Birth trauma might be due to one single event, or a mixture of experiences in pregnancy, during birth or after birth. It can be experienced after a physically or mentally exhausting birth, and can also be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What are the symptoms?
- Flashbacks, nightmares or intrusive memories, which make you feel distressed and panicky
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma. This can mean refusing to walk past the hospital where you gave birth, or avoiding meeting other women with new babies
- Feeling hyper-vigilant. You’re constantly alert, irritable and jumpy, and worry that something terrible is going to happen to your baby
- Feeling low and unhappy. You may feel guilty and blame yourself for your traumatic birth, and you may have difficulty remembering parts of the birth
- Difficult birth
- Abnormal foetal position
- Rapid and quick delivery
- Physical pain and injury during birth
- Mental exhaustion
- Change of birth plan
- Frightening psychological experiences during birth
With the right help and support, it’s possible to recover from birth trauma.
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If you need urgent help….
If you need urgent help or are worried about a loved one, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or the emergency services on 999.