What is a traumatic birth?

When birth doesn’t go the way you wanted.

A birth is said to be traumatic when an individual believes the birth giver’s or baby’s life was in danger, or that a serious threat to the birth giver’s or baby’s physical or emotional integrity existed (Penny Simkin, PATTch). Trauma, however, is in the “eye of the beholder.”

Some of the symptoms people may experience as a result of a traumatic birth include,

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Avoidance or numbing reactions
  • Hyperarousal (difficulty sleeping, irritability, exaggerated startle response)
  • Impairment in other areas of their life

For many of us we begin to think about what it wil be like to give birth at a young age. As time passes and friends begin having children we learn about all of the different ways we can bring a baby into the world. When we become pregnant ourselves we begin to plan our birth. We decide about pain measures, where we would like to have the baby, who will be present and if we will have a midwife or an OBGYN.

When the day finally arrives we quickly learn that birth happens to us. Birth does not always go the way we want and when that happens the experience can be devastating. You are not alone. With help you can fiind a way to love yourself through the pain and disappointment.

pregancy post partum support mn

The Family Development Center is proud to support Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Minnesota.