The following information has been sourced from the Birth Trauma Association.
The Birth Trauma Association (BTA)
Welcome to the Birth Trauma Association (BTA). We’re a charity that supports women who suffer birth trauma – a shorthand term for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after birth.
We have a team of peer supporters: women who have all experienced traumatic birth themselves and been through a process of recovery. If you’d like to talk to them over email about your experience, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join our Facebook group for parents with birth trauma: www.facebook.com/groups/TheBta
What is birth trauma?
About 30,000 women a year, according to the most recent research, experience birth trauma in the UK. Instead of being joyful and happy, the experience of giving birth has been frightening. Perhaps the baby’s heartrate dipped, leading to an emergency caesarean section. Maybe you or your baby suffered injuries as the result of the birth. Or maybe you felt that you weren’t well looked after in labour, or you weren’t told what to expect.
If something like this has happened to you, you might have felt scared that you or the baby were going to die. As with any other traumatic experience – a car accident, or a sexual assault, or seeing a bomb explode – a traumatic birth can lead to symptoms of PTSD: flashbacks, a sense of heightened anxiety, constantly feeling on the alert, avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma.
Birth trauma means that it can be difficult to bond with your baby. You may find your symptoms are triggered by reminders of the birth: pregnant women, other babies, programmes such as One Born Every Minute.
Witnessing someone else’s trauma can also be traumatic, so partners can experience PTSD too.
In the video below, five women talk about their experience of birth trauma and how they found help.
If you are in need of any support, you can find it on Birth Trauma Association‘s website or you can self refer on our website.