The Trauma of Childbirth

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All women want to go through a beautiful experience giving birth, with many expectant mothers having hopes that the birth of their child will be a relaxed and calm experience. However, this is not the case for many women.

In fact, it is estimated that almost three percent of all vaginal births and six percent of cesarian section births result in PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and up to a third of unplanned cesarian section births may result in birth trauma.

Giving birth is not the only cause of birth related trauma. There are many women who will experience a miscarriage, a stillborn child, a premature birth, or a child being born with a disability.

When a birth experience has been difficult, whether that was through a lack of support or feeling safe,  or was overwhelming, disappointing,  negative or traumatic, the effects can be devastating.  

All too frequently, birth trauma often goes unrecognised, with many women feelings 'depressed', when in fact, they could be experiencing the symptoms of trauma.  Trauma related symptoms can include: anxiety, panic, feeling overwhelmed, feeling bad about the birth, feeling depressed after the birth, replaying memories of the birth, flashbacks, nightmares, fear of getting pregnant again, and a range of other symptoms.

While these symptoms can be sometimes debilitating, and can create disruption to day to day living, finding help can the start to recovery. Speaking about the experience of a traumatic birth can be validating, as well as creating an opportunity to bring a reduction in symptoms and improve overall wellbeing.

© 2017  Carol Duffy