Keys to recover from traumatic birth experience

Birth 17th February 2017

'Birth trauma is in the eye of the beholder' -Cheryl Beck

Traumatic birth
Childbirth is a very joyful and blissful time for few women despite of some discomforts. Women feels a sense of accomplishment when it is a hassle free childbirth. They feel more confident and satisfied with their child birth experience as caregivers have given them positive memories for their whole lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not the experience of all women. Every year many women experience traumatic birth experience having unexpected complications at the time of birth of their child which require medical intervention for their own health and baby safety point of view. These births may be disappointing, negative, or even traumatic.

When a woman suffered from distress and complications it is known as traumatic situation. Birth trauma is also termed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following childbirth. These women may pass through by extremely painful situation having a feeling of out of control. This distress feeling may also known as psychological trauma.

Following are the vulnerable factors of traumatic disorders:

  • In cases when a woman feel disappointed due to midwife carelessness or their lack of support.
  • Sometimes a woman is unclear about the situation what exactly happened during baby delivery.
  • There can be other risk factors to traumatic child birth like feeling of numbness or lack of mobility due to heavy dose of epidural anesthesia, use of IVs.
  • Those women who do not get proper support from their family members or others who have an unplanned pregnancy are also vulnerable to traumatic disorders.

The above situations also make women feel emotionally distress after child birth. British researchers found that 3% of women who had an uncomplicated hospital birth displayed clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress at 6 weeks postpartum and 24% displayed at least one of the three components of PTSD.

Post Natal PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

After delivery when a woman face stress and have a very bad experience it is known as Post Natal Stress Disorder. In order to remove this stress, a woman should avoid childbirth reminder trigger for few days like she should not watch video clips and TV scenes of childbirth etc. As re-experiencing of the event may be unbearable for the sufferer which can make an adverse impact on their mind in near future.

Fact: It is not necessary that after child birth symptoms starts emerging, it can take few more weeks, months or years to happen with a woman to arise. Another fact is that PTSD is not only comes in a pregnant woman, it can be happened with a lady who has faced preterm birth of her baby or a lady who has undergone with infertility treatments.

Symptoms of stress response include:

  • Disturbed lifestyle due to having high level of anxiety, sleep deprivation and feeling of irritation and high anger level.
  • Negative thoughts coming in mind and thinking of flashbacks of same childbirth events
  • Weird general responsiveness
  • Feeling of fear and anxiety while sitting in a group of people
  • Feeling of betrayal, disappointment and disempowerment

The women who are going through with PTSD, more possibility of facing difficulties in establishing closeness with their infants. These new mothers lack the feeling of tenderness, warmth towards their new born baby.

Recovery methods from traumatic birth disorders:

Following are the few steps which can help in recovery from this kind of distress:

Consider the impact on personal relationship: Trauma situation after child birth may sometimes effect adversely on personal relationship of a couple. It can create distance, confusion and high stress level between a couple. In order to recover from this stress level, couple should take assistance from relationship counseling. Counselor helps in creating a proper understanding between their relationships.

Access a debriefing service: After delivering, many hospitals and maternity centers offer a debriefing service in order to assist child birth trauma disorder. In case, if these services are not offered, some other professional centers can be contacted in order to take support. They will assist these kind of patients by providing them different counseling and therapy sessions. There is no fixed time for debriefing, it can be before delivery, after delivery or before considering another baby.

Help your body heal: Sometimes a difficult birth situation takes more time in recovery. As a woman is already in a very painful and exhausted situation. The best method to get recovery from these anxiety are:

  • Take proper rest from all chores of daily routine. A proper rest helps a woman body to recover from traumatic child birth.
  • A woman in this stage need to focus on her body recovery which further helps her in creating a beautiful bonding with her baby.
  • Ask for help in need rather doing by own any work like if your partner serves you dinner, do not turn him down.
  • Ask for healthy and mood boosting foods from your helper.
  • In case, you already have one older baby, hire a sitter or ask a friend or relative to take care of him.

""Remember, your baby doesn't care if you haven't taken a shower or if your kitchen's a disaster," say Devra Renner and Aviva Pflock

Talk it out: Talk with your healthcare provider regarding your restlessness. They will assist you in recovering from stress situation. Sometimes they will help you in giving you some contacts or sessions where a group discussion on same issue is going on. Try to pen down your ideas on a diary, write your experience on it. You can discuss with your friends and relatives about your experiences.

"I knew I had a problem when a friend sent an email describing the birth of their first child and how beautiful and peaceful it was, and I went into a rage. I started writing about my experience and admitting how much it hurt me," says one mom.

Don't blame yourself: There may be situation when you felt completely tired after bearing a lot of labor pain, do not feel guilty that you won't make it at your own. with the help of IV medication to a vacuum extraction to a C-section, process of child birth will take place. Do not feel like you are a failure in this test. Just think that you are a survivor in this situation and as do your baby.

Ignore the judgment: Do not try to make judgment for yourself. If you had a C-section painful delivery, so it does not mean that you are a failure. Many people after delivery try to comment on you about your delivery, but do not make those comments heavy on you.

Acknowledge the feelings you may have toward your baby: Women who faced a mental and emotional trauma at the time of their childbirth, it is very difficult for them to create a bond with that baby. Few women feel detached and have negative feeling with their baby due to this mental trauma.

In order to get out from this situation women need to give a quality time to yourself. Thing the situation of prenatal pregnancy when you were happy and joyful about your coming baby. After a couple of time you will feel more relaxed and content, it will help you in creating a beautiful bond with your baby in near future.

Renew your faith in God: Faith in religion and Almighty play a very significant role in assisting people to cope with their stress level. The assumptions few woman have about the basic concepts of life (like the world is a safer place, life is fair and lovely) fade away after the child birth. Child birth trauma may change the way you look to your life spiritually. It may change the way you look and praise your Almighty God.

    Follow us on

Virtue Baby Teaser

GET INFORMED! Virtue Baby Newsletter