Welcome to ABTA’s Birth Trauma Peer2Peer Support Program.

Here you will find information to help you understand how this free program works and how it may help you. If you have any further questions please email us via our Contact Page.

Book in with a Peer Mentor

By submitting this form you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions.

What is the Peer2Peer Support Program?

The Peer2Peer Support Program is an initiative that provides an online live messaging service for women and their families impacted by trauma from childbirth. This is the first service in Australia dealing specifically with birth trauma.

The service is provided by women who have a lived experience of trauma from childbirth, so you will be in contact with someone who has been there and will treat you with kindness, respect and without judgment. We hear time after time from families how important it is for them to simply be heard, treated with respect and to realise they are not alone. This is where a peer support program can have immense positive impact.

What can I expect from a session with a Peer2Peer Mentor?

Our aim is to offer one-2-one support with empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude.
Our program is made possible by our volunteers (Peer2Peer Mentors), who have themselves experienced psychological and/or physical injuries from birth and are in a place where they can now provide support to others who are on their birth trauma journey.

Our Peer2Peer Mentors are not trained counsellors and are therefore not able to provide specific advice around diagnosis, however they can provide a listening ear and supportive shoulder for those navigating life after birth trauma. They may also recommend services and resources that other women and families have found useful.

Before participating in the program it is important that you read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. As part of using this service you accept these terms and conditions.

Facebook

We invite those of you with a personal experience of birth trauma to share your story. We want you to know that you are not alone and by sharing your birth story, you are in turn saying to another woman that you are not alone. We encourage you to find your brave and #breakthesilence

Related Links

Meet our Peer2Peer Mentors
Catherine portrait

Meet Catherine

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.
Pamela portrait

Meet Pamela

Pamela is a mum to a baby boy, a wife, and a career woman. Following a 3-day induction process, Pamela had a prolonged second stage of labour which ended with a ventouse delivery. Her son was admitted to special care due to hypoglycaemia that was caused by stress during the labour. Pamela was rushed to theatre for an operation to manually remove her retained placenta. She lost a lot of blood in the process and she also suffered a second-degree tear. The operation was an extremely traumatic experience, which resulted in a PTSD diagnosis some months later. She found the communication regarding her problematic birth and the aftercare she received while in hospital to be poor, which led to feelings of failure, guilt and isolation. Pamela is passionate about supporting others who have suffered birth trauma.
Claire portrait

Meet Claire

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.
Amanda portrait

Meet Amanda

Amanda is a single mum of one little boy 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.
Kristy-Lee portrait

Meet Kristy-Lee

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.
Reka portrait

Meet Reka

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 portrait

Meet Phoebe

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.
peer mentor tamara

Meet Tamara

Tamara became passionate in supporting other parents after feeling disappointed, broken and alone following her own birth trauma experience. Tamara was diagnosed with placenta previa during her first pregnancy, and also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Initially told she would have to have a caesarean section, Tamara was shocked and unprepared when instead she gave birth vaginally to her baby girl. Tamara and her husband both suffered psychologically from the traumatic vaginal birth, which required a prolonged induction with intense contractions, episiotomy, forceps delivery, manual placental removal and a post-partum haemorrhage requiring a blood transfusion. The impacts of the traumatic birth continued when Tamara required a night in ICU, separate to her baby and her husband. It has now been 2 years since this experience, and Tamara is feeling excited, informed and hopeful for a positive birth of her second daughter, who is due in February, 2021. Despite the difficulties Tamara faced in her traumatic birth experience and the time it has taken to overcome these, she is grateful it has given her understanding and empathy to enable her to support other parents who have experienced birth trauma.

FAQ's

To access the service, simply request a booking by completing the appointment form at the top of this page. You can also request a particular mentor but please note that connecting with this mentor may not be guaranteed. Please allows at least 24 hours for us to arrange your chat time.

Before participating in the program it is important that you read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. As part of using this service you accept these terms and conditions.

While there is no set time limit for sessions please keep in mind the availability of the mentor. There is no limit to the number of times you can access the service however the service is intended for short term support. Our Peer2Peer Mentors may encourage you to seek professional support and will be able to direct you to a more appropriate service provider for professional counselling.

Before accessing the P2P Support Live Chat please read our Terms and Conditions.

If  you have a confirmed booking to chat with a mentor, simply select the Live Chat Peer2Peer Logo pop up in the bottom right hand corner of this page and register your first name and email address.

You can then start messaging a Peer2Peer Mentor like you would on Facebook Messenger or via SMS.

If you are trying to contact us and do not have a booking, you will be greeted by our offline message. You will be able to type a message to us and we will respond to you within 24 hours.

If you would like to book a time to chat with a mentor, please complete the booking form at the top of this page.

We are currently accepting expressions of interest from both men and women about becoming a Peer2Peer Mentor. Simply apply online using our online application form.

Mentor Applications

We are currently accepting expressions of interest from men and women wishing to be peer support volunteers with the ABTA. Training and ongoing support are provided and your time commitment is very flexible so you can honour your family, work and leisure commitments.

Other options for support

Women are welcome to join our Facebook Group – Australasian Birth Trauma Support to connect with other mothers and ask questions about trauma recovery.

Our Support Services Page contains information on other support services that may be useful.