PTSD after a difficult birth

*This page is a work in progress as I gather resources but do check back soon for more*

About 9% of women experience PTSD after giving birth. PTSD might be a more likely response for women who experience a cord prolapse, an unplanned caesarean, a baby staying in NICU or a forceps or vacuum assisted delivery. It’s more likely you will have PTSD following a forceps delivery than from a caesarean delivery. Feelings of powerlessness, trouble with communication or support during delivery and previous experience of trauma also add to vulnerability to developing PTSD. Also, experience of severe PPH, unplanned hysterectomy, severe pre-eclampsia, a 3rd or 4th degree tear or cardiac problems add to your risk of PTSD. I know I experienced quite a few of those risk factors during my first birth and I know from talking to other women at baby groups that my experience is sadly not unusual, so it’s not surprising that PTSD following birth wouldn’t be unusual either. Particularly for anyone who experienced a traumatic birth during lockdown, PTSD would be an even more likely response due to the lack of opportunity to naturally meet and talk with other mums face to face.

Here are some resources to check out if you need them:

Has education resources for both parents and professionals on traumatic birth

Dedicated to Parent & Infant Wellbeing

Why birth trauma matters by Pinter and Martin

How to heal a bad birth by Bruijin and Gould

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Third Sector Service Directory

Provides a searchable online directory of Scottish charities and third sector organisations which offer pregnant women and new parents mental health support including counselling

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