What is birth trauma?
Birth trauma means different things to different people - only YOU get to decide if you've had a negative or traumatic birth experience. Only YOU get to define what birth trauma means to you.
Common experiences for those who've had a traumatic birth can include (but are not limited to):
- Unexpected interventions
- Unexplained or un-consented interventions
- Being treated rudely or disrespectfully
- Not being heard or your requests ignored
- Fearing for your own, or your baby's, life
- Complete loss of control
- Extreme pain and/or exhaustion
- Fear and confusion
- Being provided misinformation
- Physical injury - of yourself or your baby
- Baby needing time in NICU, SCBU or NNU
- Baby loss
- Discrimination or disrespect due to ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, family make up, disability, birth philosophy
- Simply not getting the birth you wanted
How does birth trauma impact?
Having a negative or traumatic birth experience can impact a person in many different ways. Some of these are profound and far-reaching.
Birth trauma can impact:
- Bonding with baby
- Breastfeeding success
- Relationships with spouse/partner/family
- The development of anxiety, depression, general distress
- The development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- The development of hyper-vigilance
- Confidence in parenting
- Physical health
Birth trauma can impact in other ways – the impacts of the birth can be very different between different people as no person, or their experience, is the same.
If you feel like you've had a negative or traumatic experience around your birth then that feeling is real and it is valid. Take a look at our Strategies page to find suggestions for processing and healing your experience.