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  • Writer's pictureSara Støback

Birth Trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in English is more common than one would think. Womensmentalhealth.org states that symptoms of PTSD can occur from a stressful or traumatic birth, but "it is not limited to stillbirth or complications during childbirth. In fact, up to 25% of women have been diagnosed with PTSD after having a healthy baby after a full term. "



In a conversation with Maritza Linzey, Core and Pelvic floor rehab specialist trainer for NEMUS Arendal, she comments on the following:


"When things don’t go smoothly or a medical emergency happens while you’re having a baby you can be left feeling traumatized.

The effects aren’t limited to mental and emotional distress.

Your body actually holds onto the stress and emotions, effecting how your muscles work.

Your brain bypasses or re-routes around the area of trauma or injury to keep you feeling safe.

I see this with c- section moms who can’t bring themselves to touch their scars

or moms who can’t activate their deep core muscles in the position they delivered in.

Talking through your birth story is a great place to start...... But it’s often not enough to really heal the trauma."


What is trauma?

To understand what a trauma is, one must be aware that events are not traumatic, it is our reaction to an event that is traumatic. This explains why some events can be traumatic for some, but not for others.


So trauma is not what happened to us, but what happened inside us. Trauma is trauma, no matter what caused it.


Symptoms


Some of the symptoms that can occur with a birth trauma are:

  • Depressive symptoms

  • Gets easily upset or angry

  • Difficult to fall asleep, even if you have the opportunity.

  • Irritability or aggressive behavior

  • Difficult to concentrate, including with simple daily tasks

  • Slightly frightened or easily startle

  • Self-destructive or ruthless behavior

  • You feel like you can not trust anyone

  • You feel that nowhere is safe

  • You feel that no one understands

  • Overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, guilt or shame.

"Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering."

Peter Levine


How to heal trama?


It is important to understand that you do not have to consciously remember an event to heal trama. Visiting a trauma is not the same as reliving it. Trauma occurs on an instinctive level, it is stored as fragmented experiences in the body and not in the rational parts of the brain. This is why somatic trauma treatment (body) is more effective in treating trauma than cognitive (cognition) treatment. In other words, we can understand that we are ok, we can be presented with proof that everything is as it should be, but we do not feel that way. When a coach helps us to access the memories stored in the body and feel them through what is called "felt sense", the brain can reconnect what was bypassed due to a trauma and that is when we can find again joy in life.


If your birth experience was not good and you feel that you are not able to move on, zen coaching can help you. The best thing you can do for yourself to live a full life is to take yourself seriously. Taking the initiative and seeking help is the smartest thing you can do to live the life you deserve.


You can read more about Zen Coaching here


My name is Sara Støback and I am a certified Coach in Zen Coaching. I help people with challenges such as burnout, finding motivation or when a difficult experience (trauma) stops you from enjoying your life. I do this through Individual coaching sessions, couples therapy and youth therapy, face to face or via Zoom.


Book and appointment here

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