Oshun Family Center hosts birth trauma workshop to help women heal

Hadas Kuznits
March 16, 2019 - 7:06 pm

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Nearly a dozen women gathered to share their most intimate stories Saturday morning at the Oshun Family Center Birth Trauma Workshop in Fishtown.

Iris Kimbrough of Germantown shared her birth trauma story with a group of strangers at the birth trauma workshop.  She's also a birth worker who explains trauma happens in birth a lot more often than people might realize.

"When we talk about birth trauma, we're talking about obstetric violence in general,” she said. “We're talking about the doctor that doesn't honor the need for informed consent; having episiotomies whether you knew it was going to happen or not.  We're talking about all of the kinds of small and large infractions and disregard of bodily autonomy and for birth plans."

The workshop was led by reproductive psychotherapist Salima McNeil

"A (negative) birth experience can last a lifetime if it’s never dealt with," she said.

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Counselor Jacqui Johnson was there for support.

"A creation of a space like this allows a woman to not feel so isolated," Johnson added.

Meanwhile, Alison Dilworth says opening up in this group made her feel a little better.

"I didn't know what I expected, I just knew like, ‘hey I have birth trauma and I don't know how to heal,’ so that's why I came here, but this I guess this is how you do it -- is you connect," Dilworth said.