Ison Harrison are supporting Birth Trauma Awareness Week 2017, held between 14th-21st August, as a timely reminder of how common birth trauma is and how many people are affected by it.

What is Birth Trauma?

Birth trauma is commonly referred to as a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and can be described as how a mother and her family deal with the after effects of a traumatic birth. PTSD is a term that describes a set of completely natural reactions to witnessing a traumatic, scary or bad experience. Such symptoms can be seen in other walks of life when similar incidents are witnessed, but with a traumatic childbirth, it is certainly common for the mother to feel fear, helplessness, distress and anxiety, and if these symptoms are not treated correctly, this can lead to deeper, longer term problems, such as post-natal depression.

Birth Trauma Awareness Week

The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) was set up in 2004 as a voluntary organisation to support families suffering from birth trauma. It is a unique organisation in the UK and aims to offer support and advice to mothers and families, but also is dedicated to researching post-natal PTSD, to hopefully find better methods of diagnosis for sufferers and also to develop better preventive measures.

A major event for the BTA is Birth Trauma Awareness Week, which seeks to highlight the issue of traumatic births and post-natal stress. The aim is to educate people and raise funds to help run programs and campaigning on the issue in the future.

Birth Trauma Facts

More than 200,000 women a year feel in some way traumatised by childbirth in the UK, but of these only 10,000 women are specifically diagnosed with a PTSD. A birth trauma can manifest itself in many ways, but most commonly through the type of delivery experienced or coping with the loss of control felt during and after the birth.

Common causes of birth trauma are induction methods, or the concept of induction, poor pain relief, being uncomfortable with excessive medical intervention, emergency deliveries, problematic staff, a lack of information or explanation, problems with dignity or privacy, a fear for the baby’s safety or health, or a traumatic birth triggering an anxiety over a previous trauma.

A PTSD triggered by childbirth is often misdiagnosed as post-natal depression by healthcare professionals, and so a person can be prevented from accessing the right treatment. This in itself can make the problem worse, and while a PTSD can be treated quickly it can easily develop into post-natal depression, which is a more deep-rooted and long term condition.

Ison Harrison have a Clinical Negligence Department headed by James Thompson, a specialist solicitor with vast experience helping families who have suffered from birth trauma, and we handle many sensitive clinical negligence cases. Please contact us today for any further information or if you have recently suffered from birth trauma and would like some advice on what options are available to you.

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