It’s the kind of thing you expect soldiers to return from war with. In the olden days, I think people would just say “Oh, you know Uncle Bill~ He’s never been the same since the war...” but now we have a name for it, and no one is really all that surprised when troops return from a combat zone suffering from it.
What we don’t usually expect is for women to return home from the hospital after giving birth suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Stretch marks, sure. But PTSD? What the heck?
This is the time when she’s supposed to feel all glowing and happy and in love with this new little person. Often it is that time, but sadly for many women it isn’t.
Apparently, June is PTSD awareness month, so before it’s over, I wanted to mention the topic since it’s one that unexpectedly affects a number mothers. For the families it touches, it’s a big time bummer deal.
PTSD is not the same as Baby Blues. Those are more of a hormonal let down that can cause weepiness, and mood swings and happen to most women in some degree. In some cases can be a precursor of a full blown depression, but in most cases, they blow over fairly quickly~ usually more quickly and easily when the mother has lots of support in place.
PTSD is it’s own ball of wax~ a reaction to a traumatic experience that involves flashbacks, nightmares, numbing reactions and social distress.
That’s just terribly sad when one of life’s most memorable moments turns into a trauma.
Having worked in the birthing field for nearly 15 years, I’ve seen a lot of births firsthand and heard a countless number of birth stories. I went into the business wanting to help women have magical and empowering experiences, and have been amazed in both good and bad ways since then.
Every once in a while, as you're mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook news feed, a photo shows up that does more than just make you smile- it makes you stop and think and sticks with you long after you turn off the screen.
This picture had that affect on me, and it's timing was simply perfect.
The beaming mother, adoring father and adorable new baby are all wonderful of course, but the process itself that got them there is beautiful as well . By beautiful, I don't mean easy or pain free or without serious effort. It doesn't even mean that it always seems natural or goes smoothly or exactly according to plans.
I do mean that something fabulous happens inside of that hard work~ to the person directly responsible, to the people who support her, and to those who are called to witness it.
As a Childbirth Educator for years, and former Breastfeeding Counselor and Doula, I've been surrounded by the process of birth for years, and because I've seen so much of it, I think I tend to see the magic and beauty in the process of birth more than most people.
Sure, many people think the the squishy baby you get after the work is done is cute (as long as they are cleaned up and free of goo) but the process of getting that baby into the world is often treated like a horrible and terrifying ordeal.
I wish people knew that it doesn't have to be that way.
In fact, it's a lot like the rest of life.
Every story may be different, but some things are consistent, and unfortunately, they are consistently forgotten. Here are just a few lessons birth can teach us about life.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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