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You’ve just given birth to the child you’ve been carrying for nine months. For nine months you have watched the fetus grow. For nine months you have done everything possible to protect that fetus and ensure that when it is born, it is born a happy, healthy baby. For nine months you have cooed to your stomach, rubbed it, loved it, played music for it, fed it what it wants, and told it how much love you have to give. You have waited excitedly for this moment, this moment when your child is finally born. After months of waiting, the moment arises.

Most women will experience a perfectly normal childbirth with little to no complication and the result of a happy, healthy, functioning child. Some women will experience complications that are mild but no less worrisome. Other women will endure trauma regarding the brith of their child, giving brith prematurely, experiencing complications, or possibly watching their child fight through infant NICU. Interestingly, not one of these women are necessarily more likely to develop a lesser known type of PTSD, postpartum PTSD.

Women who have normal, uncomplicated birth experiences can develop postpartum PTSD because the experience of childbirth itself is somewhat traumatic. Trauma can be defined as any life event, like childbirth, which create a negative impact on one’s life by changing the way one sees themselves and the world around them. Childbirth is an instantaneous change of reality. In one moment, from the child breaching to the child crying and breathing, a mother goes from carrying a child to birthing a child. She is no longer pregnant, she is now the mother of a live, functioning baby. Before she can even hold her own creation, a nurse whisks the crying baby away for cleaning. Suddenly, the new mother feels overwhelmed with confusion and sadness. Of course, she should be celebrating the life of her child. Yet the abrupt change from pregnancy to brith leaves her feeling, quite literally, empty. She is exhausted, fatigued, and has possibly witnessed a tremendous amount of blood. Childbirth is traumatizing. Add in complications and the possible risk of losing a child’s life and the impact can be severe.

According to Kid Spot, “Studies indicate that approximately 9% of women experience postpartum PTSD following childbirth.” Babies who are admitted to NICU for extended periods of time have parents at a higher risk of PTSD, the website reports.

Months into a child’s life a mother may be reliving the moment of their birth as if it were trauma, having flashbacks, nightmares, and psychosomatic symptoms like sweating. Regardless of whether or not the birth was complicated, a mother has been negatively impacted by the experience.

In our next blog, we will discuss the three primary symptoms of postpartum PTSD and how to look for them.

The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues like anxiety. Everyone has a story. If you are living with unmanageable anxiety as a result of trauma it is critical for you to know, you are not alone. Help is available. You can and you will recover. Call us today for information on our custom plans of treatment and our private luxury care: 1-855-483-7800