Postpartum Trauma Disorders (e.g. PTSD)
Research linking birth trauma and PTSD remains fairly limited at this stage, but you can find some published articles on our ‘Birth Trauma Research‘ page.
The following is a summary of symptoms associated with birth-related PTSD.1
- repetitive memories (or flashbacks) that are hard to control and intrude into everyday life
- extreme distress caused by reminders of the trauma (may be prompted by smells, sounds, words or other triggers
- avoiding places, people or objects that may trigger memories of the traumatic event
- not wanting to talk about or think about the event
- feeling a sense of hopelessness about the future
- negative beliefs about yourself or the world
- blaming yourself or others unreasonably
- intense worry, depression, anger or guilt
- not being able to remember the traumatic event
- becoming emotionally detached from others
- constant, excessive alertness
- constantly alert for signs of danger
- being easily startled
- aggressive behaviour
- difficulty sleeping
- poor concentration.
PTSD Treatment Information
Both professional help and appropriate resources are available.
Before specific treatment for PTSD or another trauma-related disorder is approved you will require a comprehensive health assessment from your chosen health professional. Treatments include an array of psychological therapies and/or medication.
Your first appointment should be with your GP. Speaking with the GP will enable you to select the care plan that best suits your needs. Your GP may complete a formal mental health care plan and refer you to an appropriate specialist. We also strongly suggest word of mouth, speaking with other women either through your mothers’ group or on forums. Ideally your specialist should be an expert in birth trauma.
Reading our ‘What is Birth Trauma’ page will also give you some starting points for getting the support you may need from family and friends and for the discussion with a healthcare professional.