Overcoming Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma for Birth Caregivers who Bear Witness to Loss, Trauma, and Pain

When we talk about perinatal mental health, we think of new moms, and maybe dads. But we don’t think about the health care providers and support systems involved. But when things go wrong, it is not only the family who is affected. Other caregivers are affected too. The Nurse. The Midwife. The Physician. The Doula.

Bearing witness to loss and trauma can have a significant effect on our well-being. Doulas support women and families at their most vulnerable times. Through pain. Through joy. Through medical complications. Through unplanned interventions. Through fetal distress. Through stillbirth. And now through a pandemic.

Vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue are real. Know the signs. Create a resilience plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recognizing and starting the healing journey from compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma does not show weakness, it shows courage.

This presentation will outline the signs of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. You will be provided with tools for self-screening, and resources to use for prevention when you need it most. As a doula, you get to support families through some of the most powerful and emotionally charged moments of their lives. Let’s make sure you are taken care of too.