Our mentors are completely voluntary. They have all completed training to better help them provide support to our community of famiilies who reach out.
Catherine sustained physical and psychological trauma from the birth of her first child. With the help of a physiotherapist, psychologist, family, and the support of ABTA, she feels she has made a wonderful recovery. Catherine is now expecting her second child and is the Mother she had always hoped she would be able to be before her daughter was born.
Amanda is a mum of one little boy, a wife and accomplished business woman. Her son arrived in traumatic circumstances in October 2017 after years of infertility and pregnancy loss. The birth involved an emergency caesarean and a life saving hysterectomy. Her physical trauma from the surgery healed well however Amanda was diagnosed with PTSD and PND following the birth. With the help of family, friends, a psychologist, GP, obstetrician and medication, the psychological scars are slowly fading. Amanda is dedicated to giving back and helping others navigate life after a difficult birth.
Reka is mum to a daughter who was born after a long and difficult labour. After planning a home birth, she ended up being transferred to hospital and delivering 15 minutes later. Unfortunately, she needed a ventouse extraction and episiotomy. An extended second stage led to a stage 3 cystocele (bladder prolapse), as well as nerve damage to one of her feet.
As well as physical trauma, the birth led to PTSD and PND. She has used medications and therapy to process the pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, and is passionate about helping other women get the help they need.
Phoebe is a survivor of birth trauma. A long posterior labour ending with a C-section resulted in physical and emotional trauma after the birth of her first and only son. A lack of proper post-natal care and information meant that it took some years for Phoebe to get properly diagnosed and seek the treatment she needed for PTSD, pudendal neuralgia and pelvic floor dysfunction. Five years on, Phoebe has come across ABTA and offered her support, because she knows the value of timely information and wants to lend an empathetic ear for women suffering the trauma of birth.
April is mum to one little boy. After a long induction at 42 week pregnant her son was delivered by forceps. This caused a 3C tear and she was rushed to surgery to stop a major hemorrhage. Recovery was extremely difficult, both emotionally and physically. With many hours of physiotherapy, a stint in a Mums and Bubs ward in Sydney, many hours of psychological and psychiatric care and the support from ABTA and her family she proudly says she is a survivor of birth trauma. April very much looks forward to passing on some of the practical and emotional tools she has learnt throughout her journey to others who have experienced birth trauma.
Kristy-Lee is mum to three boys, two of which are her stepsons. With the birth of her youngest, she suffered psychological trauma after a caesarean at 37 weeks 4 days. Her son had complications due to issues outside of her control however; insensitive comments made by the pediatrician lead her to unnecessarily blame herself for not keeping her son safe. After her son spent a stint in NICU she developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD). As time passes, she still struggles when he gets sick and the symptoms of PTSD arise but she is learning to live with them and address them in a healthy way. Kristy-Lee hopes her experience can help others navigate a difficult birth.
Ashleigh experienced physical and psychological trauma as a result of the birth of her daughter. Sharing her experience or postnatal depression and anxiety, raising awareness and supporting others has been, and continues to be, a vital part of her healing journey.
Julie sustained both physical and psychological trauma from the birth of her son.
She starting bleeding as soon as her cervix started to dilate. Julie suffered a severe postpartum haemorrhage - which saw her loose nearly half her blood volume. She also suffered from postnatal depression but knew what she was dealing with was more than postnatal depression and a year after her son was born, was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Within the following 6 months she was also diagnosed with lupus, scleroderma and Raynauds Phenomena. All of which are auto-immune diseases and all of which were brought on from the birth of her son.
Julie is passionate about birth trauma and now works to support families that are recovering from a traumatic birth.
Claire has two children, aged 8 and 5. After facing physical trauma from the birth of her first baby,
she experienced PTSD, before choosing an elective caesarean for her second. Eventually she was
diagnosed with having a bilateral levator avulsion, a condition that has impacted her life
dramatically. With daily chronic pain and discomfort Claire needed to modify her lifestyle to
minimise the impact of her injury. After working closely with women’s health physios and specialists she was advised to have reconstructive surgery and hysterectomy. Following her recovery from surgery in 2017 Claire is living pain free and excited about the future. Through her own experiences she appreciates how valuable it would have been to have support from others in a similar position and looks forward to being able to be there for others who have experienced birth trauma.
Emma is mum to a baby boy and has experienced psychological birth trauma. Before the birth, she did a hypnobirthing course at her hospital. The course taught her that complications are extremely rare, and therefore weren’t discussed. Being first time, impressionable parents, of course we believed this. Therefore, when the birth suddenly became very dangerous for me resulting in an emergency caesarean we were terrified and completely unprepared to make decisions. Despite my gratitude to the team of doctors and midwives who ensured a safe birth, I felt overwhelmed with guilt, a sense of failure, detachment from the birth, and shock. Emma is passionate about supporting other parents whose expectations of childbirth were not met.
Naomi is a mother of two and suffered a misdiagnosed fourth degree tear from the birth of her first daughter. She has damage to the inner and outer anal sphincters and has pelvic organ prolapse. As a result of her birth experience, she was diagnosed with postnatal depression and post traumatic stress disorder. To help manage her symptoms Naomi engages in regular pelvic floor physiotherapy and clinical Pilates. She has done sessions with a psychologist and has tried different alternative healing modalities to help with the psychological side of her trauma.
Naomi delivered her second child via C-section two years later. She is also in the process of taking legal action and hopes that by sharing her experience and providing a listening ear to others she can support women who are recovering from birth trauma.