preparing for a traumatic birth

I am putting together some teaching materials on this subject. Part one of 4 will give you some information on reducing anxiety responses in the moment. Not everyone has a traumatic birth experience. Most births thankfully are conducted in a manner that means you are informed about decisions and process at the time and feel confident and contained throughout.

What we do know about birth, though, is that it can be an unpredictable journey. A small number of parents are adversely affected in terms of their mental health. 18% of women will describe their birth as having been traumatic. Often this is due to smaller and some larger escalations in anxiety or fear during labour and birth.

I suppose the logic of preparing for being afraid means that if this happens you can intervene at the moment, or shortly afterward, to reduce the chances of longer-term effects. A bit like having a towel in your car in case a spontaneous rupture of membranes happens when you go shopping, definitely not something you could predict. If you learn after the event that 15% of women have a spontaneous rupture of membranes prior to labour, you might feel more miffed that the car seat got soaked.

Preparing for trauma in labour might feel contra-intuitive. However, some very ordinary strategies and a basic understanding of how and why this happens can help you settle things quickly.

More here very shortly.

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