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I had an awful birth and I can’t stop thinking about the details. How can I get over it? / FAQs / Pregnancy information from midwivesonline.com

I had an awful birth and I can’t stop thinking about the details. How can I get over it?

I’m sorry you feel distressed by this birth but it is crucial you try and resolve some of your concerns. Perhaps a postnatal appointment with your Obstetrician would be helpful, so you can go through your previous delivery notes carefully to understand the reasons for such actions. You have the right to obtain a copy of your records but you probably need to look at them with a health professional. This may help to resolve some of your concerns and even plan how they could be avoided in a future pregnancy. It may be worth contacting your midwife aswell.

After a traumatic birth many women are frightened of getting pregnant again and the prospect of going through another birth. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after childbirth is a real problem. It is not the same a postnatal depression. It is quite normal to be scared and frightened of experiencing birth again. Treatments are available such as psychotherapy. Some women take steps to avoid getting pregnant such as avoiding sex, using multiple forms of contraception, or getting sterilised. A lot of women say that before the traumatic birth they wanted to have more children but their traumatic experience stops them from planning another pregnancy. Extreme fear of pregnancy and birth is called tokophobia.

It is quite normal to be scared that the same thing will happen again. The important thing is to examine these fears, look at how likely it is that the same thing will happen again, and look at ways you can reduce the likelihood that it will be the same. This is why a debriefing session can be helpful to you. Prepare a list of questions you wish to address as it can be an emotional consultation.

For more advice, please visit the BTA website at www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk or http://www.sheilakitzinger.com/BirthCrisis.htm

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