ABTA was founded in 2016, when Liz Skinner, a midwife, registered nurse, child and family clinician, lecturer and researcher was in the process of interviewing affected women for her PHD thesis on ‘The Psychological Impact of Somatic Trauma’. Amy Dawes discovered Liz’s work during the journey to process her own experience after the forceps delivery she had with her first child. Amy reached out to Liz and a friendship was formed.
Shortly after meeting Amy, Liz visited the UK and met with the UK Birth Trauma Association. It was during this trip that Liz recognised the great need for women and their families to have support in Australia and New Zealand. Upon her return, she made this suggestion to Amy, and so, with initial funds donated by Professor Hans Peter Dietz, the Australasian Birth Trauma Association was founded. In 2017, a Board was formed and in that same year ABTA became a registered charity.
ABTA is reliant upon our board of advisors and also on the women, birthing people and partners who have a lived-experience of birth trauma to train and commit to voluntary service facilitating our weekday live chat support service from their homes.
We are the first charity in Australia solely dedicated to supporting women, partners and families after birth-related trauma – we listen to the voice of the consumer and respond to the unmet needs of birthing families across Australia & New Zealand. As an organisation we advocate for a multidisciplinary approach to supporting birthing families and with this, we collaborate with all health professional groups involved in maternity care to better improve our services.
We are a peer-led community dedicated to helping Australians and New Zealanders prevent and heal from birth-related trauma.
How we practice our values
We focus on the needs of the individual (see also: “Our language”).
Those with a lived experience of birth-related trauma shape all of our work.
We support birthing individuals and their families, recognising that families come in all shapes and sizes.
We care about those who have had a lived experience.
We want you to feel heard and your experience validated.
We accept you for who you are, and your experience.
We know our purpose can only be achieved by working together with a range of people and professions, each group with important strengths and contributions.
Anyone can experience birth-related trauma, including:
- people giving birth;
- partners, friends and family members of people giving birth; and
- other people witnessing a birth or providing care in relation to pregnancy and birth, including health professionals.
We seek to be inclusive. All are welcome to access our services and resources, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, profession or the circumstances in which they have suffered birth-related trauma.
“Birth-related trauma” includes any injury or trauma, whether physical or psychological, sustained at any time in connection with pregnancy, labour or childbirth. This definition is intended to be broad.
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