Category Archives: Birth Trauma

Healing is an on going process

My son’s birthday is coming up soon and he will be 17.
As I reflect on this time, I find myself looking at old photos from when he was born, when he was little and I am taken back to a NOT so good time.
The memories and feelings of the trauma, the struggles, the depression come back and yeah, it’s not fun.

But let me tell you. This is all part of the process. A broken leg aches well after it is mended and I see these moments like an aching. The majority of the healing has been done but they are complex memories, good combined with bad, happy combined with sad.

Each time we revisit a memory, there is more healing, until, hopefully, one day, we can acknowledge the bad and sad but remember the good and happy fondly.

If you imagine a spiral with a line through it – each time you visit a traumatic memory, you are in a better place, you are stronger and better able to cope and you can heal.

And don’t forget, the stronger, caring you can give yourself love and self compassion, telling yourself what you needed to hear at the time, helping with the healing.

If you need help to talk about your birth trauma, postnatal depression and the struggles that comes with, please do get in touch with me for support. You are not alone in this 

What is Birth Trauma?

wp_20161013_13_34_47_pro_liMany of you Mums have told me how you planned your labour and birth choices, talked about your expectations, hopes and dreams.

Many of you Mums have also told me how traumatic the whole birthing experience was, how unexpected some things were and you had to deal with some very uncomfortable emotions such as:

  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling vulnerable and exposed
  • Feeling shocked and dissapointed
  • Being scared and frightened
  • Being embarrassed or feeling ashamed
  • Losing trust in others
  • Maybe even feeling grief

The sorts of circumstances that might trigger birth trauma include: (from Netmums)

  • The birthplan not being followed
  • Having any unwanted intervention
  • Having an emergency Caesarean section – either under an epidural or general anaesthetic
  • Having an episiotomy or tear
  • Finding that your baby is in distress during labour or birth
  • Your or your baby’s life coming under threat during labour or birth
  • Experiencing extreme pain
  • Enduring a long labour or a short, dramatic one
  • Poor postnatal care

For many of us, nothing went according to the birthing plan we spent so long putting together, researching what we wanted, physically and emotionally.

Maybe baby’s heartbeat couldn’t be heard so you could not use the birthing pool but instead were hooked up to all sorts of monitoring devices. Perhaps forceps were used, or you tore or bleed really badly.

Maybe you had to have surgery when you wanted a natural birth.

Maybe you were scared, not knowing what was happening, or being left for hours.

Maybe you had horrible reactions to pain killers such as being sick or passing out and missing it all.

Maybe you poo-ed yourself when pushing or there was a roomful of strangers watching you being stitched up.

Maybe your first experiences of breastfeeding were so horrible and painful, leaving both you and baby in tears.

We are lead to believe giving birth is going to be a beautiful, wonderful experience and thankfully it is for a lot of people but what if there are a few things that happened during your labour that you need to talk about?

Recognising signs of birth trauma (from Netmums)

  • A response of intense fear, helplessness or horror to the experience of childbirth.
  • Recurrent thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares about the experience.
  • Feelings of panic when reminded of the birth.
  • Either avoiding talking about the experience altogether or becoming obsessed with talking about it.
  • Difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
  • Feelings of anger, irritability and extreme caution.
  • ‘Blaming’ your partner – or even the baby – for putting you through the trauma.

According to the Birth Trauma Association, in the UK alone around 10,000 women a year may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that includes birth trauma. As many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms of PTSD.

I am here to support you with any uncomfortable or traumatic experiences you had during labour, such as:

  • accepting how things happened
  • letting go of blaming yourself
  • being kind to yourself and not beating yourself up
  • your needs being listened to
  • lack of support and understanding
  • feeling out of your depth
  • learning to trust your instincts and doing things confidently in your own unique way

It is important to first be aware that you have had some birth trauma. The team where you had your birth might be able to help by going through notes or talking to someone to help clarify events, giving you a deeper and fuller understanding of what might have gone on. This might help you overcoming some of the negative feelings within you.

You have been through quite a lot so be kind to yourself, be self compassionate, treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Accepting help from others does not mean you are not coping but means you just need a bit of support right now, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Talking is very powerful but a simple way to feel like yourself again and come to terms with your experiences, and clear the negativity from the positive experience you deserve with baby.


If this sounds like the kind of support you need right now, then please drop me an email at