“The birth of a child is supposed to be one of life’s happiest events, but alarmingly 1 in 3 Australian women identify their birth as being traumatic.” Amy Dawes, CEO/Founder of ABTA
The 19th-25th July is Birth Trauma Awareness week and Body Beyond Baby, in collaboration with our MumSafe trainers, will be talking about and helping to raise awareness on the very important topic of birth trauma.
Through working closely with postnatal mums and through our pre-screening processes we too often discover women who are suffering in silence or really don’t know what happened to them, but they know something is wrong. We know this has to change and we must start these important conversations which is why we are proudly standing alongside the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) and supporting this year’s Birth Trauma Awareness Week.
What is birth trauma?
ABTA defines birth trauma as a wound, serious injury or damage – it can be either physical or psychological (deeply upsetting and distressing) or a combination of both. Both the new mother and the father/partner can be affected by birth trauma.
Physical birth trauma
Physical trauma (birth injuries) may or may not be identified straight away. You may be the first to notice that something isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is important to understand that physical birth injuries may require you to seek expert medical advice and assessment. Physical trauma can present as:
- Perineal tears
- Pelvic floor muscle damage
- Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
- Pelvic fractures (public bone, coccyx, sacrum)
- Cesarean wounds
Pshychological birth trauma
Psychological trauma may arise as a result of an extreme disconnect between an expectation of what would happen and what actually happened during the birth. For example, huge value could be placed on having a calm and natural birth and if this type of imagined birth doesn’t occur, many new mothers feel a sense of failure which can be made worse by feelings of not being prepared for an outcome that they didn’t expect.
Body Beyond Baby and our mumsafe trainers believe that there are WAY too many women suffering in silence due to birth trauma. We know that WE must be a catalyst to start these conversations and to share our personal stories. We know that when WE do this and YOU do too we allow other women to do the same. We shine a light on the things that need to change and we ensure that no woman is left struggling without support following the birth of her baby.
Although talking about birth trauma can be traumatic in itself we know that the only way to make sure other women know they are not alone is to share more. If you have suffered birth trauma and you feel this is a safe place for you to share we would love to hear your story. Jump on to our Facebook or Instagram and let others women know they are not alone.
Body Beyond Baby is the go-to place online for women to find mum-focused fitness services that are all accredited, experienced and partnered with women’s health physios so you know you are in very safe hands. When you train with a mumsafe trainer, please know that we have created a safe space for you to talk to us and the women around you. Click here to find a trainer near you.
The Australiasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) is on a mission to reduce the instances and impact of birth trauma whilst supporting affected women, families and healthcare professionals. To find out more about them, click here.
Thea is a Women’s Health Counsellor and Somatic Psychotherapist and has a special interest in working with trauma in its various forms, the adjustment to life after traumatic events and how this impacts our relationships with others. She works holistically, finding creative ways to combine physical and mental health.