Healing from Birth TraumaMother-Friendly Mental Health Care

Webinars conducted by Sharon Storton, MA, CHT, LMFT, a nationally-acclaimed expert in perinatal mind/body wellness, normal birth, and attachment. The Level I program is intended for women who have experienced diagnosed and un-diagnosed perinatal mood disorders and trauma symptoms following childbirth, and is also appropriate for family members. Level II is geared more towards care providers and will be conducted at a slightly more advanced level, with an additional 30 minutes dedicated to diagnosis and treatment options.  

Level I: Understanding Postpartum Mood Disorders
Participants in the Level I workshop will be able to assess their own symptoms and/or the symptoms of women they work with from a variety of angles. Participants will begin to address the following questions:

  • Are my symptoms typical? Participants will gain the tools necessary to determine what is “normal” versus what is “common”, what will dissipate over time, and what will benefit from immediate treatment.
  • Why doesn’t my body work? A traumatic birth, particularly one that involved surgery or instrumental delivery, leads many women to assume that their body is dysfunctional. Learn how to distinguish genuine physical problems from issues involving hospital protocols and regulations.
  • Why are all these new feelings coming up now that I am pregnant again? While many women engage in a process of avoidance after a traumatic birth (e.g., refusal to have more children or scheduling subsequent cesarean surgery without reflection), others may experience new and renewed feelings of grief and fear during their next pregnancy. Many experience pre-traumatic stress and remain in a high state of anxiety – a state that in itself can predict the outcome of the next birth.
  • What is happening to me? Participants will learn to consider ways in which their symptoms impact their sense of self, their relationship with their baby, their romantic partner, with their extended family and friends.
  • How do I break these patterns? Fear surrounding birth is what has enabled obstetricians to take birth away from midwives and women. Mothers are less likely to advocate for themselves and their partners are less likely to advocate for them against intervention if there is a high level of fear and low level of confidence regarding birth as a normal process. Learn how the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative can impact your future birth choices in a positive way, and where to go for care by a competent, fully-informed professional.
  • Where do I go from here? New mothers sometimes experience the many changes in their lives as grief. Begin the process of working through your transition period, and embracing a new you. Find the balance that you have been seeking!

Level II: Assessment and Treatment Trends
An urgent demand exists today for professionals to be fully trained to provide a differential diagnosis between endogenous and exogenous disorders of the childbearing years, and to identify whether the mother is experiencing a trauma-based disorder caused by childbirth itself or as an echo of the mother’s own early life experiences, a hormone-driven neurotransmitter imbalance, or a life-adjustment disorder. Join Sharon Storton, MA, CHT, LMFT, a nationally-acclaimed expert in perinatal mind/body wellness, normal birth, and attachment, in a discussion of current perinatal mental health assessment and treatment trends, as well as evidence-based care options which consider the unique physical, emotional and attachment challenges for women and their infants in the perinatal period.

Mental health professionals and others who work with women who may be experiencing postpartum depression and/or traumatic birth syndrome should come prepared to engage in a discussion of the following:

  • Does “mother-friendly childbirth” reduce a woman’s risk of postpartum depression?
  • What are the appropriate treatment options?
  • What techniques can repair a disruption in bonding between a mother and her infant?
  • What one question will differentiate a dangerous postpartum psychosis from its benign doppelganger, compulsion-driven visions?
  • How does the continuum of a woman’s reproductive experience – from conception, pregnancy, and birth to postpartum, factor into her experience of Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Postpartum Psychosis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Birth Syndrome?

This online workshop will engage participants in a review of clinically-tested evidence-based techniques specific to the perinatal period. Cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, narrative and complementary treatments for individual and group care will be addressed. Although geared toward mental health providers, this workshop will also be informative to other professionals who work with women in the postpartum stage.

These programs are currently being prepared as recorded archives.  Join our mailing list to be notified when they are available.

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  1. Please notify me when this series is available.
    Thank you,
    Chrissy Mouland, RN BN, CD(DONA)

  2. Sonya says:

    Please inform me when these are available to listen- Thanks

  3. Teri Shilling says:

    Thanks for letting me know when Sharon’s talks are in the archives.

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