When we talk about birth trauma, why do we look at the baby and say, “At least the baby is healthy.. You will be okay.”?
Is the baby actually okay?
Are the birth workers attending okay?
What about mom’s partner?
And is mom ever going to truly be okay after that experience?
The answer is no. Birth trauma impacts everyone involved. Even future children.
How Deep Does Birth Trauma Go?
Babies have something known as primal memories, and this allows for primal trauma. It will always be subconscious, unless they use some form of deep meditation in the future to surface everything and heal it, such as an intense Reiki healing. Primal trauma is backed by scientific research, so it is not some woo theory, it is real! This can flow into our behavior as babies (aka a good or bad baby, as some would put it), childhood, and adulthood, and lays the groundwork for life! Trauma carrying into our lives may look like colic with no explanation, how we tolerate stressful situations, and how we make decisions under pressure. 80% of children with SPD, ADHD and autism have a history of birth trauma.
Babies are made to tolerate some trauma, which is why their little skulls are so flexible and incomplete when born, they must go through a bout of contractions and a tight birth canal into a cold new world to learn how to breathe, eat and poop, dang, life is rough! Can you imagine leaving a soft, warm, wet environment, your mommy with you every single second, to having to go through that transition? Let alone factoring in a traumatic birth with interventions.
Interventions like being drugged, your comfy water sac being broken before you are ready to be without it, being stuck with probes and monitors, pulled out by a vacuum or forceps, have suctioning tools shoved into your nose and mouth before you even get a chance to breathe, your lifeline cut as soon as you are born, burning antibiotics being put into your eyes and getting a few stabs on your feet and legs… Doesn’t sound fun and peaceful, does it?
When a mama is given Pitocin, it disrupts the physiological birth process and guess what? Babies experience that, too. When you are feeling contractions back to back and are in so much pain, so is your baby. Pitocin does not give the body the opportunity to process oxytocin and beta-endorphins the way that it is supposed to, so you and baby go without the natural pain relief that your body would normally provide in labor. Drugs in labor disrupt bonding and hormones, and baby’s natural ability to descend the way they are supposed to in the birth canal, leading to more interventions and trauma. This can impact breastfeeding, as well.
How Does Birth Trauma Affect Others?
Now let’s discuss the trauma in others that witness birth trauma and birth rape.
If you have witnessed a woman being birth raped, whether you are her spouse, her doula, her mom, or another loved one, you too have experienced a form of trauma and can accrue PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental disruptions from it. You are not crazy, and not alone.
Hospitals can be severely toxic and traumatic, and because they are so prone to routinely administering interventions before trying anything else, they traumatize many more people than necessary. Not to mention, some doctors and midwives are on such a high pedestal, that they will scream at doulas, accuse moms of trying to kill their baby by going the natural route, and kick support people out of hospital rooms. It is disgusting.
This abuse of power can prevent birth workers from fully serving women in the hospital because they are scared to get yelled at, reported, removed from the hospital, etc, so they may stay silent or become so triggered they express emotions that end up projecting onto the mamas, which is no good! What is the worst is when toxic providers prevent a physiological birth from happening, cause an emergency that could have been avoided, then pretend that they saved baby’s life. It happens ALL. THE. TIME. And we need to do something about us, as a whole.
Bottom line, if you have a toxic provider, FIRE THEM, threaten to get a lawyer on the phone if they will not leave, walk out of the hospital, they will stomp all over your birth and everyone around you. It is up to us to take back our births!