Post stress traumatic
Help for childbirth trauma

Post stress traumatic

Post stress traumatic

This page includes information and a story about childbirth-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

You may know someone who has had a traumatic birth/delivery or maybe you yourself have had a stressful traumatic time.

Childbirth-related posttraumatic stress disorder can be associated with not just the events of childbirth but with the expectant’s mother:

· Perception of control

· Attitudes of people around them,

· Relationship with the maternity care provider

· Feelings of not being heard

· Level of information provided and ability to consent.

Women in labour can be traumatised by interventions they feel they should not have had, as a result, it is not always the dramatic events of childbirth that trigger posttraumatic stress disorder.

Mary (not her real name) successfully conquered her extreme fear of childbirth through therapy.

Mary had had a very traumatic labour and delivery, which subsequently gave her a fear of having another baby.

She had prepared well for the birth (she thought) as many women do, she had gone to childbirth classes, practised her breathing, written a birth plan, and was feeling really excited about the new baby, although she was getting tired because her pregnancy was so ‘big’.

She was told that she would have to be ‘induced’ because she was two weeks late past her ‘due’ date and because she and her husband questioned this intervention, she was told that the baby might die if she did not have the induction, and as you can imagine, this verbal pressure frightened her so much that she gave in and had the induction, the nurse used prostaglandins to induce labour.

What happened next was very frightening for Mary:

After a short period of time Mary started to get overwhelming pains that she could not control-( as you would be able to if they were normal contractions), she actually locked herself in the toilet, as she was so distressed, the pain levels increased, and she just could not cope, it appeared to her that the hospital staff did not seem to care about her pain levels.

Because she could not push the baby out, she finally had to have a forceps delivery, which was extremely painful; she then had to have an episiotomy, and a blood transfusion.

Mary felt violated and traumatised as a result of the intrusive procedures (which she did not choose) she had gone through.

After the labour she was put in a ward on her own where she felt isolated, she was in a lot of discomfort and pain, and in her eyes, her nurse appeared to be discourteous and uncaring, making her feel like she was an enormous inconvenience and a burden which contributed to her subsequent guilt and feelings of failure.

The combination of the above events left Mary with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Post stress traumatic

Although Mary had been depressed and anxious since the birth, she did get pregnant again, she decided to try Hypnotherapy to help her -as she was terrified of giving birth again.

Mary had a series of Hypnotherapy sessions.

Hypnotherapy helped her:

· Deal with the childbirth posttraumatic stress disorder and to let it go

· Gain confidence and let go of fear

· Take successful control of the forthcoming labour

· Avoid caesarean section

She practised for the labour at home using a relaxation recording, (made in the Hypnotherapy session)

Mary subsequently gave birth to her second child, in a much more relaxed way, in full control of her pain levels, and the position she gave birth in, she was delighted at the outcome.

Mary’s story demonstrates that childbirth-related posttraumatic stress disorder can be beaten with the aid of therapy; Mary’s determination to conquer her fear bore fruit.

Post stress traumatic

Get help for posttraumatic stress disorder by talking to professionals such as:


Health professionals

Experienced well qualified therapists

To return from post stress traumatic to post traumatic stress syndrome click here

To return from post stress traumatic to relief-for-stress home page click here

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