- Survivors may have problems with things that are routine maternity care, that they might find it distressing and that these actions can bring back feelings related to their abuse. (Simpkin and Klaus, 31)
- How an individual in labor is treated by those that love her, and the professionals present "can make the difference between confirmation of her self worth and retraumatization." (Simpkin and Klaus, 34)
- Survivors may equate being abused with feelings of helplessness and loss of control, and therefore having control of a situation is a priority for many. (Simpkin and Klaus, 75)
What does PTSD after birth look like? "Key symptoms of PTSD include insomnia, irritability and angry outbursts, panic attacks, nightmares about the birth, a desire to avoid the baby or anything relating to the birth, feelings of detachment from loved ones, and a sense that some other disaster is imminent." How do you think that affects the postpartum period?
We need to do better. We need to provide maternity care that doesn't retraumatize the survivor again and again and again. We need compassionate care for pregnant and laboring women, regardless of their circumstances, in which their autonomy is valued and respected. We should not require women to justify their choices.
Carol Meadows is a certified Birth Boot Camp Instructor. She lives on Colorado's beautiful front range, and teaches classes in the Colorado Springs/Pueblo area. Carol has been passionate about labor and birth since 2008, when she birthed her first daughter. Her knowledge and passion for birth has grown throughout the years. She penned this blog post as part of her ongoing effort to improve birth for everyone. She can be found at Meadow Mama Birth and on Facebook.