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Birth trauma/PTSD resources for healing

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
There have been several threads on MDC in the past few months from women traumatized or at least disappointed by the birth they have had. It doesn't seem to matter where the birth took place or who the provider was or whether it was a surgical birth or vaginal, but there is the common thread of pain, hurt, and sometimes betrayal.

There have also been many very good resources listed for identifying PTSD which follows birth trauma. I have the links to websites for support and healing so they were all in one place for anyone who needs them. If I have missed any, feel free to add to this list.

Birth Trauma Support Group/Seattle www.birthtraumasupport.info

The site contains information for mothers, fathers, babies and family members recovering from birth experiences that were stressful for them. These birth experiences can take place in any environment, and can be vaginal or caesarean. This site contains information about recovery from traumatic and stressful birth experiences of any type, including caesarean recovery. It does not specifically address neonatal loss issues.

Birth Trauma Support www.joyousbirth.info/birthtrauma.html

This is an Australian birth website that offers information for identifying and dealing with traumatic birth, It includes information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following childbirth, as well as resources for healing, and links to other helpful web site. Especially helpful is the "Myths of Birth Trauma" essay.

Tabs www.tabs.org.nz/thewayahead

A site from New Zealand which offers very specific information for dealing with PTSD, including a list of therapies that may be helpful.

Birth Trauma Canada www.birthtraumacanada.org

Birth Trauma Canada is an organization of mothers traumatized by childbirth. Traumatic stress disorders and depression are normal reactions to severe physical and/or psychological stress. This site has three purposes: to give women a voice, to support women traumatized by birth, and to advocate for better obstetrical treatment and attitudes.

Midwives as Bullies

The unfortunate truth is that even midwives may cause birth trauma. Marinah Valenzuela Farrel has written a series of four articles for Midwifery Today. Although the focus of the series discusses how midwives are bullied, much of what is written there applies to women who are also bullied by midwives. The first three articles are available at Midwifery Today on-line. The fourth is only available in the journal as of 11/07.

Bullying, Part 1 www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bullying_1.asp

Who is the Bully?, Part 2 www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bullying_2.asp

Bullying and PTSD, Part 3 http://www.findamidwifetoday.com/art...ullrelease.asp

Joyous Birth site/ birth rape essay http://www.joyousbirth.info/forums/s...ead.php?t=3390

This site contains a descriptive (and possibly disturbing ) essay that discusses unwanted hospital procedures as a form of rape (birth rape). It is a thought provoking piece that may help explain why women feel violated after even an uncomplicated, lovely birth.
post #2 of 46
Quote:
Birth Trauma Support www.joyousbirth.info/birthtrauma.html

This is an Australian unassisted birth website that offers information for identifying and dealing with traumatic birth, It includes information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following childbirth, as well as resources for healing, and links to other helpful web site. Especially helpful is the "Myths of Birth Trauma" essay.
Thanks for linking to us I'm the National Convenor of Joyous Birth and we are the Australian homebirth network, we're not an "unassisted birth website". We have members, as do all other forums, who choose freebirth but we are actually a homebirth site. Just letting people know Birth trauma support is one of the biggest things we do because our maternity system is just as great as the US system. We also have a private subforum for women who are healing.

I'll be adding these Mid Today resources to our birth trauma page, thank you so much for posting them!
post #3 of 46
you jut sent me into total tears. i can not even come close to expressing this i=to you. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! my last birth was so bad it almost tore about my marriage and nearly 7 months later i am still having the hardest time. i can't sleep most nights and the nightmares and i relive it EVERY SINGLE DAY. it really is such a relief knowing that other's believe MWs can be bullies in birth, too. i don't know if i'll ever be able to get into what happened to me here but i know i need to. i need help and i don't know how to get it. so you have really answered my prayers.
post #4 of 46
I'm so sorry Please feel free to PM. About 6-7 months after a traumatic birth is about when most women start to really feel it. I hope we can support you to find some healing.
post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
JanetF, Thank you, I will make the correction on my site and to the OP. I probably saw the freebirth section and made the assumption.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
magstphil

I am so, so sorry that this info even needed to be posted. It is probably the dirty little secret of midwives and the home birth community that midwives can be bullies and can inflict physical and emotional pain. Someone on the national ICAN list mentioned that they think we aren't quite so upset about this happening with physicians because we sort of expect that they think in a different model than most NB families.
But when this occurs with a BC or HB midwife we are shocked and dismayed, and feel betrayed.

I have seen this several times over the past few years and I really think it needs to be addressed in a national forum. There is a Hope and Healing conference that Midwifery Today is sponsoring in Ann Arbor, MI May 2008. It is aimed more toward midwives helping women who have been abused, but I hope to talk someone into speaking on women hurt by OOH midwives, or at least midwives in general.
post #7 of 46
I can tell you it makes you HUGELY unpopular to suggest midwives might look to themselves. I'm painted as a freebirth-promoting (uh that's bad? ) midwife-hating freak for occasionally saying stuff about a need for transparenecy in home midwifery.
post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
Yes, it can make one quite unpopular, especially when the person saying it is a midwife. I'm a CNM who does birth OOH. So I get suspicions from both sides.

I think it needs to be addressed, at least to acknowledge the problem and know that we have to help heal the hurt that has been caused.

What I get most often from the OOH midwives is that I should know better than to criticize a sister midwife. I am giving aid and comfort to the enemy (physicians) essentially.

My point continues to be that if we don't do something about it, then aren't we just protecting our own just like those physicians that we complain about. I know it's not just the physicians but that is the most common stereotype among home birthers.

Since as midwives and a group we can't seem to address this, then the least I can do is make the info available to the women who need it.
post #9 of 46
Wow thanks!
post #10 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by njbeachgirl View Post
Wow thanks!
You're welcome.
post #11 of 46
Thanks so much for compiling the links and sharing with us
post #12 of 46
I really think this needs to be a sticky. This subject comes up all the time all over this board.
post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 

Birth trauma tribe

Thanks for posting Jennica. I went over to the birth trauma tribe and reposted my OP there.
Georgia and I discussed making this a sticky before I even put it up. She would like it to stay in the threads for a while because sometimes when they become stickies they are passed over in search of newer threads.

I have seen birth trauma/disappointing birth threads pop up here before but had no idea there was a tribe on MDC.
Is there a way to link these two threads together to make the support and the resources easier for women to find?

Midwifery Today is having a Hope and Healing conference in Ann Arbor, MI in May 2008. I really think it is time the midwifery community begin talking about and taking responsibility for the trauma we cause, even if inadvertent.

It's easy to blame physicians, but I don't think the midwives realize that many of their interventions and intercessions are also traumatic. We think we are doing good and when the woman doesn't perceive it that way, it must be her and not how we tried to help.

I feel a new thread coming on.
post #14 of 46
There are a few threads on midwives working on this one. Check under my username for one in the HCP section I'm happy to help out in any way if you can think of a way that doesn't involve international travel without sponsorship
post #15 of 46
post #16 of 46
This thread is such a great resource. Thank you for posting it.
post #17 of 46
Thanks for the information-- I don't fully blame my midwife for the trauma. Things were tense and she was nervous because I was at the point where a medical type would have transferred me. So I did get a lot of "bossy" urgent instruction from her and bad energy. But the real trauma, from the pain, was just chance. I was hit with a hard birth, despite having done everything "right.".
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Thanks for the information-- I don't fully blame my midwife for the trauma. Things were tense and she was nervous because I was at the point where a medical type would have transferred me. So I did get a lot of "bossy" urgent instruction from her and bad energy. But the real trauma, from the pain, was just chance. I was hit with a hard birth, despite having done everything "right.".
i think i would have the same viewpoint of my MW if she hadn't called me 10 hours later while i was still in the hospital to tell me she thought i failed and not only that but she thought i wanted to fail. "you got out of the tub because you knew it was making you progress and you didn't want that. i have never seen someone create mental blocks to giving birth like that before. i learn something with every birth."

somebody please tell me i am not alone in thinking that that was completely wrong of her...
post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
i think i would have the same viewpoint of my MW if she hadn't called me 10 hours later while i was still in the hospital to tell me she thought i failed and not only that but she thought i wanted to fail. "you got out of the tub because you knew it was making you progress and you didn't want that. i have never seen someone create mental blocks to giving birth like that before. i learn something with every birth."

somebody please tell me i am not alone in thinking that that was completely wrong of her...
I think this comes under the heading of insensitivity as well as wrong. Have you read through the birth trauma web sites listed in the OP? The story you tell has been told there many times. It is the same info you will find in the MWT bully articles.

There is another mom that I know posts on MDC. Her midwife used another board to gather opinions and then sent them to her to prove that the mom didn't want the birth she said she did (didn't work hard enough/ gave up when it got tough). I think it is just another way for the midwife to deflect blame and/or not accept responsibility for her own actions.

I know that the MWT articles describe such actions as those of a bully, but I wonder if those actions aren't a little closer to abuse. There are so many similarities to how someone is emotionally abused. And unfortunately, the reaction the woman frequently gets is that it's her fault. It isn't, but that's easier than admitting there is a problem or a provider that is behaving this way.
post #20 of 46
I've never had a baby but am leaning toward a birthcenter or possibly a homebirth when I do. All the books I have read make it sound like hospital births are so traumatic and that unmedicated homebirths are best for mom and baby. But then, after reading all the posts about traumatic homebirths and the resulting depression/PTSD etc, I'm very confused.

Mothercat,

You seem so experienced and knowledgable. I have a few questions.

1. Do you have an idea as to the percent of homebirths/birth center births that are regarded as traumatic by the mother?

2. Is there a common thread among the traumatic stories, or is it unpredictable?

3. Also, if a mother wants an OOH birth but is worried about the pain becoming unbearable (as many have described), would it be better to chose a birthcenter over homebirth? Would it be easier to transfer from birthcenter to the hospital, or does it not matter?

Thanks!
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