When a parent feels the physical, emotional, or psychological experience of insecurity during her labor and childbirth, or shortly before and after labor and childbirth, it is birth trauma. The partner of the birthing woman can also suffer from birth trauma, although most people are not aware of this fact. However, in the life of a new mother, childbirth can be one of the most painful experiences.
Reasons for Birth Trauma
Many reasons can cause the birth trauma among women. If your childbirth experience does not proceed according to your plan or expectation, and if you have labor complications, a tendency to experience anxiety, or previous emotional birth trauma, you are at risk of experiencing emotional birth trauma. When you need intervention during labor, such as assisted delivery or emergency c-section, you are also at risk of experiencing emotional birth trauma.
If you or your baby is suffering from a birth injury, or if your baby requires medical attention after birth, or if you experience stillbirth or neonatal death, these are reasons for emotional birth trauma. In case you do not get the necessary care or support before or after giving birth, this is also a cause for emotional birth trauma. If you have any bitter experience of sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, or anything else of these types of things, they or any of them may be the reason /reasons for emotional birth trauma.
How to Help Reduce the Risks of Issues
Although it is not always possible to prevent emotional birth trauma because of some bold risk factors, there are ways to help decrease the chances of having this. You will need to take preparation for childbirth, try to know your options and what to expect, and antenatal classes can help you in this regard to a great extent. While planning, trying to have expectations that will be realistic for you is going to help you as everything does not go according to plan about birth while controlling some situations is impossible.
As no human can predict what can happen during pregnancy and birth, you need to keep an open mind so that you can be mentally ready for the upcoming situation. Contact and discuss with the persons beforehand who can help you during and immediately before and after your labor and delivery. If you frequently become anxious and depressed, or if you already have a previous experience of difficult pregnancy and labor, seek mental health support to get counseling. If you are a surrogate mother or mamma surrogate, you may face these issues.
Treatment of Birth Trauma
Treatment of the trauma is very important, as you do not take treatment; there are chances that this may lead you to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Firstly, you will need to talk to your midwife, doctor, or child-health nurse just after delivering the baby about your experience and feelings. Your doctor may advise therapy or medication as part of the treatment if required. You can try self-help like mindfulness and exercise and ask for emotional and mental support from your partner, family, and friends.
Sometimes, their practical support will also be very helpful for improving your mental condition. Practicing mindfulness will help you achieve a mental state through focusing your awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, which you will need to use as a therapeutic technique.
Though the treatment of emotional birth trauma is not so tough, the problem is that women and their partners find it tough to access proper support. Another aspect is that the treatment is expensive in the US, while it is not available in some areas of some countries.