Tag Archives: Birth trauma

Lynette’s story

Connecting with other women with similar experiences to mine has played a huge part in my recovery.

Lynette (Lisburn)

I had a traumatic experience when I gave birth to my twins in February 2020. This led to me missing out on our first bonding experiences but for the first few weeks I was okay and adjusted to life as a mum of two. Then, four weeks later, we entered the first lockdown of the Covid pandemic.

My partner was a key worker, so he kept working throughout. Without any visitors allowed, I became very isolated. I’d had so many plans for my maternity leave, such as going to groups and meeting other parents, but I couldn’t do any of that.

Losing my identity

My mood became very low and I started to feel anxious all the time. I also internalised a lot of my feelings and worried when people came to visit that they only wanted to see the babies. I felt like I’d lost a big part of my identity.

It all came to a head one day when I was playing with my twins and had the thought, “I could just disappear”. I knew then that I wasn’t okay and told my husband how I was feeling. He encouraged me to call the doctor. The first response I got from the doctor’s receptionist was, “Is this important?”. But I pushed forward and asked for help.

Early support is vital

After an assessment from the mental health team, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and prescribed medication to help with my mood, and I was referred to my local Maternal Advocacy and Support [MAs] group. It took me a long time to build up the confidence to attend, but as soon as I walked into the first meeting I knew I was in the right place.

Connecting with other women with similar experiences to mine has played a huge part in my recovery. There is no judgement and you can laugh, cry and giggle with women who know where you’re coming through. I have mum friends now!

I wish I had known about services like the MAs group sooner and shared how I was feeling at an earlier stage. I also believe it’s important that health and social care professionals understand how hard it is for new mums who may be struggling to seek support. They need to actively share with the mums the amazing services which could help them.

Find out more about the MAs project, led by MMHA member Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA), on our blog or on the WRDA website.

If the content of this story causes you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services that may be able to help.

Only four in 10 people are aware that birth can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey finds

A survey¹ by Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Birth Trauma Association, has found that the majority of people aren’t aware that birth can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The survey, carried out to mark Birth Trauma Awareness Week, found that, while 78% of people were aware that war could cause PTSD, only 40% knew that it was possible to experience PTSD as a result of giving birth.  Continue reading Only four in 10 people are aware that birth can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey finds

Marce 2018 – Global Experiences, Global Dialogues, Global Responses

Sally Hogg attended the Marce Society 2018 Biennial, to share learning and gain insights into global best practice in maternal mental health.

It was an absolute privilege to attend the International Marce Society Biennial meeting in Bangalore. The meeting brought together over 500 delegates from 31 countries to discuss the latest science and practice in protecting and promoting maternal mental health. I was there to share learning from the MMHA Mums and Babies in Mind Project, alongside trying to capture useful insights for those at home.

This was the first time that a Marce conference had been held in the Global South. The conference really opened my eyes to the challenges facing Low and Middle Income countries where the vast majority of the world’s babies are born, the prevalence of perinatal mental health problems is particularly high, and there are fewer resources to support families. The conference chair, Jane Fisher, powerfully reminded us that enabling mothers to be healthy is key to enabling children, and therefore societies and economies, to reach their full potential and thrive. Continue reading Marce 2018 – Global Experiences, Global Dialogues, Global Responses

Physical and Mental Health in the Postnatal Period

Emma Brockwell is a women’s health physiotherapist in Surrey, with a particular passion for helping women to recover after birth. Here she writes about the links between physical and mental health in the postnatal period.

Pregnancy and childbirth are life-changing events that affect women both physically and mentally. Whilst their impacts affect women at different levels and in many different ways, it is rare to have a baby and not be affected in some capacity. As a women’s health physiotherapist I see that physical and mental health issues often go hand in hand, but as a system we are very poor at seeing and treating these conditions and giving women the holistic care that they need.

Continue reading Physical and Mental Health in the Postnatal Period

World Mental Health Day blog: Working through loss and trauma

unknownThis year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on how we respond to trauma. To mark this, the Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) team spoke to clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Josephine Harrison, who works with mums who have lost a baby, had a traumatic birth experience or who have struggled with infertility. These issues are, understandably, incredibly difficult for mums. Josephine is linked to the North Middlesex University Hospital which serves people living in Enfield, Haringey and the surrounding areas. Haringey is one of the four areas where MABIM is working.

Continue reading World Mental Health Day blog: Working through loss and trauma

Emma’s story: Beyond Birth Trauma

image1By Emma Jane Sasaru

Emma Jane is a mother to two daughters and passionate about improving maternity and perinatal mental health services for women and their families. The Mums and Babies in Mind team invited Emma to tell her story about birth trauma, perinatal PTSD and how she is making a difference.

We sometimes go through things in life that completely change us.

For me this is certainly true. When I gave birth to my first daughter I suffered birth trauma and then went on to develop perinatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Continue reading…