- Lengthy labour or short and very painful labour
- Poor pain relief
- Feelings of loss of control
- High levels of medical intervention
- Traumatic or emergency deliveries, e.g. emergency caesarean section
- Impersonal treatment or problems with the staff attitudes
- Not being listened to
- Lack of information or explanation
- Lack of privacy and dignity
- Fear for baby's safety
- Birth of a damaged baby (a disability resulting from damage that occurs during delivery either from the birth itself or damage given by a medical professional)
- Baby’s stay in SCBU/NICU
- Poor postnatal care
- Previous trauma (for example, in childhood, with a previous birth, prior sexual abuse or domestic violence)
Birth Trauma is a real thing that affects many women all over the world. it isn't something that can just be swept under the rug or fobbed off as post natal depression or the feelings of an ungrateful new mother with a healthy or sick baby. In fact one of the worst things that you can say is "At least you have a healthy baby" because that can in many cases just make the mother feel worse, and can make her feel even more guilty than she may already feel for having those feelings.
Another article that mentions Birth Trauma is http://www.whole-woman.com/index.php/a-birth/87-what-is-birth-trauma. Their description of the reasons for Birth Trauma are as follows:
Trauma can result from different things - birthrape, a precipitous birth, caesarean surgery, experiences of intense pain and fear, or experiences of powerlessness. It can also result from birthing stillborn babies, or experiencing inconsiderate treatment from caregivers, during a time where women are vulnerable.
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/birth/birth-stories/the-truth-about-birth-trauma-20081013-4zm2.html lists Birth Trauma as "a normal reaction to events in labour and birth that you perceive as being scary, out-of-control, helpless, or painful. Birth trauma can result from pregnancy, birth or even during the postnatal period. The response may be one of intense fear, helplessness or horror. Sometimes the events trigger memories of earlier trauma that remain unresolved."
Essential Baby has an in depth explanation of Birth Trauma as well as potential signs that may indicate that you have Birth Trauma.
Birth Trauma isn't something that will just go away and be swept under the rug, it is something that needs more awareness and prompt treatment through therapy (and may require taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication to assist in overcoming the trauma), because as one Birth Trauma mother (yes I have experienced Birth Trauma myself) to all the other Birth Trauma mothers out there, we deserve to be heard to to be understood and to be able to find a way for our Trauma to be healed or at least resolved within ourselves.
I hope this post has been a little bit enlightening, please do take a look at the 3 links provided.
P.S. And here are some more links for you to browse if this subject pertains to you or interests you.
http://www.joyousbirth.info/birthtrauma.html - * * Birth Trauma Section Trigger Warning * * - *rape, medical procedures described and depicted*
Student Birth Doula
FOOTPRINTS & RAINBOWS Birth Doula Services