Supporting people traumatised
by childbirth

What is physical birth trauma?

The ABTA Support Group

If you are a woman who has suffered birth trauma, please join our closed support group on Facebook

The Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) seeks to assist women through their own journey after a traumatic birth by providing them with the information, resources, and support required to manage their symptoms while raising a family, participating in the workforce and being active in their community.

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ABTA has been established to offer:

  • Emotional and practical support to women and their partners who have been traumatised by a difficult birth experience. The labour and delivery, which may have been vaginal or by caesarean section, has resulted in physical and/or psychological damage.
  • Guidance for the broad array of health professionals involved in the care of these women and their families.

Birth Trauma is defined here as:

  • Physically damaging birth processes which then result in life-changing psychological and social difficulties
  • Psychological problems arising from the circumstances of the delivery (e.g. “wrong” location; pre-term; support people not present) or the process (e.g. labour too quick, prolonged, inadequate pain relief; feeling of loss of control; emergency caesarean section; concerns about  survival of baby or self)
  • An ‘uneventful’ or satisfactory delivery from the professional point of view (mother and baby well; no physical complications), but traumatising for the woman as she feels unsupported or even misunderstood by the health professionals.

"We need to break the taboo over talking about birth trauma and challenge the (persistent) myth 'all that matters is a healthy baby'."

Health Professionals