Saturday 19 October 2019

'A traumatic birth can lead to symptoms of PTSD' - Birth Trauma Awareness week taking place in the UK

A new born baby’s feet (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A new born baby’s feet (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

About 30,000 women a year, according to the most recent research, experience birth trauma in the UK, according to the Birth Trauma Association (BTA).

And this week, women and health professionals in the UK are sharing stories online about the births of their children as part of Birth Trauma Awareness Week.

"Instead of being joyful and happy, the experience of giving birth has been frightening," the group says. "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... 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," the group explained.

This week on social media, women are sharing their experiences of how they were left with a feeling of trauma after the births of their children:

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