Peter Dietz is a father of two teenage sons and married to Susanne, a midwife, who works with him both clinically and in research. He is also an obstetrician and gynaecologist and a RANZCOG-certified subspecialist in Urogynaecology. Professor Dietz is an internationally renowned expert in pelvic floor imaging and the prevention and treatment of maternal pelvic floor trauma related to childbirth. He has over 30 years’ experience in studying pelvic organ support structures and is recognised for his pioneering research in the field. Every day he sees the consequences of birth trauma and its life-altering effects on mind and body.
The most frustrating aspect of his clinical work is that most doctors and midwives still do not understand how seriously mothers can be affected, either physically or mentally, by traumatic childbirth. As a result, Professor Dietz works tirelessly towards raising awareness of these consequences and driving change in order to reduce negative outcomes. His work recognises that loss of dignity, hostile attitudes of clinicians and friends, feelings of ‘not being heard’, or the absence of informed consent to medical procedures contribute to psychological compromise during the postnatal period. Professor Dietz’ vision is to change the way these women are treated and increase the support for them as postpartum mothers.
Amy is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She had her first child in 2013 and like many women, she did not identify that she was suffering from birth trauma until she was 16 months postpartum. It was then she was diagnosed with a bilateral levator ani avulsion (pelvic floor muscle torn off the bone) that eventually resulted in prolapse. As a result, Amy understands first-hand how it feels to have a compromised quality of life and this fuels her desire to help other women. She is passionate about raising awareness of birth trauma by speaking out about her life altering injuries sustained through childbirth.
She is also using her journey as a map to assist women who find themselves in a similar situation, and to educate health professionals to better identify those mothers most at risk and enable them to provide the best support available. Amy’s vision is to break down the stigma attached to pelvic floor dysfunction and empower women to feel comfortable speaking out in order to continue driving change for those women deeply affected by birth trauma (#breakthesilence).
Elizabeth is a mother to two grown up boys. She is a midwife, registered nurse, child and family clinician, lecturer and researcher with over 25 years’ experience working with mothers, babies and their families. She is passionate about raising awareness of birth trauma and its consequences and is currently doing a PhD on the ‘psychological consequences of somatic vaginal births’. In addition to Professor Dietz’s findings, Liz’s research has identified an urgent need for women to find a place where they can feel understood and get the help they need to address the after effects of a traumatic delivery.
Her vision is to provide a safe space for affected women and their families to find support whilst also providing a direct source of objective information for clinicians.