Signs That Your Body is Holding Birth Trauma

how unresolved birth trauma can affect mental health

Unresolved birth trauma can significantly impact mental health. Here are some aspects supported by research:

  1. Impact on Brain Development: Studies suggest that traumatic experiences during birth can affect the developing brain, potentially influencing emotional regulation and stress response later in life.

  2. Increased Risk of Mental Health Disorders: Research has found links between unresolved birth trauma and an increased risk of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  3. Attachment and Relationship Challenges: Difficulties during birth may affect the parent-child bonding process, potentially leading to attachment issues and challenges in forming healthy relationships.

  4. Long-Term Emotional Consequences: Individuals with unresolved birth trauma may struggle with emotional regulation, experiencing heightened stress responses and difficulties managing emotions throughout their lives.

  5. Epigenetic Influences: Some studies explore the idea of epigenetic changes due to traumatic experiences during birth, suggesting that these changes could be passed down to future generations, impacting mental health across ancestral lines.


  • Intense and overwhelming fear
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Feeling drained / no life force / like you’ve run a marathon every day
  • Feeling of dread around your own existence
  • Sense of the world being inherently dangerous
  • Feeling of being completely unsupported
  • Fear of death
  • Intense anxiety or panic attacks
  • Avoidance of anything related to pregnancy or childbirth
  • Feeling disconnected from your own body or emotions
  • Shame or guilt related to the birth experience
  • Substance abuse or addiction as a means of coping with the trauma
  • Difficulty forming or maintaining intimate relationships
  • Difficulty bonding with child or feeling disconnected
  • Overprotective or hypervigilant behaviour
  • Postpartum depression or anxiety
  • Recurrent nightmares or flashbacks
  • Guilt or responsibility for traumatic experience
  • Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless about the future
  • Difficulty with self-care or self-nurturing
  • Avoidance of triggering situations or people
  • Difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries
  • Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli related to trauma
  • Disorientation or confusion about identity or purpose
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • Anger or irritability
  • Difficulty trusting others or feeling safe
  • Feelings of being stuck or trapped
  • Intrusive thoughts or images
  • Feelings of numbness or dissociation
  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Self-destructive behaviour or self-harm thoughts.


Birth trauma can also impact reproductive issues: fertility, difficult pregnancies, hormonal imbalances or menstrual irregularities.

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