Did you experience birth trauma or a disappointing birth?

If you experienced or witnessed a difficult, traumatic or disappointing childbirth (birth trauma), you may need a birth story session.

 Why Birth Story Listening?

  • You are hearing the message ‘healthy baby is what matters’ and it doesn’t feel right
  • You are feeling triggered by social media posts about birth, other people’s births, or other memories of your own birth
  • You birth was physically and emotionally overwhelming, it has been difficult to process
  • You are experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety
  • You experience jealousy or anger when hearing birth stories
  • You have difficulty telling parts of your story
  • Your baby had a NICU stay
  • You had pre-eclampsia, prolapsed cord, pre-term labor or other medical concerns
  • Telling your story in a social setting has been a negative or discounting experience
  • You want someone to listen to help you process this important birth trauma story
  • There were unexpected/unwanted medical interventions
  • You are preparing for a second birth and are still struggling with experiences from your first birth
  • You feel disappointed/traumatized about your birth experience
  • You had a transfer from a home birth to a hospital birth
  • The pain and intensity of birth was overwhelming and unexpected
  • You are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • You were present at a birth and this experience is difficult for you in any way

Birth story listening is a way to change the culture of the way we tell birth stories and the way we listen to birth stories… without judgement, without comparisons and with total compassion for the journey. When this happens, a shift in the way we view birth happens. A shift that does not vilify a medical system, person or place blame on self… but a shift that allows the person who is struggling to move forward into a new view of themselves as a mother, father or birth professional. A shift that allows people to notice things about the birth that helps move forward in to new territory of healing. “After a birth, parents may initially feel grateful and accept what happened. However, weeks, months or even years later, they may find that doubts and negative feelings erupt. They may try to talk about it, to sort it out, but often can’t find a sympathetic ear. Or they may find someone to commiserate with, but shared anger and helplessness don’t heal the emotional trauma.

(taken from Birth Story Medicine, August 2, 2013).


Information on Trama Counselling:

“Why do people suffer from PTSD?”

  • The brain is not able to process the trauma memory in the same way that it would with normal memories. “In a frightening situation, the body floods with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which disrupt the function of the hippocampus, a part of our brain responsible for memory processing and consolidation.” It then becomes a trauma memory, which has different qualities than other memories. It is not a fully processed memory and so our brain gets ‘tricked’ into thinking the same situation is happening again when we get triggered by things like social media, seeing the hospital, the one year birthday, someone else’s birth story, or other reminders.  This is a trauma memory and there are ways in therapy to integrate it into our memory so it becomes a more adaptive and less triggering memory (Taken from Birth Trauma (book), by Kim Thomas).
  • It is based on Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Solution Focused Therapy and Birthing From Within teachings
  • It is a way to bring new meaning and/or healing to what you experienced
  • We may use talk therapy or EMDR therapy in our work, so you can move through something you feel stuck on, or avoid thinking about because it is too painful
  • A different way to tell your story than you have told it in the past
  • Reframes the birth experience

All birth trauma services are available in-person.  For more information, contact Shannon Kane at birthnarratives@shaw.ca or 403-880-2367