The effects of labor and delivery can be more than physical — many women must recover emotionally as well. For some women, a traumatic childbirth can lead to birth trauma, causing symptoms like nightmares, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and more. Women may struggle in processing a life-threatening or scary childbirth experience, but online teletherapy appointments can help.
What Is Birth Trauma?
Birth trauma is a term that describes the difficulties a mother may go through before, during, or after childbirth. It is often used interchangeably with postpartum PTSD. The main symptoms that mothers may experience during the postpartum period include:
- Experiencing the trauma again and again through intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks
- Avoiding certain places, people, or situations that trigger thoughts of the childbirth
- Noticing mood changes (e.g. feelings of depression) or cognition changes (e.g. brain fog and forgetfulness)
- Feeling more anxious or hypervigilant and experiencing sleep issues
Not every woman’s experience is the same. What is considered traumatic to one person can be different than what is traumatic to someone else. Common causes include situations where the mother’s or baby’s life is at risk, unplanned C-sections, labor that progresses quickly, poor pain management, or feeling poorly listened to or cared for by hospital staff.
Can Online Counseling Help?
It can be very difficult for some women with birth trauma to talk about their experiences. For some mothers, talking about their childbirth can trigger memories or thoughts that are difficult to process. Mothers may also feel guilty that they are having difficulties processing their birth if the end result was positive and their baby was born healthy.
Birth trauma is a common experience for new mothers, and it is a mark of bravery and strength for mothers to seek help for their symptoms. Online counseling helps open access to women who may have difficulties commuting to an in-person appointment or finding childcare.
If you are experiencing birth trauma and need to talk to someone, the psychiatrists at Thriving Lane are ready to help.
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