Our Story

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 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 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 committed to serving all those who need our services throughout Australia and New Zealand and encourage you to reach out if you are in need of support or would like to join us on our mission to reduce the instances and impact of birth trauma whilst supporting affected women, families and healthcare professionals.

Core Values

  • To promote acknowledgement and understanding of birth trauma through advocacy, education and research
  • To engage in active collaboration with health professionals, other perinatal service providers and consumers
  • To lead with empathy, compassion and without judgement
  • To contribute to better health outcomes for mothers, babies, families and health care providers

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Related Links

Postnatal care in Australia, positional statement
Postnatal care in Australia

Position Statement (PDF)

Antenatal care in Australia, positional statement
Antenatal care in Australia

Position Statement (PDF)

Position Statements

Position Statements have been prepared to provide an explanation of the Australasian Birth Trauma Association’s (ABTA)’s views and values about topics directly related to supporting families impacted by birth related trauma. These Position Statements have been informed by the collection of anecdotal evidence from families who have experienced trauma as a result of childbirth, as well as communication with health professionals and learnings from academic research. These Position Statements are living documents that will be updated from time to time to reflect new research, fresh understandings and changes in context.


ABTA’s vision is to prepare every family and health professional with the tools, knowledge and power to have a trauma free birth and improve the quality of life for those affected.


ABTA’s mission is to reduce the instances and impact of birth trauma whilst supporting affected women, families and health professionals.


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