Bringing a baby into the world can be a joyous event, but for some women, the prospect of delivering a baby can produce anxiety or even intense fear. Importantly, anxious women can experience more discomfort during childbirth, and prenatal anxiety can increase the risk of postpartum distress.
Other times, women may experience distress or sadness after delivery if the birth experience did not go as they expected
Whether you are dealing with prenatal fears or concerns after a birth, I can help you explore your feelings and minimize your distress so that you can move forward, feel well, and form a strong connection with your baby.
Research indicates that twenty-five percent of mothers consider their childbirth to be traumatic or disempowering, and the psychological toll of a traumatic birth can lead to emotional distress, and a form of post traumatic stress disorder, that follows women into new motherhood.
Some common signs and symptoms of a traumatic birth include:
- Re-living aspects of the trauma (intrusive thoughts and images; nightmares; distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma)
- Feeling on edge or hyper-alert (being easily upset, angry, irritable; being easily startled; having difficulty concentrating)
- Suppressing feelings or memories (avoiding situations or people that remind you of the trauma; feeling detached/emotionally numb; keeping busy to distract yourself; being unable to remember aspects of the event; using alcohol or drugs to avoid memories)
- Physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling
- Sleep difficulties
Fortunately, psychotherapy is an effective way to heal after a traumatic birth experience. Using evidence-based approaches to treating birth trauma, I can help you move through emotions such as guilt, anger, and sadness, which might surround your childbirth experience. I can help you tell your birth story, without shame, and to find peace moving forward.
EMDR is one of the most effective treatment methods for processing and resolving trauma. I have completed specialized EMDR training, and use this technique regularly in my practice. In my clinical experience, combining EMDR with other forms of therapy is the best way to help women heal from a traumatic birth experience. Please see my page on EMDR for more information.