The birth of a child should be one of the most joyous experiences in a person’s life, but for many, it can be one of the most traumatic.
This week is Birth Trauma Awareness Week, a campaign to raise awareness of the issues affecting women who’ve experienced traumatic births and the organisations that are there to offer support.
According to the Birth Trauma Association, about 30,000 women in the UK experience birth trauma every single year. Many of these will go on to suffer in silence, rather than access the support that’s available to them.
Our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors have dealt with many claims from parents who’ve been traumatised because they received negligent care during the delivery of their baby, and we’ve seen the devastating impact this can have on people’s lives.
We hope that by shining a light on the issue of birth trauma and starting open and honest discussions about it, more women who’ve experienced it themselves can get the understanding and practical support they need.
What is Birth Trauma?
A person involved in any traumatic incident, such as a terror attack or a car accident, may go on to develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and this is true for women who’ve endured difficult deliveries.
Birth trauma can often result from medical complications, such as a lengthy or painful labour, having to undergo an emergency caesarean section or fears for their own or their baby’s safety. It can also be the result of medical negligence, such as signs of problems being missed by clinicians or procedures not being performed to the required standard.
Birth trauma can have many lasting effects on women, including:
- Regular nightmares and flashbacks
- Constant worries that something awful will happen
- Feeling irritable and jumpy
- Physical pain, sweating and nausea
- Feeling distressed when seeing reminders of the trauma, such as newborn babies
- Feelings of guilt
These symptoms can cause mothers to find bonding with their baby difficult. However, many treatments for birth trauma are available. Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) have been effective in many cases, as has eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).
In cases where negligent care has caused difficulties with delivering your baby, it’s really important that we recognise the psychological impact, as well as the physical injuries.
We will investigate any psychological impact as part of your claim so that we can make sure that we properly recover compensation for those injuries. We can include the cost of any treatment that you need to make sure that you have the best possible chance of making a full recovery.
About Birth Trauma Awareness Week
Birth Trauma Awareness Week runs from 6th to 12th September and has been set up by the Birth Trauma Association - a charity that provides invaluable support and advice to parents who have gone through difficult births.
Many of this year’s fundraising and awareness events have moved online this year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For details of what’s happening and how you can get involved, visit The Birth Trauma Association.