Piggybacking off of my last blog post “Mother May I?” – An Important Documentary About Childbirth Trauma 2 days ago, I wanted to make folks aware about a childbirth-trauma-related event that I spotted on my Facebook feed today.
The Lisa Mary Reilly Visioning Educational Series hosts an annual event in collaboration with the Postpartum Resource Center of New York. Last year, I attended the event that took place in Manhattan and featured Jane Honikman, founder of Postpartum Support International.
This year’s event will be co-hosted by The Rochester Postpartum Wellness Coalition and will take place on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 11:00 am-2:00 pm, at the Rochester Academy of Medicine, Rochester, NY. The guest speaker of this event will be Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN. She a Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Dr. Beck serves on the editorial boards of 4 journals and has published over 150 scientific articles as well as 4 books. The title of her presentation is Traumatic Childbirth: The Ever Widening Ripple Effect. Click here to find out more about the event and to buy tickets, which are $50 each and includes lunch.
My wish is for every medical professional that treats mothers–from OB/GYN doctors and their staff to maternity ward staff, emergency room staff, midwives, doulas, and family doctors/general practitioners, as well as mental healthcare practitioners–were required to take this kind of training regardless of where they are located. This means this kind of training should be replicated and hosted in every major city in every state. Until then, we are going to continue to have medical/mental healthcare professionals fail to realize the connection between traumatic childbirth and postpartum mood disorders.
We need to emphasize the importance of care for mothers just as much as people emphasize the importance of care for babies. As I’ve said before, it just seems so obvious that, once a mother gives birth to a baby, all the attention goes to the baby and its care and the mother falls by the wayside. Hello, she just carried a child for 9 months and had to give birth! Her body goes through extreme physical changes, including hormonal upheaval. Any complications that occur during childbirth can increase the chance of a postpartum mood disorder to occur. The ONLY view that matters on how a childbirth went should be is the new mother’s view on her childbirth experience. If she feels like it was a God-awful experience, we need to respect, acknowledge and try to understand her feelings. We should never pooh pooh her experience. We should never assume her feelings are what you think they ought to be. A new mother’s experience is her experience, period.
Let’s care more about how a mother views her childbirth experiences.
Let’s care about the kind of care she receives during childbirth.
Let’s care about how she envisions her childbirth to go.
Let’s care about how she feels about breastfeeding.
Let’s care about how anxious she feels about taking care of the baby.
Let’s care about her enough that when she seems to not be herself, we get her the help she needs.
Let’s care enough to realize that about 20% of new mothers experience a postpartum mood disorder that usually starts within the first 4-6 weeks postpartum but can happen up to a year and may be triggered by weaning.
Let’s care about her feelings, bottom line.