Recent research by Griffith University has confirmed the link between birth trauma and PND, writes Julie Fickel …
So – how was your birth? Is this a question that evokes sadness, anxiety or distress as the traumatic events in either your pregnancy or birth come flooding back?
With one in three women reporting traumatic birth or a distressing event in pregnancy, it is not surprising that these women can feel teary, unmotivated and/or experience persistent negative emotions.
When these feelings continue beyond a few weeks, a woman can become overwhelmed and unable to see her way through the problems, and may even feel suicidal.
When Birth doesn’t go to plan …
Attempts to discuss ongoing feelings of distress even with health professionals are frequently met with platitudes of “Time will heal…” or “at least you have a healthy baby!”. This is because birth is celebrated, and seen as a healthy normal event – irrespective of the woman’s experience. This can leave the woman feeling very alone.
Motherhood comes with it’s own challenges and can be a rigorous testing ground of a woman’s resilience, her belief in herself, and her ability to strategise and cope.
When you add health problems, sleep deprivation, intimacy issues, financial stress, low social support and having more than one small child to care for, how does a woman move forward?
Talking with a specially trained counsellor can help you rise to the challenges of your growing family, repair the emotional damage of traumatic events in your pregnancy and birth, and equip you with practical strategies to help you through.
Help for PND
Effective strategies include:
- looking at ways of coping
- time management
- ways to increase social support
- effective interpersonal communication
- self -care
- health management
- parenting tips
Author: Julie Fickel, RN, PG Cert Health Science, PG Dip Midwifery, Cert 4 T & A, Cert 4 Pastoral Care.
Julie Fickel is a midwife who has completed additional training in counselling for postnatal depression, anxiety, birth trauma, sex therapy and early parenting support, and was involved in research by Griffith University into the link between birth trauma and PND.
As a midwife Julie is well placed to sensitively explore your unique story, helping you along the way to connect events to emotions and fill in missing pieces. This helps you to understand what happened, how it could be different next time and create meaning in your experience.