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It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This: Traumatic Birth, Traumatic Stress, and Breastfeeding

by Cynthia Good, MS, LMHCA, IBCLC, CATSM
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 0.75 CERP, 0.75 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: Yes
  • Origin: GOLD Lactation

Up to one third of mothers report experiencing birth trauma and postpartum symptoms of traumatic stress. Birth is traumatic when mothers experience or perceive a threat to life, serious injury, or threat to physical integrity (for themselves or their baby) or experience the death of their baby. Pre-existing risk factors and birth-related risk factors for traumatic birth are staggeringly common. Childbirth trauma and postpartum traumatic stress negatively impacts mothers and their babies, and can result in the undermining of breastfeeding, additional grief over the loss of breastfeeding, and increased health risks for mother and baby. This session offers a sensitive discussion of how traumatic birth experiences affect maternal mental health, mothering, breastfeeding, and lactation consulting. It includes the importance of recognizing the difference between postpartum depression and postpartum stress disorders in new mothers, screening mothers for traumatic stress, and referring potentially traumatized mothers for diagnosis and possible treatment.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: List four types of racism.
Objective 2: Explain why learning how to recognize and undo racism is a fundamental part of developing cultural competence for lactation specialists.
Objective 3:List 3 examples of institutional racism in the field of breastfeeding support.
Objective 4: Describe 3 steps that white lactation specialists can take to help reduce institutional racism in breastfeeding support.

Categories: Trauma & Breastfeeding,