Recovery after a traumatic birth

Unfortunately, in childbirth, things don’t always go to plan. If you have experienced a difficult or traumatic birth it is important to remember that you are not alone and there are things you can do and people you can talk to, to help you recover.

A traumatic birth is one where you have suffered distress as a result of your birthing experience. You may have experienced a physical trauma which has left you with a physical problem such as an infection, a tear or incontinence issues or an emotional trauma resulting from feelings of lack of control, feeling powerless, unhelpful or incompetent staff attitudes, loss of dignity, lack of consent or not being listened to during your labour, birth and afterwards.

Every woman’s feelings resulting from a traumatic birthing experience will be different and the way you deal with your experience will be very individual. If your birth was not what you expected or you have been left with unresolved issues, you might like to think about the following tips and strategies to help you recover;

  • Obtain details of what happened to you
  • Access a debriefing service through your maternity unit
  • Acknowledge your feelings and be kind to yourself
  • Talk to someone for both practical and emotional support
  • Make a formal complaint

For more information;

COPE – Recovering from a traumatic birth

Baby Centre Australia – How to recover from the effects of a difficult birth

Making a complaint 

Sources: (COPE)    (Baby Centre Australia)