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Dealing with Traumatic Birth Experiences…

Birth Trauma,Mothers and Babies. — admin @ 1:15 pm

The birth of your baby is usually a time of celebration for you and your family. This may ring true for lots of women who have had good experiences of pregnancy and giving birth. But it is not always the case and women and babies can be left traumatised after negative birth experiences. This trauma can affect everyday living, where a mother has huge difficulty getting over her experience. The current medical model of childbirth here in Ireland seems to give out the message that if a mother and baby are healthy, one should be grateful for that. This leaves women feeling unable to speak out negatively about their experiences. However, a traumatic birth experience can affect a mothers relationship with herself, her new baby, her partner, her other children and extended family.

Giving birth is a life event. It is a very vulnerable time for you. If you have had an overwhelming traumatic experience, your body will have gone into shock, both physically and psychologically.   Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD happens when a person remains stuck in psychological shock. This can happen following traumatic birth.  You may be reliving your traumatic birth through flashbacks and nightmares, leaving you unable to reconnect in your relationships. It can be difficult for you to feel safe again as it may have felt like a life or death experience. This can leave you lacking in confidence with your ability to be a good mother to your baby. Other symptoms can include being irritable, depressed, lacking in concentration or being angry.  It is normal to feel frightened, sad and anxious following such an event. Many mothers describe a feeling of going crazy. For others there is a numbness about the whole event. There can be a deep sense of loss around one’s expectations for giving birth and how it actually turned out.

In our practice here at Counselling Connections, we have met mothers whose experiences may have been recorded medically as “normal” but the woman’s experience felt far from normal. Even a ‘natural’ birth can be experienced as traumatic. Through counselling we can help you work towards feeling safe and in control of your life again. We do this by facilitating you in processing the memories and emotions associated with your experience in a safe, confidential environment. It is only when the experience is felt and understood that it will stop hurting so much.

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