I stumbled on this article, and ended up skimming through it because, as a person who’s given birth and is neither a woman nor mother, the standard dialogue about birth is something I have to be in the mood for. And, well, I wasn’t up for it even though I was interested in the information. While skimming I came across the term ‘traumatic birth’ and started paying attention, specifically she said this:
When I say “traumatic birth,” I’m not talking about medical complications. I’m talking largely about healthy women with realistic expectations who were treated disrespectfully or without compassion at that most vulnerable time: women who weren’t treated like the most important person in the room, as they gave birth to the most important thing in the world.
Ignoring the gendered language, this really struck a chord with me because it completely described what happened. There are also people who experience birth trauma due to medical complications, and I don’t think the author wants to discount that and I certainly wouldn’t, either, but often birth trauma can be from this.
I’ve seen a few people who’ve suffered homebirth trauma label it as “midwife trauma” rather than birth trauma, because the trauma was due to the midwife- not the birth. To some degree you can argue this is why we need stricter regulation on who can attend home births, but my trauma was due to a hospital trained CNM, and the OBGYN I’d been working with before likely would have been even worse. Meanwhile the relatively new midwife who also attended the birth, although she came later, was a godsend and the only reason I got through it.