PIRI acknowledges the many individuals have experienced physical and emotional trauma during birth. It is estimated that up to 1 in 3 women experience birth trauma 1. While physical trauma during the birth is usually only experienced by the woman, psychological trauma can be experienced by both men and women. It often arises as a result of a disconnect between an individual’s expectations of what they thought would happen and what actually happened during the birth. Feelings of helplessness and fear for your or your baby’s life during the birth process are also commonly described by individuals who have experienced birth trauma. The shock of the birth experience can result in a range of mental health issues, such as postnatal anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, that a parent might need additional support to process.
If you have experienced a traumatic birth and feel you need additional support don’t hesitate to reach out. Below are a list of support services and a birth trauma specific resource:
- BUPA Parent and Baby Well-being Program – a psychological service available to parents with BUPA Hospital Cover (for support email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Mumspace – A one-stop website supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of pregnant women, new mums and their families (https://www.mumspace.com.au/)
- Australian Birth Trauma Peer to Peer support – an online messaging service for individuals who have experienced birth trauma (https://www.birthtrauma.org.au/peer2peer-support-program/)
- PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) –
www.panda.org.au 1300 726 306 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 7.30pm AEST/AEDT)
- Birth Trauma Specific Resource: https://www.birthtrauma.org.au/
1. Alcorn K, O’Donovan A, Patrick J, et al. A prospective longitudinal study of the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from childbirth events. Psychological Medicine 2010;40(11):1849-59