The word trauma stems from Greek and means wound.
The word wound is a highly extensible term and boundaries in the conditions of a birth are very individual.
Women who describe birth trauma often speak of:
• the crossing of borders by medical staff either physically, verbally or nonverbally
• being at the mercy of the situation
• death - do not know whether they or the child will survive the situation
• the feeling of humiliation
• feeling alone in the situation
• experiencing overwhelming pain
• the feeling of uncertainty
A whole spectrum of basic human feelings can be experienced as a result.
Shame, anger, fear, disgust, panic, guilt, grief, and the absence of feeling. This absence of feeling is a dissociative state. If feelings are experienced as overpowering, it is a shock to our system and it is the competency of the body and the psyche to plunge beneath a sort of protective shelter. Many women with postnatal depression often describe this condition as not feeling anything at all.
These traumatic situations can be re-experienced again and again as flashbacks, including excerpts from situations or overwhelming feelings with or without related images. Others describe a state of numbness; traumatic situations can be narrated and described in detail without the need for emotions.
In exceptional situations, we have fight, flight and consolidation at our disposal. These reactions ensure our survival. Even in everyday situations, they let us quickly jump out of the way of a swerving car without having to think about it prior to the moment.
All of these natural reflexes can not be yielded at birth if before, during or after the birth, we experience a situation in which our body reacts with fight, flight or consolidation as this is a complete overload of opposing information for our system.
During birth, we need a loving, peaceful, quiet environment, people who believe in us, to support, enable and empower us to find and proceed confidently through our birth journey. This space is very sensitive and interferences are perceived differently by every woman, however, significant reports show that faster births with less pain and faster recovery occurs in the weeks following the birth, when this space was given. Nursing begins optimally and babies are more relaxed.
Even in situations that ended in emergency caesarian sections, women and men described it as much less traumatic if they knew at all times, which steps were to be taken next, if the person on their side was loving and supported them and if the space was as good as possible and despite everything, respectful.
Our nervous system stores this experience in all cells.
For this reason we often carry our own birthdays lifelong but mostly without us knowing it. If we are then in the same situation as a mother who gives birth to her child, our system recalls the situation. A birth trauma arises with mother and child, so the space of healing must always be open to both. A resolution of one's own birth trauma is possible at any age, but birth does not have be traumatic.
We are offering help for traumatic birthing experience and to prepare for a second birth with new trust and love.
Only a very short time has been given to respecting that it is the mother and child who offer what is necessary for the utimate birth: peace, self-determination, love and trust.
"The wound is the place where the light enters you."- Rumi
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