Healing Birth Trauma with TFT

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by Pia Cowley, RN, RM, TFT-Adv & Lianne Schwartz, RM, TFT-Adv

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this…”

Current research in the US and Australia has found that around 1:3 women experience at least one symptom of trauma following birth, with around 1.5-6% developing full blown post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Con- sidering the numbers of women giving birth every day, the potential for trauma is vast.

Birth trauma, in this context, refers to symptoms of PTSD rather than physical trauma to woman or infant from the process of birth (though these may play their own part in the traumatic experience). Birth trauma is frequently misdiagnosed, and mistreated, as postnatal depression.

Birth trauma has countless ongoing negative effects: disruption to the parent-infant bond, reduced rates of breast- feeding (and the long term health implications of this), depression in partners, higher rates of divorce, higher rates of subsequent infertility in woman, and reduced emotional adjustment and cognitive/neurological development in children. One woman describes her journey after birth:

I knew something wasn’t right…everyone seemed to be ignoring the trauma of my birth. Inside my head I was screaming, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME?? AM I OK?? AM I OK???.” And outside my head, I was waiting for someone, anyone, to acknowledge what a horrific thing I’d just been through. Continue reading “Healing Birth Trauma with TFT”