WRITTEN BY RACHEL BRIDGE PERINATAL, CHILD & FAMILY PSYCHOLOGIST
DIRECTOR OF MAMA BASE ILLAWARRA
A MESSAGE FOR YOU…
The birthing of a baby, and the birthing of a mother and of a father, is a significant transitional event in our lives. . A mothers experience of birth, can go onto shape her experiences of motherhood in its entirety. Her experiences of self, her experiences of her relationships (particularly the relationship with her baby), and her experiences of the world and how she feels supported, or unsupported in her journey of motherhood.
Just a few weeks ago, we acknowledged the presence of birth trauma within our society, through ‘Birth Trauma Awareness Week’. With the awareness that this week bought, questions and comments came flooding in. So we, Calm Birth and myself, together, felt it was important to offer some important information on Birth Trauma.
In my role as a Psychologist supporting women and men throughout their parenting journey, I have heard so many stories of birth experiences where the mother and father both share stories of trauma, soon followed by feelings of guilt stemming from their unresolved feelings of how their birth experience has impacted them in a negative way, and how their experience still carries a heavy weight; days, weeks, months and sometimes years into their parenting journey
There are common assumptions around birth, that lead to many unhelpful comments from often well meaning others such as ‘you should be grateful, you have a beautiful healthy baby’, ‘birth is scary but you will get over it’ ‘all that matters is a healthy baby’. These reflections from others come from the belief that a traumatic birth is a birth that is high risk and complicated for both mother and baby, or a birth that results in loss. This assumption has led to many women, who have experienced trauma during and following their birthing experience, to hold back from seeking support.