About Womb Trauma
Please don’t feel bad if you read the list below and see some experiences that happened to you during your pregnancy. There are many mitigating factors when it comes to assessing the extent to which stress, trauma, or an event has affected you and your family. Pregnant parents are often going through a lot of changes, becoming a parent is a life transforming process. We live in a very intense, stressful and fast moving culture. There are many things happening that are out of your control, and it is important that you know that healing is possible, and that you can protect your baby from conception onwards. If you are reading this before you conceive, or whilst pregnant, I encourage you to investigate prenatal attachment (you can call me for more information about this teaching, read my free E-Book The 9 Principles of Conscious Early Parenting, and contact me to see if my book about this subject is out yet). I highly recommend Prenatal Attachment for many positive reasons, one of which is that it provides a much-needed buffer against life’s stresses for your unborn baby. It’s good to have a resource that reduces the affects of what life throws at you! Other simple early parenting skills can also help.
Some Causes of Womb Trauma:
• A toxic (physically, emotionally) or unwelcoming womb
• A bereaved parent
• A considered or attempted abortion
• Prior abortions, and pregnancy losses
• Being unwanted
• Adoption (deep abandonment)
• A lack of resources in the family/mom
• Twin loss
• Drugs, alcohol and nicotine taken during pregnancy
• ….and other ongoing stresses
Some Causes of Birth Trauma:
Remember as you read the list below of some of the causes of birth trauma, it can be healed. Not all babies are traumatized by the same event, if they have a strong constitution, and are resilient and resourced, they can bounce back really well with just a little support to unwind their experiences. I offer Craniosacral work for Babies, and Prenatal & Birth Play for Kids, and you may find others who can help you if you don’t live near me in Northern California. I’m also available by phone or Skype and I’m happy to discuss your needs within a free telephone consultation. It’s important for you to know that your baby was having her own experience of her birth, and was fully participating in it. Birth is a relational dance between mom and baby. Some causes of birth trauma:
• Life/death situations
• Being born quickly
• A long labor
• The cord around the neck
• Getting stuck for a long time
• Medical interventions can traumatize babies, and this will depend on how they were administered, how much was given, how stressful it was for the mother, your baby’s constitution and resilience, and baby’s connection to mom, etc:
Others: Anesthesia, Induction and augmentation (Pitocin), Cesarean section birth, forceps, and vacuum extraction, separation from mother at birth, disempowerment by medical birthing, loss of birthing dream.
I have heard people say that a cesarean section birth is easier for the baby; this is not necessarily true. Apart from the obvious, that it is major abdominal surgery, one of the problems it causes is a prolonged separation after birth, which can interrupt attachment. There is also a higher level of drugs used. C-sections sometimes save babies lives, but most of the time they are unnecessary or caused by women giving birth in environments where they are scared and unable to relax deeply enough to open. We must feel safe enough to let go into our primal, instinctual selves in order to birth.
Sometimes a c-section can be the result of the mom’s own birthing imprints coming up during birthing and causing her to feel constricted and unable to get her baby out. Medical interventions can also interfere with natural birthing processes. E.g. epidurals stop birthing, and then make it harder to feel urges to push, cutting a woman off from her body. Drugs impede a baby’s ability to get born and to attach.
Three Ways to Prevent Birth Trauma:
1. If you are having a medical/hospital birth, avoid going in to the hospital until you are further along in your labor. Many women rush into the hospital as soon as their labor begins, and this is not necessary when you consider how long the average labor is going to take. If you do labor at home it is very important to have a birth support person such as a professional midwife, or doula, with you at home until you are ready to go in to the hospital. Don’t do this alone! The less time you spend in the hospital, the less likely you are to have unwanted medical interventions that often lead to c-sections, and the better for you and baby.
2. Sometimes a birthing mother may be unable to relax due to her own stresses, or unresolved issues from her own birth. This can prevent the opening up and relaxation necessary for giving birth. For this reason it is always a good idea to explore your own birth to see if you need some healing before giving birth. Women can repeat their own birth when giving birth. E.g. a woman born premature can have premature babies. This imprinting can be dealt with before you get to the birthing stage so that you don’t have to repeat your own experiences.
3. If your birthing environment does not feel safe and supportive to you, you will find it much harder to reach the state of deep letting go required to give birth. Choose your birthing environment wisely and really think about what is going to support your deep relaxation and opening for the best possible birthing outcomes. Ensure that it is somewhere where you can feel uninterrupted, in-charge, and deeply relaxed and safe. Other good options are to give birth in your local birthing center, or at home with an experienced midwife, where you will feel safe and relaxed.
© 2016 Karen Melton