Multiple people are often present at West Virginia births. The parents will be surrounded by two or more medical personnel, but they experience the event differently. Parents usually have little knowledge of medical interventions related to birth. Medical workers focus solely on physical factors with the birth of a healthy infant their primary concern. As a result, parents have little support for coping with the intense feelings associated with a traumatic birth. They feel isolated because nobody acknowledges their psychological damage.
Society views birth as beautiful
People celebrate the births of new children, and this translates into a widespread societal attitude that birth is wonderful. A healthy newborn represents success in most people’s eyes, but one or both parents may feel traumatized for various reasons, including:
- Little to no support for the psychological impact of becoming a parent
- Going through a medical emergency, like a C-section
- Lack of focus on a parent’s well-being post-partum
- Unanswered questions about decisions made by medical staff during delivery
Medical workers often must make quick decisions during a delivery. Occasionally, errors in judgment or medical emergencies result in birth injuries to either the newborn or mother. These outcomes leave lingering effects that can produce depression and anxiety.
Avoiding care after birth trauma
Birth trauma represents a unique type of trauma because the parent cannot escape reminders of the disturbing event. The baby is omnipresent in a parent’s life and can serve as a constant reminder what happened at the hospital.
Although parents cannot avoid their babies, some feel like they want to avoid other things that remind them of the trauma, such as the hospital or medical providers in general. A traumatized mother may skip post-partum checkups due to feeling stressed about seeing the obstetrician again.