Currently in the developed world, about one in three parents reports that their birth was traumatic. That's not the same thing as 'unexpected' or 'disappointing'. A traumatic birth is defined by certain characteristics that leaves the parent reeling from the experience, feeling helpless, trapped, frightened, and violated. Further, about one in ten mothers enters parenthood with post-traumatic stress disorder. And many more, while not presenting with PTSD, will be dealing with some of the symptoms of trauma. They're also much more likely to be dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety. Birth trauma is truly a global health crisis.
Research from around the world has offered us evidence-based information into the causes and solutions for birth-related trauma. An emergency, especially if there has been a catastrophic loss, can be traumatic and can cause PTSD. However, the most common reason a birth becomes traumatic is because of how the mother was treated by her care team. Disrespectful, abusive, and violating treatment where the mother feels trapped and helpless can lead to PTSD, postpartum depression and anxiety. Birth Trauma Ontario advocates for trauma-informed care for all parents. We offer a place where mothers can share their experiences and find support and validation from those who truly understand.
Fortunately, there are scientifically-sound answers to stemming the pandemic of birth trauma, and the PTSD, postpartum depression and anxiety that can follow . Maternity providers and birth professionals can learn the specific skills of trauma-informed care. A trauma-informed professional has the knowledge, the relevant understanding, and the applicable skills to ensure each birthing parent is skilfully supported in a health-and-resilience paradigm that benefits both parents and professionals. Trauma-informed professionals advocate for respectful services in all maternity settings. We help to connect professionals to trauma-informed education and birthing parents to trauma-informed providers.
You didn't ask for this journey through birth trauma, postpartum depression and anxiety. We're here to advocate for parents and professionals to ensure all babies arrive with dignity and respect and all parents emerge from their baby's birth whole, cared-for, and prepared for the journey ahead. We advocate for trauma-informed education for all birth professionals to change the course of maternity care globally. We're glad you found us but we're so sorry you need us.