Monday, June 15, 2015

Traumatic Birth Experience: Does Trauma Matter if Your Baby’s Healthy?

            Did the birth of your child render you exuberant, or did it leave you in physical or emotional pain, and disillusioned?

            Childbirth is supposed to be one of the most glorious experiences for a mother. At least that’s how it’s touted in childbirth prep classes. But for a significant percentage of mothers, it's anything but glorious. Instead, they would describe it as more like trauma than euphoric.

            I personally experienced one mildly traumatic birth, and two horrifically traumatic ones. Even the births with successful outcomes can leave you feeling like you’ve missed something, like something was wrong with you as a woman, like you’ve been shortchanged.

            Having a healthy baby is something you should indeed be grateful for, but when you have experienced a traumatic birth and hear condescending words like “You should just be grateful that you have a healthy baby” uttered to you, your pain, frustration and anger can escalate. Your feelings have, essentially, been dismissed and belittled.

            As much as people can utter stupid things to grieving parents, they (including medical personnel who should know better) can say stupid things to moms who have experienced a less-than-satisfying birth process, too.

            And words do matter…even if your baby arrives healthy.

            If you’ve experienced a traumatic birth, know someone who has, or are pregnant and eagerly awaiting childbirth, this article is a must-read.

            Always choose your words carefully...

Until next week,

Thanks for joining me!