Saturday, 11 August 2012

Natural Births A Major Cause Of Post-Traumatic Stress? Wrong!

A Tel Aviv University researcher has linked natural birth with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Natural Births A Major Cause Of Post-Traumatic Stress

Interestingly, some people consider that PTSD is a very modern trauma

According to the Tel Aviv study, 1 in 3 postnatal women in their study sample showed signs of PTSD while a small percentage were severely affected.

What causes PTSD?  A posting on medical news today in 2009 states that PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event and that:

"The sufferer of PTSD may have experienced or seen an event that caused extreme fear, shock and/or a feeling of helplessness".

"a woman is four times more likely to develop PTSD than a man. Psychiatrists say this is probably because women run a higher risk of experiencing interpersonal violence, such as sexual violence"
Traumatic events that commonly trigger PTSD in women - these include rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon, childhood physical abuse.

Given that labour and birth are innately highly emotional, vulnerable times for women - and that is to enable the liberation of the 'love hormone' oxytocin - the emotional 'fixative' for attachment, bonding and breastfeeding - the feeling is a natural 'high' - the reward for labour and birth;  care needs to be respectful, supportive, kind and competent for labour to go well.  Women need to feel in control, to have agency and feel safe during labour and birth.   Numerous studies have found that women labour and birth well when they have caregivers they know and trust.

Women who have their emotional needs met in labour and birth enter motherhood feeling awesome!

Feeling good after giving birth is not about whether it was natural or not, it is not about whether you coped with the pain or not, although labour is much harder to handle when you are not in a good environment or in control of what's happening to you - it's about how you are treated, how well supported you are, how protected and private your birth territory is and how well you feel in control of what's done to you.

I think the good doctors need to investigate what is going on in their hospitals! They are 'barking up the wrong tree'.

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