Today we’re talking about birth trauma. How to prevent it, and also work through it early on.
This post is inspired by my post on preventing a poor birth experience.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. If you’re looking to get prepared this class can work for you in just 2-3 hours (but also tons of other information if you want to stay longer on specific topics). Get prepared today!
Preventing Birth Trauma
In this episode we talk about:
Taking a birth class >> I recommend this one.
Ask questions! Use your white board to stack them!
Keep positive interactions with your birth team!
Obtaining informed consent with anything you have questions about.
Don’t over-read outlier information about things on the internet.
Asking providers and staff about any issues during delivery
Focusing on the positive, using affirmations
Other things that might interest you:
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys, welcome back to the pulling curls podcast! today on episode 60. We are talking about something that has really become kind of like a trigger word or conversation lately is honestly something that I had not really thought of in much in my practice, at least definitely not in the terms that people are using. Today we’re going to talk about birth trauma, we’re going to talk about eight ways to prevent birth trauma, they are easy things that you can be doing now so that you can have positive feelings for your birth afterwards and you aren’t left traumatized. So let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the pulling curls podcast. I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family and I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled just like my hair.
Okay, guys, before we get started, I would love it if you would subscribe. Sometimes people read this or listen to this podcast on my blog, but then they don’t subscribe and you won’t get notified of new episodes. And I can’t imagine how sad that would be. I mean, that’s traumatic. Just kidding. Please subscribe. Okay, birth trauma has become kind of a real conversation lately. And honestly, I had never really heard about it. I would think in my back of my mind, man, this must be really hard for this lady later on, because of things that would happen. But it’s really kind of something that I’ve just really started to think about my practice and in my patients and in my students in my prenatal class, I want to vow that I have 100% seen things that should be traumatic and labor and delivery.
They are rare, but there are times that probably you could use some counseling after what ends up happening, and that’s fair, but I wanted today to talk about ways to prevent birth trauma, it cannot all be prevented. That is that is totally true. But I think there are some things that you can do in advance to help prevent it. This episode of the poll curls podcast is sponsored by the online prenatal class. for couples. It simplifies understanding labor so you can have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth taught by a highly experienced labor and delivery nurse and can be done wherever you are whenever you want. No more arranging busy schedules to fit in a prenatal class save 15%. With the coupon code untangled, you can find out more at pulling curls calm in the menu under courses, or in this episode show notes.
So first one, of course, is to take a prenatal class, I have to say that the hospital itself can all seem very traumatic if you have no idea what’s going on. And sometimes when you go to the hospital, you can’t prepare but labor and delivery is not one of those things. And so I really recommend taking a class you don’t want to take mine take one I know a lot of hospitals have free classes and you know, they might be worth what you paid for.
But I think that taking a class can really help you just kind of know what’s going on and know that that was normal versus being like what just happened you know, or every time the nurse comes in, you’re you have that inside and that’s is not a good feeling. It’s much better to be like, okay, she’s going to do this. Yeah, Hillary mentioned that, oh, my instructor mentioned this.
So I think it’s really good to get prepared because it can really help you just know what to expect. I always say it’s like riding a roller coaster in the dark when you don’t have a prenatal class. It is a little bit of a roller coaster either way because stuff happens ups and downs but riding it in the dark and you know, just scared that you’re gonna fall off the rails all the time isn’t very fun.
So although I do love Space Mountain solar stuff, so the second thing is to ask questions, and honestly ask as many as you have now, I would not ring your call light every time you have a question because your nurse will probably get annoyed with that most hospital rooms have a whiteboard, and I don’t mind if people put questions on that whiteboard and then just ask him to me as I come in the room nurses gonna be in the room pretty frequently and you can just ask him then some people like to make just like a note thing on their phone. All of that is totally normal.
Most of the time when I’m in there I go, do you guys have any questions and people go No. And I really do want to ask the questions. I’m not just be like, Hey, how are you? Good. Okay, I know I really want to know if you have any questions because I do well. Want to answer them. So using your whiteboard to stack any questions you have can be awesome. Number three is to foster positive interactions with your birth team. That means your doctor or midwife and your nurse, they don’t want to be met with like your overly aggressive opinions all the time.
And that can be difficult to have a positive relationship. So just be careful about putting like the knowledge that you got on the internet above the providers knowledge and you know, weighing each thing and being open to the knowledge that they have as well. Number four is to ask for informed consent on anything that you are questioning. We’ve talked about informed consent a bunch of times on this podcast, their informed consent involves three things telling you the risks, the benefits and the alternatives.
So your doctor if there’s anything that you’re questioning, should be able to tell you all those things, even like a vaginal exam or an IV, they should be able to tell you the risks of the IV, the benefits of the IV and any alternatives that you have. So you know, it’s kind of up to you as far as what you want for informed consent. A lot of people don’t really want that for the IV.
They’re just fine with the IV because they know they want an epidural or they’re getting induced, and so they would have to have an for either of those things anyway but anytime you’re like no can I learn a little bit more about this? I think people are happy to talk about it and national exams IVs people should be willing to talk to you about it. I usually just say Do you have any questions about this I’m going to put an IV in to give you extra fluids you know, I don’t go through number one the risks are the benefits are for an IV but if you want to know am I 100% would number five is too and it kind of goes along with number three is to not fill your head with like outlying pregnancy information.
I’ve had some patients who come in, let’s say pitocin is of the devil they don’t ever want it. That would be considered outlying pregnancy information because pitocin is given to most women after they have the baby. It helps your uterus clamp back down so that you don’t bleed but everyone smile on the internet. I see people just saying what a hateful, horrible medication it is, but I’ve seen it save women’s lives. So I don’t think it’s that horrible or hateful. Again, just ask the questions that you have be as positive as you can with your birth team.
We want to answer those types of questions but don’t come at us in an aggressive way acting like we’re trying to hurt you when in reality, we really are trying to help you Number six is to stay flexible about your birth plan and what you hope your birth will be like some birth classes, my biggest problem with them is that they make you feel guilty if you don’t have the birth that those birth teachers felt like you should have had. So if you get an epidural, you know, they’re kind of ashamed of you. Or if you have a C section, there’s some shame involved with that. And if you want to listen to a great podcast on shame, go ahead and check out my BFF Rene Brown, but you know, you’re gonna have the birth that you’re going to have and just having an epidural or a C section isn’t something you should be ashamed of everyone’s birth is different, you know, if you have a 50 hour elective or induction that’s really different than I got to the hospital and 20 minutes later the baby was born, you can’t compare those types of experiences so you need to be flexible about the birth that you’re going to have and you know, try and keep an open mind and big picture about what to expect.
Okay, so after you have your baby, if you have any questions, be sure and ask your labor now. Now that can be difficult because you know you’re having that skin to skin time and it’s really so important and what a wonderful time but if you think of something as your labor nurse then and if you are Can’t think while you’re in, you know that skin to skin time because normally in most hospitals they move you from labor and delivery to a couple of care mother baby type situation, you could ask for a labor nurse up there just be like I you know, I had a few questions about kind of what happened and I would love to talk if either my nurses there or another nurse because most of us can, you know, say what normally happens and the other thing you can do is your doctor will at least visit you one or two times before you go home.
And that would be a great thing to bring up with them. You know, I was wondering why I ended up with an episiotomy if you could just tell me what ended up happening. It would just kind of put my mind at rest again, not accusation all not why did you cut it easy on me? You know, I’m just wondering why. And then your doctor can say, you know, the baby’s heart rate was coming down and I just didn’t feel like it was safe to have you push much longer and an episiotomy sped up the birth and then at least you would know, again, not being overly aggressive or like I’m gonna sue you for this just asking the questions because then you don’t have to think about it because I think a lot of what happens with birth trauma from what I hear is that women go home and they start to build things up in their brain about how their doctor didn’t like them and that’s why they cut into Atomy when really, you know, they were just trying to make the best medical choice that they could have.
Number eight is if you have questions when you go home, but I’m in your phone and ask your ob at your next appointment, and they can follow up with you there. Those are kind of the last touch points because honestly, you know, if you get too much further out than your six week visit, your doctor probably isn’t gonna remember too much about your delivery, they can check and see what their notes are. But if you have questions, try and ask them early on like a year later, because we see a lot of deliveries.
And while I’m not like saying that you should stuff your feelings inside, a lot of things can be helped by focusing on the positive things you you know are alive, you have a great baby, your partner was super supportive all those things if you can focus on the positive things versus the things that you feel like didn’t turn out right can really help you kind of move past any negative feelings that you have about what happened in the delivery room.
And one of the things I like to do is to use the phrase, this is how it was always meant to be and remembering like in this case that the perfect birth that you needed was the one that you had, and that was the birth You were always meant to have. You don’t want to go back in time and try and relive What you could have done differently in order to change the outcome. And a lot of times, that just kind of settles my mind for me, you know, I, it turned out how it was always supposed to be.
And that really helps me. And I’m also a big fan of positive affirmations, saying things like I will have a great delivery my providers care a great deal about me and they always have my best interests at heart. I think doing things like that can lead to a positive birth experience. It sounds 100% hokey, and I did not used to be into positive affirmations at all. But you know, there’s no reason to stress out about labor because stressing out isn’t going to make labor any more positive. But there is a reason to be excited and joyous about your upcoming delivery day.
And by doing positive affirmations, it really just sets a positive vibe. And I do believe that the universe gives us what we focus on. So by focusing on positive things instead of this is what I want to have happen. You know, a lot of times you’re saying I don’t want a C section, I don’t want a C section when all you’ve done is focus on a C section. That’s what you end up having. So I am a big believer in positive affirmations I’m feeling positive towards things. So I hope you You enjoy this episode, you know, you might not have birth trauma, but you might have questions about what happened to birth or things like that. Just definitely ask them.
Don’t ever be afraid that we’re gonna think you’re crazy because I promise we have had weirder things ask that we just answer and we move on. Yes, we might giggle at them a little bit inside, but if it makes you feel better, then I’m 100% happy to answer whatever you have to ask. Don’t be scared that we’re gonna think you’re crazy.
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.