Birth trauma can be physical, emotional or psychological. It can range from obvious physical trauma to misuse of medications.
The more recognized type of trauma is physical birth trauma.
➡️An example of physical trauma that is not as obvious can occur during labor with manual manipulation of the baby’s presenting part. This can be attempted if baby’s head is facing up during labor and the provider manually turns the baby for easier delivery. Without an epidural, this can be quite painful and feel traumatic. Other examples of physical birth trauma are hours and hours of pushing, a perineal laceration and/or an expected or unexpected c-section.
Physiological and emotional traumas are less recognized but should be considered to help mom recover.
➡️Physiological trauma can occur if pain control is poorly managed, mom doesn’t feel acknowledged or she is worried about the unknowns.
➡️A common example of emotional trauma occurs when mom and baby are separated after birth. A 2009 study showed a decrease in moms maternal sensitivity and a decrease in baby’s self-regulation when baby was not allowed to be skin to skin after delivery. The study also concluded that “skin to skin contact 25-120 minutes after birth positively influenced mother-infant interaction 1 year later” compared to those with who were denied the time.

‼️A cesarean section is not a valid excuse for delaying skin to skin.