Is It Possible To Prevent Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder

Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is real.

As most of us assume childbirth should not be a traumatic experience, instead it should be an amazing experience. Childbirth allows you to bring another life into this world, but does oh so much more. Being a mother of five children myself, I am at a loss of words as to just how amazing the experience is. For me once my children were born I instantly felt this strong bond, I knew I would do anything I could to protect them, and I loved them unconditionally the moment they were born. I knew nothing or none could ever affect my love for them.

However, not all women are able to have what most mothers consider to be an amazing experience. According to a study done in 2008, by Cheryl Beck, Professor of Nursing, around 34% of women suffer from trauma during the childbirth process. This type of trauma can be anything that causes a serious threat or harm to either mom or baby during childbirth, which can include psychological distress or something physical like a hemorrhage. Some women are so severely traumatized that they cannot even look at their newborn baby, let alone take proper care of them.

Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most under diagnosed mental illnesses that mother’s face for a variety of reasons. However, despite it being under diagnosed there are some things that moms to be can do to help prevent it from happening to them.

Number One: Educate Yourself
One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself about what is supposed to happen during childbirth. You as a patient have many options to consider during childbirth, such as whether or not you want pain management, different breathing exercises, various childbirth positions, as well as how to handle any emergencies that arise during labor and delivery. By educating yourself about all of your options you can talk with your doctor ahead of time about how you want things handled; you can even talk to your labor coach just in case somebody needs to speak for you. Fearing childbirth can increase the chances of trauma occurring.

Number Two: Be Aware Of What Is Happening
During labor and delivery you need to be aware of everything that is happening to both you and your newborn baby. Hospital staff, including your doctor, should be informing you of everything that is going on, as well as any risks associated with the procedures. You also have the right to deny any procedure that is being done, such as refusing to have labor induced. If you have questions, about what is being done or what is being suggested keep asking questions until you are satisfied with the answers. The worst thing that you can do is to just let things happen; it is your labor, your body and your baby, so it is up to you to speak up!

Number Three: Have Support
Sure, this is your childbirth experience, but you do not have to do it alone. One of the best forms of support is your significant other, but other family members can also offer support. Not only can these people help support you through this amazing experience, they can also help you out at home so as to help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Having the support of the hospital staff and your doctor is also important, as they play a large role in your birthing decision. You want a staff and doctor who will support the decision that you made in regards to your birthing experience, you don’t want somebody that is going to try to override you.

Now while these steps can help prevent postpartum traumatic stress disorder there is still no guarantee. Once you have given birth to your child it is important to talk to somebody you trust about how you feel about everything. This is important because if there are signs of trauma, whether it is physical or emotionally, you can start with counseling before you even leave the hospital.

Image Source

Speak Your Mind