BIRTH TRAUMA THERAPY
Do You Feel Guilty Because You Have Painful Memories Of Your Child’s Birth?
Are you a new mother who had a difficult pregnancy or childbirth? Do you find yourself reliving traumatic moments of your delivery that interrupt the happiness of bonding with your newborn? When someone asks about your birth experience, do you feel bad or anxious because you can’t give them the fairytale they’re expecting?
Maybe your baby suffered perinatal trauma and had to go to the NICU, and you feel ashamed even though it wasn’t your fault. Or perhaps you’re so overwhelmed with nightmares, intrusive imagery, and negative feelings toward the birth of your baby that you push everyone away because you’re afraid they will judge you.
It Can Be Hard To Find Support When Your Pregnancy Doesn’t Go As Planned
You may feel like no one understands what you’re going through. Or perhaps you don’t want to take away from the happiness of your new baby’s arrival, so you stay quiet about the disappointment you experienced.
At Mindful Reflections, we understand just how traumatic pregnancy and childbirth can be. But it is possible to let go of the distressing memories that hold you back from being the mother you want to be. With our compassionate support and guidance, therapy can help you come to terms with the emotional trauma you experienced during your pregnancy and birth.
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Traumatic Births Happen More Often Than Many Realize
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a challenging process for both moms and their children. Birth trauma can be the result of many factors, including the mother’s health, infant’s health, how new moms are treated by hospital staff, and whether the mom or baby have complications post-birth.
One study found that 45 percent of new mothers surveyed reported experiencing a traumatic birth. For many women, an emotionally traumatic birth can have a profoundly negative impact on their feelings toward motherhood and even their newborn. During pregnancy, the focus is mainly on the mom-to-be. But once the baby is born, everyone’s focus shifts away from mom and what she’s going through—which can be especially hard for moms who need support after their traumatic birth experience.
Even Though Trauma During Pregnancy And Birth Is Common, It’s Rarely Talked About
In our society, we often hear about the joys of motherhood and excitement about the birth of new babies. Birth is seen as commonplace, something most women experience. It may seem like everyone has advice for new moms, but hardly anyone ever offers or is even capable of offering support for survivors of traumatic births.
It’s normal to want to give all your attention to your baby, but sometimes moms need help too. That’s why, at Mindful Reflections, we are here to help you process your birth trauma with therapy and support, so you can find your confidence in being a mom.
Therapy Can Help You Break Free From Your Birth Trauma
When a person is traumatized in any way, their body holds on to that experience, resulting in negative, intrusive thoughts, images, memories, and emotions. Therapy is about making sense of that pain and healing the trauma experienced during pregnancy or birth.
I will help you understand how the brain and the body work together and how trauma affects the way in which you interact with your child and the world in general. We will work together to help you reframe your negative experiences so you can focus on the joys of bonding with your new baby.
What To Expect In Birth Trauma Therapy Sessions
Counseling is a safe place to share all of your feelings about pregnancy and birth. You can share things with me that you might be reluctant to share with friends or family. You can also expect to receive unconditional support and hear an impartial perspective that friends and family may not be able to offer.
My focus isn’t just on helping you verbally process traumatic events. We will also look to the future and all the possibilities you see for yourself and your family. This includes exploring what life was like before your child’s birth, what you want your life to be like in the future, and how you can bring the things you love and enjoy into your life again.
My Approach Is Tailored To The Unique Needs Of Each Person
I use a holistic approach to healing. This means I don’t focus on one experience or one feeling; rather, I look at how different parts of you make up a complete and whole individual. I specialize in working with the brain and the body to shift neural networks in order to change how trauma affects you.
The primary tool I use, Brainspotting, is a method that connects the brain and body to help you identify and overcome trauma. It helps your body release distressing memories, so you can live without the fear, stress, pain, and guilt surrounding those experiences.
While Brainspotting is an amazing tool for managing trauma, it is not always easy for people to notice and identify their body sensations that are tied to that pain. So I will also work with you to understand how your body responds to challenging thoughts and emotions in order for you to heal on a deeper level than traditional talk therapy methods allow.
Once your brain and body release the trauma they’re holding on to, you can expect to feel more confident in your role as a mom and more open to bonding with your baby. With therapy, you can live a more fulfilled life without the trauma of your birth experience holding you back.
You May Still Have Concerns About Birth Trauma Therapy…
Will I have to relive the trauma to heal from it?
During sessions, we will reflect on the trauma—but not spend all our time there. Long-lasting healing isn’t just about verbally processing traumatic events. The aim of our sessions is to access the deeper parts of the brain that store the trauma and the emotions that are tied to it. The goal of therapy isn’t to dwell on the birth trauma you experienced, but to move through it and find joy in the future again.
I have talked to friends and family about what happened; isn't that enough?
It’s important to have a support group to help you through your birth trauma, and friends and family can play a big role. However, as a therapist, I specialize in birth trauma and understand the specific tips and tools to help you process out the trauma so you can live your best life. Through therapy, you get to share everything you’re going through without fear of being judged, and you will connect with someone who is devoted to you and your healing.
Will I be in therapy forever?
Every person is different, so I can’t say how many therapy sessions you might need. However, our job is to help you quickly process and release birth trauma so you don’t have to be in therapy forever. I want to work closely with you and develop an individualized plan so I can help you reach your goals in as little time as possible. That way, you can get back to living your life.
Letting Go Of Trauma Can Help You Find Your Confidence In Motherhood
If you’re ready to live a life free from the effects of birth trauma and be the best mom you can be, I invite you to schedule a free, 15-minute consultation.
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Shaina Feingold, LCSW
Shaina Feingold is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Perinatal Mental Health Specialist. She is certified in Brainspotting, Reiki I & 2 Practitioner, and founder of Mindful Reflections. She received her Masters in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles with a focus in trauma and chronic stress.
Shaina supports those who face obstacles on their motherhood journey. She aims to help women and birthing people see that they are not defined by the challenges they have endured, and that healing is possible.