Philadelphia Resources to Help With Childbirth Trauma



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It is common for families to experience trauma during the modern childbirth process.

Traumatic childbirth experiences can range from something as common as an emergency cesarean to something as serious as the loss of a newborn baby. It depends on the individual family. People often blame themselves or try to bury the emotions they are feeling.

With advice that isn’t often part of standard hospital protocol – and if so, not always covered by health insurance – it’s hard to know where to turn for help.

Yet these experiences can have effects that last for years. They can lead to the development of postpartum depression or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in one or both parents, which affects their ability to properly care for and raise the baby. They can also lead to the decision not to have another child at all.

After Billy Penn published a report on the situation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and beyond, several people reached out to share their own experiences and also to offer assistance.

We’ve compiled this guide of local resources and tips for families who have been through a traumatic childbirth or want to prepare for the childbirth experience.

3141 Chestnut Street; 215-553-7128

Managed by the Drexel Psychological Services Center, this intensive outpatient program offers individual and group therapy to help mothers and help them feel better with their babies and their partners. The program also trains new mental health professionals and conducts research to find the best ways to help pregnant and postpartum mothers achieve wellness.


This national organization offers a toll-free hotline as well as SMS hotlines in English and Spanish for questions and discussions about perinatal mental health. It also organizes online support groups and offers educational resources for families and providers. There is a directory of local suppliers if you are looking for something face to face.

3401 I Street, Suite 408; 267-773-5130

In operation since 1980, this non-profit organization offers support services through MOMobile, a home visiting program that offers free support and education to help families cope with the changes and challenges that come with pregnancy and parenthood. There are physical offices in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware counties.

505 Old York Road, Suite 107, Jenkintown; 267-808-2649

This Jenkintown-based practice is led by Saleemah McNeil, a certified therapist and trained doula who has had her own traumatic childbirth experience. The organization, which partners with Penn Medicine and Temple Medicine, as well as the City of Philadelphia, provides care team building support as well as pre- and post-birth therapy, focusing on emphasis on helping black residents.

415 S. 15th St .; 215-875-8200

Managed by the city’s Public Health Management Corporation, this Center City-based operation helps connect children and their caregivers with everything from mental health care and parenting programs to workforce readiness and education. early childhood education.

700 Spruce Street, Garfield Duncan Building, Suite B3; 215-829-5046

On its historic campus, the country’s first, in Washington Square West, the Pennsylvania Hospital operates the program, which offers breastfeeding counseling, childbirth and parenting classes.

In four clinics across the city, this Resources for Human Development program offers trauma-informed therapy with perinatal social workers.

Many caregivers recommend this 2011 book by Meredith Small, which is captioned “How Biology and Culture Shapes the Way We Are Parents.”

A doula is a skilled professional who provides physical, emotional and informational support before, during and shortly after childbirth, according to DONA International, the main Doula organization. Tests have shown that it improves emotional and physical outcomes not only for the mother, but also for the infant and the rest of the family. Prices and services vary, and DONA has a directory you can search.

A certified nurse midwife is a professional who takes care of the medical needs of a laboring person and their baby, and over 90% of them work in hospitals. When employed, they can prescribe medications, perform procedures, and often provide routine antepartum and gynecologic care. In Pennsylvania, this requires the support of their collaborating physician. Find one by searching the directory at American College of Nurses and Midwives.


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