Trauma and Birth Professionals
While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it has only been in use in its current form since 1992. Therefore, it must still be considered to be in the experimental stage. You are an expert on your own health, so please take full responsibility for
your use of EFT. Eileen Sullivan is not a licensed health professional. She offers EFT as a certified EFT practitioner, ordained interfaith minister, and certified holistic doula. Where appropriate, please consult your healthcare practitioners regarding your
use of EFT. It is VITAL to note that you should not stop taking any prescribed medications, nor alter your dosage, without the advice of the prescribing physician
E M O T I O N A L  F R E E D O M  T E C H N I Q U E S  ( E F T )  F O R  F E R T I L I T Y ,  P R E G N A N C Y ,  B I R T H  &  B E Y O N D
If you are experiencing emotional
distress after witnessing a birth or
hearing about a birth, you may
have experienced secondary
trauma. Likewise, if you're feeling
"burned out," are hesitant to
attend births, or considering
limiting your practice to avoid
certain types of births, clients or
settings, this is also a sign that you
may have experienced trauma.
When things go well, doulas, midwives, nurses and other birth professionals have the privilege of
experiencing the miracle of birth and the strength and resilience of women and families in ways that are
powerful, life-affirming, incomparably beautiful and exhilirating. We often feel great about ourselves and
our work, because we are honored to be able to help mothers and families during a sacred, very important
time in their lives.

On the other hand, when things don't go well, we can be left with feelings of guilt, shame, disappointment,
frustration and more. The more bonded we are to our clients, the more likely we are to feel badly if their
birth doesn't go as they wish.

In the very darkest of times, we may find ourselves in the role of helpless bystander, unable to prevent a
natural or iatrogenic disaster; witness to real life-or-death scenarios. In the face of traumatic events, it
takes a tremendous toll on anyone to be rendered powerless.

And yet, no matter what happens, our job is to continue to provide a calm emotional presence and to offer
our strength and support to our clients. This is our responsibility, no matter how much the situation may
stress us and our own coping mechanisms. Then we continue to listen, during and after difficult births, to
mothers and fathers processing their hurt and disappointment. We're doing the right thing and providing a
vitally necessary service-- but not always without cost to ourselves.

So it should come as no surprise that, cumulatively or from a single traumatic event, birth professionals are
at risk for compassion fatigue. "Burn out." Vicarious trauma. Secondary Traumatic Stress. We're even at risk
for primary trauma, especially when we witness iatrogenic issues that we are powerless to prevent.

No one knows how prevalent trauma is amongst birth workers; it hasn't been studied. What we do know is
that there are inadequate resources currently available for those birth professionals who suffer from
job-related trauma. One reason for this is that there's a rampant lack of information and awareness about
trauma suffered by birthing professionals. Our risk for primary and secondary trauma gets the barest of
mentions in professional trainings and conferences, if it's acknowledged at all. All of which means that
aspiring and new doulas, midwives, nurses and others may not even know that the potential exists-- much
less, how to help themselves or a co-worker if they experience trauma or burn out. We lose good birth
workers every single day to these issues.

you have symptoms of trauma? Can you recognize symptoms of trauma in your professional peers? Do
you know how to help prevent trauma and burn out? What to do if you experience trauma? Follow the links
below to learn the answers to these questions and more.
This website represents the good faith ideas of its author, but not necessarily those of Gary Craig. You can learn more about EFT, including EFT training and certification programs, by visiting the website.
EILEEN SULLIVAN, CERTIFIED EFT PRACTITIONER (EFTCERT-I)                                                                  EMAIL: AREYOUTAPPING (AT) YAHOO (DOT) COM                                                                                            (704) 905-4665