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Birth Trauma: You're Not Alone.

The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) recently held its annual Birth Trauma Awareness Week to encourage women who have experienced traumatic births to share their stories.

The birth of a baby should be a happy, positive event in a woman’s life but too often mums are left feeling sad or angry that they have had a difficult experience. While others enjoy bonding with their babies from birth, some mums are saddled with feelings of guilt and shame that they did not get the chance to enjoy the birth they had envisaged.

While not all traumatic births will result in physical harm to mum or baby, the BTA estimate that up to 20,000 women endure a traumatic birth experience each year and around half those will be treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This makes post-natal women the largest cohort of PTSD sufferers in the UK.

With an estimated one-third of women experiencing a traumatic response to childbirth, talking frankly about birth trauma should not be taboo. Yet for many mothers, giving birth, and the subsequent weeks and months, can be an isolating experience. Charities like the BTA are helping to open the channels for women affected by post-natal PTSD to support one another and speak freely about their experiences.

My colleague, Sara, recently blogged about the Royal College of Midwives’ decision to abandon their stance that a natural birth is better. While this a welcome step in the right direction, it remains to be seen whether women’s autonomy and their requests for adequate pain relief will be respected. It is hoped that going forward both mums and babies will receive the care they need and that when births are unavoidably distressing mums can access the right treatment and support.

If you have been impacted by any of the stories in this blog please do not hesitate to contact our team. 

 

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