Free Content Pain, Suffering, and Trauma in Labor and Prevention of Subsequent Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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In this column, Kimmelin Hull, community manager of Science & Sensibility, Lamaze International’s research blog, reprints and discusses a recent blog post series by acclaimed writer, lecturer, doula, and normal birth advocate Penny Simkin. Examined here is the fruitful dialog that ensued—including testimonies from blog readers about their own experiences with traumatic birth and subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder. Hull further highlights the impact traumatic birth has not only on the birthing woman but also on the labor team—including doulas and childbirth educators—and the implied need for debriefing processes for birth workers. Succinct tools for assessing a laboring woman’s experience of pain versus suffering are offered by Simkin, along with Hull’s added suggestions for application during the labor and birth process.

Keywords: childbirth; labor pain; posttraumatic stress disorder

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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