All posts tagged: birth trauma

birth and new baby newcastle and tyneside

My experience of birth trauma…

I experienced birth trauma after the birth of my third baby 12 years ago, which left me with PTSD. Initially it was assumed that I was ill because my son – who was born with a severe heart defect – died during heart surgery when he was 3 days old. But it was only when I started seeing a psychotherapist who specialised in grief and trauma that we worked out that beyond the grief and trauma of losing a child, there was also birth trauma. It was a complex trauma of grief with the impact of an emotional pregnancy and the death of my baby.┬áBeing pregnant with a baby who had two life-threatening defects was emotional torture in many ways – with additional scans, discussions with consultants, a great deal of hope, a great deal of despair and helplessness, along with plans for his birth, if he lived that long and an attempt to prepare for early life in the heart unit. If Jamie had lived, we faced months in hospital with him so there …

When birth is bad…

Everyone wants a straight-forward birth with mum and baby 100% ok at the end of it – of course we do, that is not too much to ask. But pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable and it can be impacted by different factors. I have been working with expectant parents for almost 18 years so I know birth and its preparation well, as well the varied expectations of parents and what can impact labour and cause it to be more complicated. I am passion about equipping parents as well as I can for the unpredictability, of working with their midwife/doctor to continue to gather information, to know their options, to be able to stay as calm as possible and to put themselves at the centre of their care. But I never make promises of an easy, straight-forward birth and my sessions include lots of discussion about the reality of birth. This is combined with positivity about mindset, robust coping strategies, assertiveness and just breathing to stay calm because you have to put yourself in the …