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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Helping Birth Partners Struggling With Trauma

by Erin Bowe, PhD (Clin Psych)
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Handout: Yes

"Birth trauma impacts at least 1 in 3 birthing people, but who is often left out of the picture? The partners. Vicarious trauma in birthing partners is very real, and yet there is little to no acknowledgment let alone resources to help.

Witnessing birth trauma in one’s partner has the potential to: (1) create severe cognitive dissonance (“I know what happened to my partner was wrong, yet I did nothing to stop it”), (2) contribute to unresolved feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness and rage, and/or difficulties with bonding (3) contribute to heightened nervous system activity (e.g., oscillating between ‘fight’ mode and ‘freeze’ mode), and (4) contribute to unhelpful, negative birth storytelling culture which minimizes the role of partners.

On the contrary, partners who are well supported (emotionally, cognitively and socially) have phenomenal potential for growth. In this presentation, we will explore what it means to work with partners through the lens of posttraumatic growth. How to validate and educate about trauma in a way that allows partners to step into self-compassion. We will explore how to inspire partners to see their own potential for growth, leadership and even advocacy.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Describe the bystander effect and vicarious trauma AND how to validate and educate partners around these experiences

Objective 2: Explain the difference between posttraumatic growth and resilience AND use this to inspire birth partners in their own healing

Objective 3: List five practical coping strategies to use with yourself, birthing people, their partners (and anyone else you know!) to begin to manage trauma reactions

Categories: Trauma-Informed Care,
Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 6  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks