One of the best pieces on cesarean I’ve ever read Cesarean birth and the warrior birth goddess
and some links
- Solace for Mothers
- Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth
- International Cesarean Awareness Network
- The Birth Trauma Association (and Birth Stress)
- Postpartum Support International
- Postpartum Progress for PP Depression, anxiety
- Recovering from birth trauma
“When things happen quickly, when no explanations are given (or laid out without room for informed consent), when a woman does not feel respected, when a physical sensation reminds her of previous sexual trauma, she can feel overwhelmed and unable to integrate her emotional experience. “What’s happening to me? Is my baby ok?” In the middle of feeling threatened, often a woman tries to protect her baby: “Do whatever you need to!” Or she may feel guilty later that she was unable to give her baby the start she’d hoped for.” Suzanne Swanson, Ph. D
What does healing mean?
“It means identifying and listening to the messages within a woman’s pain, including her feelings. Healing means facing fears of the outcome, however the birth occurred. After an unnecessary cesarean, healing means coming to accept the impact on her soul and body and her baby. To accept the event as part of her life. If the cesarean was necessary, healing includes acknowledging her baby was at risk, due to external or internal factors, whether she knew it at the time or not. Accepting the fact that traumatic things do happen to babies is most heartbreaking. Healing includes seeing the birth in a different way- a woman has allowed her body to be cut open to save her baby’s life.
If trauma less easily categorized occurs, such as other medical interventions or disrespectful treatment from family or care providers, healing involves sorting out those events in a similar way and including them as part of her life. Through healing a woman becomes ready to say to the world, This is what I can give to you. A woman is ready to dig into life with both hands; depression, fear and anger are no longer major road blocks, but instead these emotions signal that some aspect of her being requires attention.
Healing means other fears and truths are faced, including growing comfortable with the uncertainty of life, facing the difference between who she thinks she is and who she really is and where she actually ends up. Healing means developing the ebullient ability to immerse oneself in a task with complete abandon- the task of raising a child, or finding the place where she belongs most clearly on the earth. She stands tall, she is rooted. She seeks the best treatment possible for self and offspring. If she is mistreated, she objects so strongly that the offender, be it obstetrician, spouse, friend, large agency, even the president, aware or not of the mistreatment, bends from the objection at least a little, if not all the way. The whole earth shifts toward health as you or I or anyone makes a stand.”
EXCERPT from ‘Rebounding from Childbirth Toward Emotional Recovery’ by Lynn Madsen, copyright 1994-Bergin&Garvey, Westport, CT