What is birth trauma?

One of the services I offer is the rewind technique to help relieve symptoms of birth trauma.  When people see this they always ask “so what is birth trauma?”. Simply put, birth trauma is having negative feelings and emotions around your birth experience. Both men and women can suffer with birth trauma and trauma can come from any birth experience. Even a seemingly “good” birth experience can lead onto negative feeling afterwards, because they can be scary in their own way.

Birth trauma occurs when you feel scared and out of control during your birth, so this could be due to an emergency situation like a c section, but it could also be a very fast vaginal birth. The way you are treated and talked to can also have a big affect, so if something wasn’t explained very well to you, or someone raised their voice, you could experience birth trauma.

Everybody experiences everything differently, so two people may have similar births but feel very differently about then afterwards. This is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed about. I have spoken to many different women and men, some have been in very stressful situations and others have had a “normal” birth.

Everyone will feel differently following their birth but common symptoms of birth trauma are; flashbacks and nightmares, avoiding anything that reminds you about your birth, feeling jumpy and alert all the time and feeling low and generally unhappy.

If you are experiencing any feelings like these, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that lots of people feel similar to how you do. It doesn’t make you less of a mother, it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t make you a bad parent.  There are support groups such as PANDAS and the Birth Trauma Association who you can turn to for advice and support. There are also treatments such as the rewind technique which can be helpful to resolve some of the negative feelings, as well as some treatments which are available on the NHS.


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