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Trauma-Informed Providers Working Together To Help Heal Birth Trauma: Pelvic Floor Therapy and Mental Health Therapy

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How does trauma show up in the medical world? 

Trauma can mean many different things. It could be a deeply distressing event that changes the way you view the world, or a medical injury. For instance, what happens when your trauma fits both definitions? Likewise, what happens when the thought of seeing a medical provider in itself is distressing? In this blog, I will highlight how trauma-informed medical providers working together can help you on your journey to healing after a traumatic birth

To help us understand the impact of medical providers working together to heal trauma, we will look at this through the lens of a woman named Grace. Grace is a fictional character for the purpose of this blog.

Image of a new mother laying in bed with her baby. This image represents a mother after experiencing birth trauma. Let our birth trauma therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ help. | 07076

An example of a traumatic birth

Grace is a 32-year-old new mother. She had a healthy pregnancy and was overjoyed at the thought of becoming a mom. After hours of agonizing labor, it was decided that a C- section was best for her and her child. This unexpected C-section was very challenging for Grace, leaving her feeling defeated. Grace felt like her doctor wasn’t listening to her.

She felt that if she was given more time she could have had the vaginal delivery she envisioned. She replays thoughts and images of her delivery over and over again. Grace experiences flashbacks to her doctor prepping her for the surgery. She feels her scar never healed properly and it causes her pain and discomfort daily. This has made new motherhood more challenging, and her sex life painful and unenjoyable. Now, Grace struggles to reach out for help because she has a distrust in medical professionals.  

After a medical trauma, it can feel hard to trust any medical professionals moving forward. Finding trauma-informed providers who will listen and provide proper care is key. In this case, a mental health therapist and a pelvic floor therapist working together can help Grace find relief.

Birth trauma therapy can help

At our Scotch Plains, NJ-based therapy practice, our therapists are trauma-informed and trained in an array of evidence-based trauma treatments. These include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Treatments like these explore the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and focuses on challenging and changing distorted thoughts. These treatments can be paired with physical therapy services. When mental and physical healthcare providers work together, amazing results can take place.

Physical therapy after a traumatic birth

The Pelvic Floor Therapists of ProTouch Physical Therapy in New Jersey have advanced trauma-informed training. This training prepares the therapists to treat patients with physical trauma associated with birth trauma, and the mental trauma that usually follows. At Pro Touch, they understand that the mental state can impact the recovery of the physical state.  Patients can rest assured that there will be a deeper level of understanding and compassion that accommodates that treatment.

Pelvic Therapy treatment after a C-section may include scar tissue mobilization. This will keep the scar from adhering to the uterus and bladder post pregnancy to prevent difficulty conceiving in the future. However, after a C-section, pelvic floor therapy can help reverse issues that would make bearing another child more painful. 

“We first and foremost, are addressing the ‘physical trauma.’  If you are wondering how you can approach post C-section patients with a trauma-informed approach, it means the therapist must first recognize there is both physical and emotional trauma involved in C-sections.  Many times a patient feels like they “failed” at birth if they end up with a c-section. We should be open to allowing our patient to speak about their experiences. We should refer to mental health practitioners if we feel the patient is struggling with feelings that are outside our scope of practice to treat.”  — Lauren Scully, PT, DPT, PRPC 

Why should birth trauma providers communicate?

Person sitting with hands together. This image depicts what a mother in birth trauma therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ may look like. Work with a trauma therapist to heal from birth trauma. | 07076

In this case, Grace may have trouble communicating with medical providers due to her trauma. With consent, your mental health therapist can speak with your other medical providers. They can share your concerns, treatment goals, and triggers. For example, due to the traumatic images Grace recalls of being prepped for surgery, being touched or held down is triggering for her. Then, Grace’s therapist can share this information with her pelvic floor therapist so that they can tailor their approach to support her specific triggers.

They can communicate when and how they will touch her body. They can refrain from touching certain parts of her body that might be triggering for her.  Providers working together can alleviate stress on the client and help improve their positive outcomes. 

Caring for both your mind and body is important as you navigate the adjustment to motherhood. If you are struggling after a birth experience, reach out to discuss how we can help.

Begin Birth Trauma Therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ

Healing after birth trauma is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our trauma therapists are on your team. We are available to help you begin healing from the trauma you’ve experienced at our Scotch Plains, NJ counseling office. Or if you prefer, we can meet with you for online therapy in New Jersey. To get started, follow the steps below.

  1. Connect with us at Brave Minds Psychological Services.
  2. Meet with one of our trauma therapists for a free consultation.
  3. Start healing from birth trauma.

Other Services Offered at Brave Minds Psychological Services

Birth trauma therapy is not the only counseling option we have at our Scotch Plains, NJ-based therapy practice. Other services offered at Brave Minds include counseling for postpartum concerns, couples therapy, and parent counseling. In addition to services for parents and couples, we offer services for adults with trauma and anxiety. We are proud to serve the areas of Westfield, New Providence, Fanwood, and Cranford. However, we also provide online therapy to anyone seeking services in New Jersey.

Jessica is a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ. | 07076 | We can help with birth trauma therapy today.

About The Author

Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about helping those struggling with postpartum depression and birth trauma. She creates a safe place for her clients to share their stories and develop the necessary skills to thrive. Jessica specializes in treatment for children, families, and mothers.