20 Jun Three little known facts about birth trauma…..
Do you work with mums and dads who have experienced a traumatic birth and wonder how best to support them? Here are 3 little known facts about birth trauma that are worth considering in your approach.
Although debriefing has its place in enabling mums to understand what happened during their birth and why, excessive discussion about any traumatic event can actually make symptoms of PTSD worse. This is why NICE recommends ‘single-session interventions (often referred to as debriefing) that focus on the traumatic incident should not be routine practice when delivering services.’ Repetitively recalling the event can further entrench the feelings of anxiety that are inextricably linked to the trauma.
Birth trauma and PTSD symptoms are often misdiagnosed as PND by health care professionals making access to the right treatment even more of a challenge (and it is tough enough as it is!) It is not uncommon for a traumatic birth to lead to PND when left untreated. More information and awareness is needed of birth trauma to be able to sign post mums in the right direction for treatment, early in order to prevent more entrenched problems like PND, substance abuse or self harming.
Birth trauma like other PTSD can often be easily treated with one or two sessions of therapy using the Rewind technique. However NICE recommends treatments such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) or CBT. Unfortunately accessing these treatments can take a long time and waiting mums and dads can suffer unnecessarily for months waiting to see an NHS approved psychologist or therapist. I passionately believe that all professionals, from doulas to antenatal teachers and midwives, working with new mums and dads should be trained in this simple but effective technique that can free those who have suffered a traumatic birth from their debilitating symptoms, allowing them to start enjoying their time with their family.
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