Birth does its own thing, and often it’s harder than expected, even for birthing people whose experience matched their birth plan. Is there a way to prevent emotional birth trauma? How about heal birth trauma? Pam England from Birthing From Within tells us more.
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What we talked about:
- The importance of acknowledging emotional birth trauma
- Choose your listener carefully
- Creating emotional healing after a difficult birth
- The nine phases of a birth story, as it goes through healing
- Going beyond the medical story: finding your own meaning
- Is the sharing of birth stories helpful?
- How to listen to a birth story
- Why healing your story can take years
- Do you carry your story in your body as well?
- Healing is not just for traumatic births
- Ways to prevent or reduce birth trauma
- Are birth plans useless?
- Questioning what you really need as you prepare for birth
- Letting go of expectations
- The importance of compassionate birth education
- Embracing discomfort and uncertainty
Helpful resources & links*:
- Read Pam’s blog posts on the Nine Birth Healing Journey Gates, starting with the first gate.
- Birth Trauma: Definition and Statistics from pattch.org
- 10 Ways to Heal From Birth Trauma, from Mom365.com
- Mama Matters Too: On Healing From A Traumatic Birth, from Natural Parent
- Birthtellers: Healing Birth through Conscious Storytelling, from Midwifery Today
- Pam’s Birth Story Medicine®
- Mother May I? documentary Kickstarter
- Birthing from Within, by Pam England
- Ancient Map for Modern Birth: Preparation, Passage, and Personal Growth for Your Childbearing Year, by Pam England
Related Birthful episodes:
- Informed Consent, with Cristen Pascucci
- Birth Trauma Myths, with Bianca Sprague and Natasha Marchand
- Birth Trauma, with Jodi Hall
- Childbirth PTSD, with Cheryl Tatano Beck
- Postpartum Depression, with Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
About Pam England
Pam received her nurse-midwifery education from the Frontier School of Family Nursing and Midwifery in Hyden, Kentucky, and was certified by the American College of Nurse Midwifery (1979). She practiced midwifery for 16 years in hospital, birth center, and home birth settings. She also has a master’s in psychology-counseling with an emphasis on birth-related psychology, from Antioch University (1986). Inspired by her own birth experiences, Pam developed Birthing From Within, which is an innovative, holistic approach to childbirth and postpartum preparation.
She is also the author of the book, Birthing from Within written in 1998, and the more recent Ancient Map for Modern Birth: Preparation, Passage, and Personal Growth for Your Childbearing Year.
Presently she is teaching courses on birth as a heroic journey, the healing power of telling Great Stories, and her Birth Story Medicine® process.
Pam is the mother of two grown sons, one born via Cesarean birth, and the other at home. Each birth experience gave her insight, humility, compassion, and a holistic perspective of birth in our culture. Pam lives, paints, teaches, writes, hikes, in New Mexico. Learn more at Pam’s personal page: sevengatesmedia.com, her personal blog (Birth Peeps with Pam England), the BirthingFromWithin.com page or follow the conversation on Facebook.
Title music: “Vibe Ace” by Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).
Sponsorship music: “Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).
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