ABSTRACT 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.
The Journal of Perinatal Education is the official journal of Lamaze International, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.