Birth trauma used to mean a physical injury to the baby once it was born. Now it means the suffering of a woman after a traumatic experience. This might include emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, relational, or health-related consequences, including PTSD.
A good definition for trauma comes from neurologist Robert Scaer M.D.
"Trauma is an experience that is perceived to be a threat to life in the face of helplessness. And helplessness may, in fact, be the defining element that generates the neurophysiology of trauma itself.”
Throughout the developed world, prior to it going mad over a new coronavirus, about one third of women called their births traumatic. Many, many more had traumatic experiences during the draconian and nonsensical response to a declared pandemic. Women report horrific treatment, isolation, and threats during those years when welcoming their babies. The world has changed as a result and we now have a tsunami of brutalised women who are reeling and a generation that is suffering from lost relationships, income, worship, community, and social sanity. We have been changed and we know how easily governments, health agencies, and the medical industry can manipulate us, remove our human rights, and force us into damaging and lethal rituals.
Trauma is “in the eye of the beholder”, meaning that it is the one who experienced it that decides if it was traumatic. In this case, it is woman that determines if the experience was traumatic or not. In fact, events that may seem ordinary to everyone else, including the doctor, nurse, or midwife, might register as traumatic to the woman or her partner. However, research has been a tremendous benefit in that we now know what events are more likely to make the birth a traumatic one.
Sometimes birth becomes an emergency and requires necessary medical interventions. One might think that an emergency would be one of the greatest risks for a traumatic experience. However, it’s not. An emergency can be traumatic, but the greatest risk factor is not the emergency itself but rather how the woman was treated.
A birth becomes traumatic when women feel:
The strongest predictor of developing birth-related trauma is a problematic relationship and difficult interactions with care providers, in particular, a lack of support.
The good news is that there is healing for trauma. Great research also helps us to know how parents and practitioners can engage in healing strategies that really work.
You can review the references for the above information here.