of emotions about their birth, their trauma can go unhealed. Unhealed trauma can lead to depression, anxiety, poor self-care, irrational fears, disconnection from the baby, resentment, self-doubt or even self-hatred.
In her practice, Nancy often uses EMDR to help women and their partners process trauma. EMDR supports our brains, minds, hearts and bodies to come to peace with our experiences.
If you would like to talk more about birth trauma or set up an appointment, please contact me.