Birth trauma can affect parents and their baby….

Birth trauma can have an impact on the mother, her birthing partner and the baby. For the mother a traumatic birth can affect her physical, psychological and social health. Birth trauma means the woman has some trauma symptoms around the delivery of her baby which is still affecting her. Symptoms experienced within the two weeks after delivery are usually referred to as acute stress and can settle.
However, it is estimated that around 4-5% of women who have gave birth can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afterwards when symptoms persist from at least after a couple of weeks. With PTSD the woman can relive the experience of the delivery through flashbacks and nightmares and present with extreme anxiety after this period. Diagnosis of PTSD is usually verified by a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist.

Sometimes a traumatic delivery and/or PTSD effects the mother’s ability to bond with her baby causing her further emotional distress. Sometimes the mother will lose interest in going out of her home because of the trauma she has experienced and/or she can avoid talking about the experience. Avoidance is a common symptom of trauma. Women presenting with these symptoms can benefit from a range of combined support from family and professionals.

For birthing partners who have witnessed birth trauma they too can be affected. Quite often the partner worries about the mother and their baby during the delivery especially if they have been rushed to theatre for assistance in the delivery. Partners often try to hold it together for both the mother and their baby and can avoid talking about their feelings as a result. This experience can impact upon their mood and bonding ability with the baby also.

The traumatic birth can affect the baby in different ways. Sometimes the baby may need to spend some time in hospital afterwards, or the baby may be sore or sensitive to touch, or develop feeding issues, or be difficult to settle.

For some parents and babies these issues can quickly settle with family and professional support from frontline Professionals and Community Voluntary Organisations. But for some mothers some of these issues can continue. In these circumstances, professional specialist support from Perinatal/Infant Mental Health Teams or other agencies can be considered and accessed through asking for a referral to them where they exist in your locality. To access specialist support you can speak to your GP/Health Visitor.

In Mastering Connections a specialist intervention that Majella is trained in can be provided to clients affected by birth trauma. This is  a guided meditation which has helped individuals recover from the impact of the birth of their baby. Counselling is also provided for other pregnancy related issues such as pregnancy loss and IVF.

Clients affected by any of these issues can self-refer as outlined on the Contact page.

For further information visit the About me page and click on the link at the bottom of the page.