Traumatic Birth: Beyond the Basics

Two-day interactive webinar with experts
Presented by PATTCh


Thursday, January 24 &

Friday, January 25, 2019

Learn with experts in the field how to help your clients prevent, recognize, and heal the effects of birth trauma.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Day one starts with three presentations by PATTCh board members and experts in the field, 9:00am – 12:30pm PST.

Silent Suffering: Partners’ Experiences of Traumatic Birth

Leslie Butterfield, PhD

Over the past several decades, partners have moved from the waiting room into the birthing/delivery room. There, they are expected to offer ongoing physical and emotional support, coaching, and advocacy to the birthing woman. All this, with limited training and preparation, and with little instruction as to how to manage their own responses.

Many partners complain that they feel incompetent and woefully unprepared for the intensity of labor and delivery, even more so if complications arise. If a birthing mother is frightened, feels threatened, or is literally undergoing unplanned interventions and treatments, partners feel overwhelmed with the need to protect and defend the birthing woman – without regard for their own cognitive or emotional state.

This presentation will focus on the common experiences of partners who are present at traumatic birth, delineating the themes they describe as important, and the ways in which they may require attention and aid both during a difficult birth and after the baby is born.

When Black Survivors Give Birth

Ngozi D. Tibbs, MPH, IBCLC, LCCE

This session will offer participants a deeper understanding of why black women have higher rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality.  By sharing context about black maternal child health in the US and black women’s stories of survival, participants will learn about short and long term solutions to decrease the rates of maternal and infant mortality for black women and babies. This session will explore the role of the health provider, doula, childbirth educator, lactation provider- healing centuries old wounds one family at a time.

Some Methods to Heal and Resolve Negative Birth Events and Distressing Feelings

Phyllis Klaus, MEd., LMFT, LMSW

Women and their partners need help to integrate the birth experience. They must be helped to acknowledge their distressful feelings in order to move past them. They need permission to feel the pain, anger, disappointment, and to have time to grieve over the experience and eventually find meaning and be able to move forward. Caregivers must first open the subject, listen, and validate the reality, and give information on the trauma aspect. This would also be true for postpartum depression. Women need to feel assured that the caregiver has understanding of what the woman has experienced.  This presentation will provide some actual methods to reduce stress from the traumatic events.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Day two continues with two more expert presentations, followed by a Q & A period with presenters from both days. 9:00am – 12:30pm PST.

What’s Happening to Me? Secondary and Vicarious Perinatal Trauma

Suzanne Swanson, PhD

Trauma or distress in the perinatal period can have an impact on witnesses as well as on the birthing parent.  What the witness (whether present or at a distance) experiences as trauma may or may not match what the parent or other professionals experience.  This session will introduce perinatal secondary/vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. You will learn how to identify vulnerabilities to trauma, how to care for yourself as a birth professional, and how to apply the principles of trauma stewardship.

Navigating Positive Birth through the Lens of Autism

Sharon Storton, MA, MS

Childbirth is an intensely personal and intimate experience for many women, one in which their own histories, challenges, triumphs and understandings of the world can play a key role.  For women whose functional and relational processing is impacted by the neurology of autism spectrum perspectives, childbirth can be intensely troubling. Research on this topic is still fairly scarce, however, as a topic for study and inclusion in professional decision making, autism spectrum differences are becoming more visible. This talk will discuss the recent research in order to help birth professionals to open their understanding to include other ways of perceiving the world.  We will discuss ways in which this information could impact their assumptions about appropriate care.

Panel Roundtable Discussion and Q&A

Facilitated by Annie Kennedy

This roundtable will provide an excellent opportunity to summarize the learnings from the webinar and have your questions answered by our speakers.


A limited number of reduced price registrations are available to support professionals who come from and work within low income or underserved ethnic, cultural and geographic childbearing communities. 

Click here to apply by Friday, January 22, 2019.  Your application for a scholarship will be reviewed and awarded by Wednesday, January 16, 2019.