Healing from Traumatic Birth with Nancy Wainer

Healing from Traumatic Birth with Nancy Wainer

In the U.S., 45.5% of women reported a traumatic birth according to the DSM-IV ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and the Listening To Mother’s III Survey, which includes more than 1500 women, exposed 56% of the participants met the criteria for depression postpartum.(4) These numbers are huge and frightening. Given the vast number of women experience some level of birth trauma, it is vital the new mother finds the support she needs to recover from this experience.

In this very important episode of Yoga | Birth | Babies, I speak with Certified Professional Midwife, acclaimed author and speaker Nancy Wainer.  Nancy has been working with the birthing community for over 3 decades and brings deep insight into the healing process many women face after a disappointing or traumatic birth. This conversation is a must hear for any birthing person, new parent, support person or birth worker.

In this episode: 

  • What brought Nancy to her path as a midwife.
  • The impact one’s personal view of birth has on an upcoming birth.
  • Traumatic birth – what does that mean?
  • Statistics/data on the frequency of traumatic birth.
  • The “typical” grieving process after a disappointing birth.
  • How the support system and posse aid the new parent in this recovery.
  • Some ways Nancy has assist a woman grieving from a traumatic or disappointing birth.
  • Ways to rebuild her self esteem and empowerment.
  • Ways a person with a prior traumatic birth can prepare for another pregnancy and birth.
  • What birth workers can do to help right after a traumatic birth.
  • What birth workers do to help support a mother having another baby after a traumatic birth

About Nancy:

Nancy Wainer, CPM, is an internationally known childbirth writer and speaker who coined the term VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean—pronounced “vee-back”), now used all over the world. Her landmark book, Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (1983), won critical acclaim. It was chosen as the best book in the field of Health and Medicine by the American Library Association in 1983 and was called “the bible of cesarean prevention” by The Wall Street Journal. Her book Open Season: A Survival Guide for Natural Childbirth and VBAC in the 90s (1991) was touted by Informed Birth and Parenting as “the only book that tells the truth about childbirth in the United States (It fairly sizzles in your hands…).” She is currently working on her third book, titled Birthquake: A Childbirth Book for Strong Women and Women Who Want to Be Strong.

Ms. Wainer is a consultant to many birthing organizations across the country, has spoken on numerous television and radio programs and has been interviewed by newspapers all over the United States and Canada. She has written articles and has spoken out against America’s growing reliance on technology and surgery at birth. Her talks and topics include: Cesarean Prevention and VBAC; Creating a Positive Birth Experience; Birth without Bloodshed; Grieving and Healing after a Disappointing, Upsetting or Traumatic Birth Experience; Teaching More Effective Childbirth Classes; What Is Natural Childbirth, Really?; Fear and Compliance in the Birthplace; and The Language of Birth. Her lectures and workshops have been called informative, entertaining, inspiring, poignant, humorous, alive, empowering, irreverent, dynamic and “definitely unforgettable!” Ms. Wainer has been the keynote speaker at numerous conferences and was asked to be the keynote speaker for the 2004 Australian Home Birth Midwifery conference. She teaches natural childbirth, homebirth, VBAC and sibling classes. She is certified in HypnoBirthing and teaches HypnoBirthing classes, as well. Ms. Wainer is also a frequent featured speaker for Midwifery Today conferences.

Ms. Wainer has a homebirth practice. She studied midwifery at The Birth Center in Dearborn, Michigan, at Casa de Nacimiento in El Paso, Texas, and with the International School of Midwifery in Kingston, Jamaica. She then completed a two-year apprenticeship in Boston. She taught midwifery students for the Massachusetts Basic and Advanced Midwifery courses and was a preceptor for Hands of Light Midwifery Training. She trains student/apprentice midwives. She is a certified doula and was a La Leche League leader for many years. She is the director of Birth Day, which provides midwifery care, childbirth education and labor support for pregnant women. Ms. Wainer has three grown children and lives in the Boston area.

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