Sleepless nights re-experiencing what I had witnessed at my last birth. Pure exhaustion and fatigue that would take days and days to recover from. Ruminating over thoughts of things I could’ve done differently, things I could’ve said, things I heard others say, that may have helped to change that birth. Frustration and fury that spilled over into my daily living, over a system that doesn’t serve women in the ways that I wanted to. Short tempered, anxious, bitter… with my husband and my children. Needing support but not knowing who could help me deal with feelings that I didn’t understand myself. Wondering how I’d make it through my next birth without reliving this one.
My time as a birth doula was truly magical, an absolute gift, but at times left me feeling broken. Witnessing and experiencing births that felt unjust to the parents I had developed a deep connection with took it’s toll, and the emotions that ensued began to compound and expand into other areas of my life.
It made me question what I was doing, and why I was doing it at all.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Debriefing sessions with an accredited counsellor and experienced birth worker gives you an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about your experience as a birth worker with someone who is trained to support you. Doulas, midwives, students, doctors, obstectricans… you all need emotional support. These sessions can help you make sense not only of specific births you have attended, but the ongoing impact those experiences may be having on your life. They will help you to unravel confusing emotions that may be impacting your work. Guilt, shame, failure, anxiety, anger can all be experienced when an event goes unprocessed. Debriefing is a critical part of any helping profession, and can directly impact career longevity. Debriefing with a trauma-informed trained professional can have an even greater, long-lasting impact.
During your session with me I hold space for you to work through troubling experiences and the ongoing emotions that flow on. We identify how these experiences are continuing to shape your work, and your life outside of work. We discuss vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, which are prevalent among birth workers, and can have significant ripple effects on not only your daily experience of life but on your body and your relationships. We look at practical tools for managing vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, and formulate an individual plan so they don’t have an ongoing impact on your life or the work you do. Further ongoing counselling is available.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.