Queensland Family and Fertility Support

Narelle Dickinson, Clinical and Health Psychologist

Dealing with a traumatic birth

January 14, 2018

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Birth trauma, New baby, Parenting, perinatal

Many women feel traumatised by their experience of giving birth, but then feel compelled to minimise their experience “it wasn’t that bad” or struggle to admit how the birth experience has impacted on them.  Things might have ultimately turned out ok for mum and baby, but the birth has left them with a significant trauma experience.

Birth trauma can be experience during any birth experience which causes a woman to feel that either her own life or her baby’s life was at risk, or where she has felt frightened, powerless or unheard.

Some women can manage their traumatic experience with the help of solid social support, but others are left feeling unheard or are not encouraged to talk about what they went through. Birth trauma increases the risk of developing postnatal depression and anxiety, so having the opportunity to talk about a negative birth experience is incredibly important.  This article does a good job of discussing the significance of birth trauma http://babyology.com.au/news/we-need-to-talk-about-birth-trauma.html

If you feel that you have unresolved trauma from the delivery of your children, it might be a good idea to talk to a perinatal counsellor who can help you make sense of your birth experience and manage any unresolved distress.

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