Caesarean section and birth trauma
➤ Did having a Caesarean section mean a change of your birth plan?
➤ How has this left you feeling?
➤ Have you been told all that matters is that you have a healthy baby?
➤ How can you move forward if you feel traumatised?
A caesarian birth doesn’t make you any less of a woman or mother and it is vital that women birth with dignity, power, and honour, whether that is vaginally or via a caesarian section.
The right support is crucial, however you birth.
It’s evident many are left deeply traumatised by the way their birth went and emerge through their Caesarian birth feeling like their body failed in some way. This may be due to a number of reasons – a lack of control and consent, or a lack of clear communication received in an emergency situation.
I am often told that there was no communication around what was happening when their baby's heart beat dropped, or when the emergency buzzer went off and the room flooded with people. And even when rushed to theatre, there were moments when they feared for their baby’s or their own life!
Understanding what happens in the moment of trauma is vital to recovery, as a lot of birthing people feel guilt or that their body failed in some way.
During a traumatic event like the one described above, the survival brain takes over and the critical, logical thinking and language brain goes offline. The body is flooded with cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, and the autonomic nervous system which is designed to protect and keep you safe is automatically turned ON.
To keep you safe, your body has 3 choices – flight (get away), fight (defend yourself) and, if these options are not available, a freeze response (where the body shuts down, numbs out, or disassociates). If unable to self regulate and self soothe, the survival and autonomic nervous systems can be stuck ON and the body can hold the trauma long after the event has passed.
➤ The stored up survival stress and freeze response may make you want to hide and hibernate.
➤ Your thoughts may reflect your nervous system's state, making you feel tense, angry or jittery. ➤ You may experience tightness in the chest, throat or have stomach and digestive problems.
Your nervous system needs to heal, find harmony, and connection again. Therefore, speaking and receiving a debrief away from the hospital by someone trauma informed is vital. This can help you attain a timeline of what happened, and allow you to utilise grounding techniques, breathing, relaxation, and other tools that can help you self regulate.
It can take immense courage to admit that you’re struggling, and even more courage to seek help. But it's important to remember that not only is a healthy baby important but so is a healthy mummy.
Seeing a birth trauma specialist can help you process your traumatic experience and deal with feelings of disappointment and distress attached to the memory. It may be scary, but you're not alone in this and effective treatment is available to help you regain a life free from the effects of trauma.
Every birth counts.
Your birth counts.
If birth trauma is something you have experienced, please get in touch with me for a free initial consultation about treatment. Together, we will see you step out of trauma and into enjoying the journey of parenthood.
Birth Trauma Resolution Brighton