It is common for women who call PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline to tell us they had a complicated or even traumatic birthing experience. This trauma can result from not only what happens during labour and childbirth, but also how the mother is left feeling as a result of her experience.
She might have experienced pain or physical distress while giving birth. Or her labour or childbirth may have required medical intervention (actions taken by the attending medical professionals if the health of mother or baby is considered to be at risk) that she wasn’t prepared for.
A traumatic birth can be described as one that causes a woman to feel any one of these feelings:
Women who feel these things during the birth have a higher chance of experiencing:
- lack of confidence
- hypervigilance or intense preoccupation with the baby’s health
- feelings of failure
It is also common for women to describe their labour as ‘normal’, even if they are left with confusing, on-going symptoms such as anxiety – including for the health of the baby – or low mood.