How Life Trauma Can Impact Your Birth

It seems that this month we are talking all about the hard and challenging topics surrounding birth. At the beginning of the month, we talked about breastfeeding challenges. In the middle of the month, precipitous birth. And now? Trauma.


Trauma is something very real and very scary for alot of people, and yet something that we tend not to spend a whole lot of time talking about. And trauma can have different meanings to different people.

Rape
Divorce
Death of an important person
Abuse
Car accident
Injury
Bullying
Abortion
Miscarriage
Infant loss
Childhood experiences
Adult experiences

Trauma takes many, many forms and has a massive impact on your birth process (and postpartum recovery!)

How?

Well, most often when trauma hits, human beings tend to bury the emotions that are associated with that trauma. Fear, guilt, anger, despair, depression, sadness. There are so many emotions going on at one time, that it's often easier to bury them than to face them and let them go.

As we bury them, we hold onto them (rather unnecessarily) and then they creep up in situations that we don't expect....like birth! When hormones are running wild and you're being faced with a life changing event, it's reasonable to think that those buried emotions and experiences will come to the surface.

So, how do you deal with life trauma while you're pregnant? Isn't that just opening a can of worms, and inviting for stress during pregnancy?

Well, the best thing you can do (I speak from both personal experience and as a doula helping my clients through trauma) is to talk. Open up and talk about what has happened, acknowledge those emotions no matter how far deep they are buried and then let them go.

They serve you in no positive way.
You didn't do anything wrong at the time (or now).
You are whole and you are safe.
That past experience can no longer hurt you.
It won't happen again.
You are stronger than what happened to you.

Harness your own power and strength, and send the trauma on its way. Talking about your trauma may stir up emotions, but know that you are one step closer to releasing them and being free of them.

Chat with your doula, your partner, a trusted friend. Find an outlet like yoga or meditation to help you acknowledge and release.

xoxo
Shannon