Feeling like a bad parent? It could stem from birth trauma

by Mar 22, 2019Baby

Being a bad parent is a bit of a social media joke. Blogs and memes abound with stories of giving our kids chips, depending on the netflix babysitter and being inconsistent with our reward charts.

We joke about it to normalise it. Perfect parents don’t exist. We all know that.

But sometimes the feelings around our own parenting feel far from a joke. Sometimes these feelings can disrupt our connection with our children and affect our daily lives.

As a new parent I felt overwhelmed. I struggled to bond with my baby. I avoided talking about birth with jealousy of others’ stories. I got angry with my kids when they were just doing normal kid stuff.

I worried I was a bad parent. I worried that I wasn’t good enough. I worried that I could finish my list and actually enjoy being a parent.

I felt depressed, anxious and alone.

And then one day I learned about birth trauma.

I recognised every single symptom as something I was experiencing. I realised that for all these years I wasn’t a bad parent after all but was suffering from effects of trauma from my long and difficult birth.

I had never connected my birth with my feelings as a bad parent. I never thought I carried that trauma with me still. Yet when I looked at ways trauma manifests itself, I knew it was still affecting me as a parent and also as a person.

And then I started seeing my life in colour again. I realised I wasn’t living the life of a bad parent, but a traumatised one.

I knew that day that I was going to be OK. I knew that day that there was something I could do to be a better parent: heal from that birth.

Trauma can stem from many things but the UK Birth Trauma Association suggest that as many as 30,000 mothers annually experience birth trauma.

Effects of trauma can be immediate or lie dormant for months or even years. Birth trauma can affect both women and men (and in some cases even the baby).

Identifying the source of the trauma is not always obvious and two people can experience the same birth in profoundly different ways.

The first step in recovery from trauma is to recognise some of the symptoms:

  • Reliving the birth, possibly as flashbacks
  • Avoiding talking or thinking about birth
  • Angry outbursts
  • Insomnia
  • High levels of worry, anxiety and stress, perhaps having panic attacks
  • Feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks
  • Feeling a lack of connection or bonding with your kids
  • Resentment and jealousy of other parents
  • Depression

If you recognise symptoms of trauma in yourself perhaps it is time to start walking along the road to recovery and back to a normal life.

The Rewind Birth Recovery Technique is a quick and effective treatment of PTSD first used with war veterans. It can be done in 1-3 sessions and you don’t even need to talk about the trauma or relive it, or even be in the same room as the practitioner.

It transformed my life from being a worried and anxious parent to one able to let go of the trauma of my birth. It was a game-changer for me, and it will be a game-changer for you.


Birth Trauma Recovery

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Find relief from anxiety and pain from a difficult or traumatic birth without having to relive it. Instant change in just 3 sessions. Online & face-to-face.

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Eleanor Hayes

Antenatal educator, yoga instructor, coach and author

I founded Birthzang after having an incredible birth experience that enlightened me that with the right tools and skills at her fingertips, any woman can have a positive birth experience.

I discovered my passion for providing parents with practical and non-fluffy information in my online antenatal workshops and classes about how to cope with pregnancy, labour, birth, and parenthood.

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