Postpartum Trauma

Many women can experience a traumatic experience during delivery, particularly if unexpected and intrusive interventions left the woman feeling helpless and worried about her safety and / or fearing for her baby's life.

 

Research puts this figure at around 9% of women who may suffer from childbirth related post traumatic stress disorder.

 

Flashbacks of the delivery, overall heightened anxiety and sometimes panic attacks, hypervigilance and acute awareness of surroundings can be symptoms of post traumatic stress. Difficulty in falling asleep or waking in the night experiencing fear and panic also indicate a possibility of this disorder.

 

Childbirth trauma may not resolve on its own and specialised professional support from a mental health provider who is experienced in treating trauma is highly recommended.

 

EMDR in combination with mindfulness based talking therapy can be very effective in treating childbirth related trauma. 

 

One of the main obstacles to women seeking help is that often family and friends will say that all is "OK now and that baby is safe". When faced with comments encouraging her to just be grateful, a traumatised woman can often hide and negate her feelings in the hope that "they will just go away". 


Here is a mother's candid look at her own experiences following a traumatic birth and postpartum anxiety: "Every mum should know"