Postnatal Depression & Birth Trauma

Post natal depression follows birth trauma

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?

About one in three women experience some emotional trauma during the pregnancy, labour or birth.  Becoming a mother is a very daunting experience due to the hormonal, physical, career and financial changes.  While many women will glow during pregnancy, some women struggle with morning sickness throughout, or complications like placenta previa, high blood pressure and fears around the birth and labour.

In Australia, about one in four known pregnancies will end in miscarriage and many times this can be very emotionally and physically draining and traumatic.  Many women are excited about a pregnancy and to have it end very suddenly can cause grief, anxiety and depression.  Talking through a miscarriage experience can help a woman to reduce worry, anxiety and depression during the next pregnancy.

Fear of labour and birth is common, especially for first time mothers.  Birthing confidence can be improved by coaching by a psychologist during counselling.   Finding a safety mindset to approach labour and birth is very important.  Managing family relationships can also be traumatic, especially if the parents come from different cultures/religions/socio-economic groups.

There are so many decisions that can have a lasting impact. Every woman differs as to the best time to leave work, to plan another child, move house and other such major life decisions.  Counselling with a psychologist can help and all psychologists on this website are mothers who are aware at a practical level of the challenges associated with balancing a career, children and maintaining a healthy relationship with a partner.

Attempts to discuss ongoing feelings of distress even with health professionals are often met with platitudes of “time will heal” or “at least you have a healthy baby”, because birth is seen as a celebrated healthy normal event.

The reality is, pregnancy and birth don’t always go to plan. Women will frequently seek counselling as a way to find extra support as they navigate the challenges of motherhoo,d and to resolve the distress of their birth experience. Counselling can provide effective strategies to help women to rise to the challenge of the growing familym and repair the emotional damage done by traumatic events in pregnancy and birth.

Julie FickelAuthor: Julie Fickel, RN, PG Cert Health Science, PG Diploma Midwifery.

Julie Fickel is a midwife who has completed additional training in postnatal depression, anxiety, birth trauma, sex therapy and early parenting support. As a midwife, Julie is well placed to sensitively explore your unique story, helping you to connect events to emotions and fill in missing pieces. This is useful to help women understand what happened, how it could be different next time and create meaning in their experience.

Julie offers counselling sessions via Skype, telephone, and face-to-face at M1 Psychology Loganholme. To arrange an appointment, please call (07) 3067 9129 or book Julie Fickel online now.