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#1 of 59 Old 11-13-2007, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 59 Old 11-13-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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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!
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#3 of 59 Old 11-13-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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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.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#4 of 59 Old 11-14-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 59 Old 11-14-2007, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#6 of 59 Old 11-14-2007, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#7 of 59 Old 11-14-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 59 Old 11-16-2007, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#9 of 59 Old 11-16-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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Wow thanks!
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#10 of 59 Old 11-16-2007, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks!
You're welcome.

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#11 of 59 Old 11-17-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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Thanks so much for compiling the links and sharing with us

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#12 of 59 Old 11-18-2007, 03:01 AM
 
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I really think this needs to be a sticky. This subject comes up all the time all over this board.
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#13 of 59 Old 11-18-2007, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#14 of 59 Old 11-18-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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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
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#15 of 59 Old 11-19-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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Here are a few previous threads that have some helpful information about birth trauma:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=392545

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=754372

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=401192

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=767677

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=370800

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=304633

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#16 of 59 Old 11-19-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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This thread is such a great resource. Thank you for posting it.
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#17 of 59 Old 11-19-2007, 05:53 PM
 
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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.".
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#18 of 59 Old 11-19-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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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...

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#19 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#20 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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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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#21 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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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.
Thanks for posting this info on the traumatic birth tribe. I started it after seeing how many threads pop up here and elsewhere on this board and asking in Q & A if we could get a forum or a sticky for traumatic or disappointing births. I was told to start a tribe first, and so I did. I hope this can become a sticky after awhile, I obviously think it is really needed here.
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#22 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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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...


My midwife (CNM/hospital birth) came and sat on my bed the next the morning and told me that I did not labor "normally" and that I acted like a child and that it made it hard for them to do their job. This was the next morning after I gave birth! I wasn't even close to processing the birth yet, I was still on a birth high. After that for months, no years, even now to this day I often feel like I did something wrong, like I really messed it all up and it was all my fault that things got so out of hand. Of course, it was not at all my fault, but I think the midwife was trying to convince me that it was in order to relieve her own guilt after realizing that she had totally screwed up. Knowing what a vulnerable state of mind I was in, it was easy for her to pass the guilt off to me. It's sad that midwives sometimes use this tactic. Why they feel a need to imply that the woman did anything wrong is beyond me. It has to do with them and not with us.
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#23 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Jennica, can you link to the Tribe here if you've not already done so? Thanks

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#24 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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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...
Yes, that's really bad... I can't imagine talking that way to anyone. My MW was saying stuff to me like, "You don't like to push" (not true). It's almost like they need to explain it their way, in their own minds, to make themselves feel better.

I do feel my MW failed me in afterbirth care. She never called me back for my follow up appt, so I never had one. I ended up getting terribly sick. I also needed stitches which she never did. I finally got stitched properly after my next birth.
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#25 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Jennica, can you link to the Tribe here if you've not already done so? Thanks
Oh yeah, here it is; disappointing, or traumatic birth experiences (and moving on from them) tribe
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#26 of 59 Old 11-20-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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My midwife (CNM/hospital birth) came and sat on my bed the next the morning and told me that I did not labor "normally" and that I acted like a child and that it made it hard for them to do their job. This was the next morning after I gave birth! I wasn't even close to processing the birth yet, I was still on a birth high. After that for months, no years, even now to this day I often feel like I did something wrong, like I really messed it all up and it was all my fault that things got so out of hand. Of course, it was not at all my fault, but I think the midwife was trying to convince me that it was in order to relieve her own guilt after realizing that she had totally screwed up. Knowing what a vulnerable state of mind I was in, it was easy for her to pass the guilt off to me. It's sad that midwives sometimes use this tactic. Why they feel a need to imply that the woman did anything wrong is beyond me. It has to do with them and not with us.
that seriously just... what in the world are these women thinking? when my MW called me to tell me all that i wanted to say "Oh don't worry *insert her name here* you'll get your money" : i seriously felt like she was blaming me so i wouldn't call her on her incompetence and not pay her.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#27 of 59 Old 11-21-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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I just want to add a couple links.

First, if anyone is experiencing the symptoms of Postraumatic Stress Disorder, or if they find themselves to be very depressed about their birth experience and feel that they need to find help, here is a link that I think is very useful, Postpartum Support International

Keep in mind that trauma does not go away in time the same way that PPD will if untreated. It will keep popping up unless dealt with. Also, many therapists are not familiar with birth trauma, however, at least finding a therapist who is familiar with PPD and has worked with women on postpartum mood disorders is sometimes your best bet. In some cases there may be support groups in your area as well that a can be found through the link above.

Second, if therapy or a support group is out of the question for you, I have heard of many women having success with this technique; Emotional Freedom Technique. I have not personally tried this yet, but I intend to look into it. My therapist actually suggested it when I went through some financial difficulties and could not go to therapy for a couple months.
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#28 of 59 Old 11-24-2007, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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jennica,
thanks for posting the PSI info. I should have checked here before I asked you to post this today.

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#29 of 59 Old 11-25-2007, 04:22 AM
 
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jennica,
thanks for posting the PSI info. I should have checked here before I asked you to post this today.
Your welcome. I just saw your request on the other thread and figured you missed it here, so glad you saw it.
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#30 of 59 Old 11-25-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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Just wanted to post a few other things that can be helpful for dealing with trauma in general (so I feel they would be helpful for birth trauma as well). PTSD is known for being extremely resistant to traditional talk therapy, and more success is being found in "body-led" type therapies like EMDR, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, etc.

There is a wonderful, wonderful book (written by a highly trained psychologist with a medical degree and a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience who has been converted to "alternative" therapies) that explains how the brain works, and why talk therapy is so often unsuccessful. It sounds like dry material, but it was absolutely fascinating. He spends many chapters on alternative methods of treatment that he has thoroughly researched. The book is called The Instinct to Heal, and you can find the author's website here (website includes links to organizations that can help you find practitioners of the various modalities he discusses, etc.).

It is a fast and fascinating read, and I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma, etc.

My personal experience has been healing trauma (related to birth as well as other things) through the use of craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, energy work and guided visualizations. I'm lucky enough to have found an amazing CS therapist as well as an incredible homeopath/healer who have acted as wonderful guides on my journey.

You can learn more about CST and find a pracitioner near you through the Upledger Insititute (www.upledger.com). I would advise finding a therapist who has the following classes at a minimum: CSI, CSI, SERI. SERII and one or more of the dialoging classes would be nice too.

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