Birthing & Medical Trauma

“My goal is that every nurse hears this. We have 350,000 perinatal nurses on the list to learn trauma informed care within this space. This is completely layered, nuanced, gender violence, obstetric violence, hierarchy, all of that. Once we know, we can’t unknow. We have to hold ourselves accountable also, that we are in a position of power, and our positionality is unique and ready to help dismantle and decolonize the way that we’re doing health care.”

-Mandy Irby, Founder of Birth Nurse and Certified Neuro Somatic Intelligence Practitioner

Have you ever wondered about the impact of a nurse’s nervous system on your healthcare experience?

Are you aware of the layers of trauma associated with the birth experience?

Can you envision the transformation of U.S. birth outcomes if birth nurses were equipped with Neuro Somatic Intelligence training and tools?

In a captivating conversation, Mandy Irby, a Certified Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coach and the Founder of Birth Nurse, joins us to explore the profound effects of trauma on the birth process. Together, we unravel the intricate layers of birth and pregnancy trauma, emphasizing the critical need for trauma-informed care in the birthing process, and how it shapes our nervous systems and relationships.

Mandy’s journey into Neuro Somatic Intelligence (NSI) was sparked by her personal experience of re-traumatization during childbirth. She recognized that understanding trauma alone was insufficient.

She shares her path from leaving nursing to creating an educational platform for nurses to become trauma-informed and enhance their self-regulation skills. We emphasize the fundamental principle of starting with oneself to regulate the nervous system, both as a nurse and as a parent. 

Our conversation also delves into the intricate web of how our collective nervous systems impact each other throughout the birth process. We discuss the deliberate practice of nurses consciously dissociating from patients to cope with job-related stress, despite their nervous systems continuing to react to the situation. This emotional distance takes a toll on both the nurses and the birthing patients.

We hope this conversation inspires you. We’d be honored if you share it with your nurses and moms you know. If you’d like to learn Neuro Somatic Intelligence tools to process trauma and manage your stress, then join us on the Brain Based Wellness site. You can get started with 2 free weeks by going to We’d love to see you there!

Other Highlights of our Discussion:

  • Understanding the loneliness and inherent trauma experienced during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Exploring how nurses are encouraged to create emotional distance from patients and the consequences of this practice.
  • Recognizing the broader problem of emotional disconnection across various professions.
  • Highlighting how the birth process can re-traumatize both patients and birth nurses.
  • Unpacking how the historical system of oppression affects the U.S. birth space.
  • Examining how dissociation and stress during birth can impact a baby’s nervous system.
  • Considering how birth nurses might contribute to actual or perceived harm or threats during the birthing process.
  • Assessing how systemic factors, policies, and hierarchical structures within obstetric and perinatal healthcare influence the overall birthing experience.
  • Addressing the dire situation for marginalized populations within the U.S. healthcare system.
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Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE

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