Let’s talk about your birth story. Be it positive, negative or everything in between. Why it matters – and what you can do to support yourself well.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” Osho
Wherever you are on your birth healing journey, I hope you find it reassuring to know that there are people who understand – people who genuinely care about you and your story – people who are trained, skilled and experienced in holding a safe space for you and your healing transformation.
Please know – nothing is too small or insignificant – all of your feelings are worthy of acknowledgement – you are definitely not crazy or selfish – you are important – and your story matters.
The Australasian Birth Trauma Association is an excellent source of support and information.
You may have experienced a traumatic birth physically, psychologically, or both. It is helpful to be aware that someone who has had a similar experience to you may not feel the same way and that this is totally OK. We are all individuals and it is how you feel about your experience that makes a difference to your life, as a mother, a partner, a woman. If you are hoping/planning to birth again, your story can influence your fertility, conception, pregnancy, and next birthing experience for better or for worse. It all depends on how you look at it – it comes down to the perspective you have settled upon, the stories you are telling yourself. The goal is to find a sense of peace with your birth story, to be able to sit with motherly compassion, love and a deeply felt understanding of all that has bought you to the place you are in now. Your birth story could be the most important story you ever choose to share.
Please note – if you are concerned about your mental or physical health, it is important to talk to your GP – many women are ashamed of expressing unwanted feelings around the birth of their child and/or embarrassed and unsure if their symptoms are normal or not. You are not alone – help is available – the best and bravest step you can take for you and your family is to seek professional support, sooner rather than later.
Where to begin – a birth debriefing, preferably with a professional who was present at your birth, is the best place to start.
It helps to request this service of your care provider before the birth and can be included in your birth plan. If it’s too late for this to occur, then requesting access to your medical records and having a doctor, midwife or doula go over these with you can help you to understand what has happened and why from a physiological/medical perspective. This can clarify any nagging questions or gaps in your memory – it can provide you with a deeper understanding of the unfolding of events.
You may feel OK with what you learn through this process, or at times it could highlight for you that things were not as you would have wanted or expected them to be, and with reasons that cannot be justified or do not sit well with you. You may want to seek further information from your care providers; this can be a challenging and emotional experience. Engaging independent support can help ease the pressure you are under.