• Welcome to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association

What is Birth Trauma?

  • What is Birth Trauma?

  • Trauma means a wound, serious injury or damage; it can be physical or psychological (deeply disturbing and distressing).
  • The delivery of a baby can be a positive experience for some women, but for others it can be very negative, resulting in physical and/or psychological injuries (trauma). The psychological trauma may be the result of an extreme disconnect between a woman’s expectations of what would happen and the shock of what actually occurred. It may also relate to feelings of loss of control and a sense of not having a ‘voice’ in the face of authority, and unexplained interventions, as well as to the physical damage.
  • Thus it is important to note that some women may have severe emotional distress after a traumatic birth, although they did not have physical birth injuries.
  • Find out more about the different types of trauma, the signs and symptoms and the care and support you are able to access and receive.

What is Physical Birth Trauma?

Physical trauma may or may not be identified immediately. Indeed, you may be the first to notice something isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Types Of Physical Birth Trauma

Your physical birth trauma may or may not be identified immediately. Indeed, you may be the first to notice something isn’t right. Find out more here.

What Is Psychological Birth Trauma?

Trauma effects may continue long after the birth, with distinct psychological symptoms. Find out more about psychological birth trauma.

Support Organisations

Beyond Blue
beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
PANDA: Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia
PANDA - Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia supports women, men and families across Australia to recover from post and antenatal depression and anxiety, a serious illness that affects around 100,000 Australian families every year
Gidget Foundation
The Gidget Foundation is a not for profit organisation supporting the emotional wellbeing of new parents and their families, while providing education for health professionals and the community.
Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness. We are about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and community education.
COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence
High quality, practical information – to help YOU work through all the emotional challenges of becoming and being a parent

You may wish to find more information under Mental Health Support or Physical Trauma Support.