We are deeply honoured by the mothers who have been brave enough to share their stories so that they can help us raise awareness, and help us continue to raise awareness for the crucial support we provide to women and their families.
In Australia, 1 in 3 women identify their births as traumatic and 1 in 4 first-time mothers suffer major physical damage. These experiences often leave a long-lasting impact on a woman’s physical and mental health, their ability to bond with their baby and their relationships with their partners, family and friends.
Our individual responses to birth can be extremely complex, regardless of whether it was a vaginal birth, vaginal birth with intervention, emergency cesarean or planned cesarean. Trauma is very personal, and unique. Some women find certain interventions more difficult to deal with than others, some might experience things that an onlooker might not consider to be traumatic.
These feelings can play a role in the development of postnatal anxiety, depression or other stress-related disorders. What we have discovered is that the response of loved ones and supporting healthcare professionals plays a fundamental role across 3 key factors;
Without these 3 factors being addressed / identified the damage to a women’s physical and mental health can be catastrophic, and if left unidentified women can be left feeling frightened, unsafe and / or unheard, as well as potentially being physically damaged. A woman’s partner or those that played a pivotal role in the birthing process may also be traumatised. Your feelings about your birth are real and should be acknowledged.
The ABTA wants women and their families to know that they aren’t alone and that there is help and support available. We are deeply honoured to the women who were brave enough to share their stories in the hope that they could help others. We encourage each and every person impacted by a trauma from the birth experience to raise their voices because ‘your story matters’.
Trigger warning – This may be distressing to some viewers who have experienced a traumatic birth.
For awareness week, we asked women or their partners to get in touch and send us their stories of birth trauma and the impact it has had on them, and their families.
You can do this in a number of ways, either record a clip of yourself sharing your story or write as a narrative.
We’re also encouraging people to share a one line summary of their birth trauma stories on Twitter using the hashtags #ABTA2018 and #yourstorymatters. (If you have a birth trauma blogpost, you can tweet that as well.) Do tag us at @AusBirthTrauma too.
You could also change your Facebook picture to include ABTA’S logo by following this link:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share your story.
Ways you can help
As the only Australian charity focused on the psychological AND physical consequences of birth trauma, we at the ABTA believe passionately that this needs to change.
We are therefore asking you, our members and supporters, to organise an activity during Birth Trauma Awareness Week to raise funds and encourage the conversation around birth trauma prevention and recovery.
There are a few ways you can help:
Help Us Raise Funds
The Australasian Birth Trauma Association is almost entirely dependent on its supporters for the funds to run its programs and campaigns. If you are interested in running a fundraising event at any time of the year, please review our Fundraising page.
It is filled with ideas and practical tips on running your own fundraising event.
If you do decide to run a fundraiser, please let us know – we would love to celebrate your success with you. We are working on a registration form for your event, so in the meantime please send us an email detailing your event. We also encourage you to use the hashtags #yourstorymatters and #abta so we can follow along and promote your efforts to inspire others.
Become an ABTA Peer Support Volunteer
If you are a mother who has experienced birth trauma and now find yourself in a place where you are ready to support others who are walking the journey to recovery, then we encourage you to consider becoming an ABTA PSP Support Volunteer.