Birth trauma is real.
Often we start with a birth plan. I’m pretty sure many of us started with an ideal way we’d like to birth. Whatever that was, perhaps it went totally sideways. Birthing individuals are often treated as crockpots of babies, rather than instrumental human beings to be listened to, and treated with respect.
Do things change along the way in a birth that causes birthing people to need to change the plan? Yup. However, there is trauma-informed care that needs to be taken into account. Many birthing individuals are coming into birth with sexual trauma, or systemic trauma that causes them to distrust providers, or to be frankly traumatized by the actions of midwives or OBs.
As a doula, I heard and witnessed birth trauma stories firsthand. Many birthing people hired doulas for the very reason that their last birth traumatized them so much that they felt they needed an additional advocate in the room to ensure that they were not going to experience a violent birth again. They were told by many, frankly dismissed, that “healthy parent, healthy baby” was enough… while they suffered a traumatic event during the birth.
Often, simply grieving the loss of the birth they wish they had is a trauma in itself. When a birthing person expects to have a (for example) quiet water birth at home, then is suddenly having an induction in a hospital that leads to a caesarean birth, that deserves grieving. While the birthing person and baby might be healthy, the way the baby and person experienced that transcendence into familyhood was very different than expected. It is okay to have feelings of anger, sadness, and other complicated emotions surrounding the birth.
Birth trauma is real, and Healthy Baby, Healthy Parent isn’t a catch all for the experience.
If you are a parent and experienced a birth trauma, please connect with me and we can process your birth together.
You are not alone.