"Birth does matter. It is the door to our journey to parenthood. How we feel about our birth colours our entire parenting experience." - Dr. Emma Svanberg
A couple months ago I took an online class led by Aviva Romm about birth trauma. As a person with personal experience with birth trauma, I think continuously processing my own feelings about birth is key to being a good doula. I also think that supporting birthing people with prior experiences of trauma requires special attention to the causes of birth trauma, the effects, and how a birthing person can process their experiences and move forward. Each birth is incredibly unique, and the emotional labor we do to unpack it is a valuable tool for healing.
I'm working my way through this book, Why Birth Trauma Matters, by Dr. Emma Svanberg. Getting a fuller picture of how to identify trauma and how it's effects can shape the parenting journey of both partners is so important. So is identifying the typical circumstances that lead to birth trauma.
However, I'm struck by the observation, from various scientific studies across the board, that continuous birth support is correlated not only with better birth outcomes in terms of interventions, APGAR scores, and other physical health measures, but also with better emotional health outcomes.
Birthing people with compassionate support are significantly less likely to describe their birth as traumatic, regardless of what occurs during the birth. This is what drives me as a doula. Providing compassionate support, because birth matters.