Birthing Partners’ experience birth trauma too
Are you a father/partner navigating birth trauma?
Reliving the birth/traumatic event
Being overly alert or wound up
Avoiding reminders of the event
Feeling emotionally numb
It is estimated that 1 in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression.1
This is particularly true when there has been a traumatic or negative birth experience, for example:
- haemorrhage (excessive bleeding)
- concerns about the baby’s or mother’s survival
- physical damage
- unexpected emergency surgical intervention
- baby in NICU
- Mum in ICU.
Your wife/partner may have been confused, semi-conscious or dissociated, rather than fully aware of what was happening. You, however, you were probably fully aware.
We urge you to consider the following when trying to work out the best course of action:
- Read our Family and Friends Resource for information that will help you support your wife/partner effectively.
- Try to keep communication open with your partner so you can seek solutions together if she is is open to discussion. The addition of expert counselling for both of you is recommended. This will help you both address your experiences and work out a solution. Seeking help together may assist in addressing relationship issues that you may not have been prepared for, some of which may have surfaced after the new babies arrival.
- If your partner is happy for you to do so, attend physical and psychological appointments together so they can fully explain their findings to you both.
Remember to seek support for yourself. The resources listed at the bottom of this page may help you find suitable support services.
- Engage in self-care activities, such as exercise and eating well, and ask friends and family for practical help to facilitate this. You need to be able to refill your cup so you can continue to support your wife/partner.