Supporting you with specialist therapy online

Birth trauma therapy to help you move forward

Specialist psychological therapy to process a difficult birth.

You shouldn't be left feeling upset when you think about your birth experience

It can be challenging to know how to recover when you’ve experienced birth trauma. Even if your birth appeared to have been medically ‘straightforward’ to others, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t traumatic.

Perhaps you ended up having an emergency c-section after planning a water birth. Maybe there was a medical problem with you or your baby, or you felt ignored by people who were supposed to be caring for you. Instead of being joyful, as you had imagined it, your experience of giving birth felt lonely and frightening, and you are left doubting yourself.

None of that was your fault, and it wasn’t because you didn’t try hard enough.

Now, weeks or months afterwards, it may be impossible to stop remembering what happened, no matter how hard you try to avoid the reminders. On top of this, you also have a baby to take care of and all the pressure this brings. All of this takes such enormous energy, especially after trauma.

I know you want to feel happier when you think about your birth experience. It’s hard to talk about what happened, and people don’t understand.

I created Better Beginnings to help people like you with birth trauma therapy.

Birth Trauma Counselling

Make sense of what happened

A safe space to help you make sense of the events around your birth trauma.

Process the trauma

Psychological intervention based on birth trauma therapy shown to work, such as EMDR therapy.

Feel safe and connected again

Live in the now again and move towards things that matter.

Understanding Birth Trauma and Its Causes

If you feel distressed about your birth experience, you are not alone. Around 25% of women report their birth as traumatic, typically because some aspect left them feeling helpless, frightened or believing they’ve failed. A percentage of these women experience trauma symptoms, and around 4% of mothers have PTSD as a result of a traumatic birth.

We all understand that sometimes childbirth just doesn’t go as planned. There can be a shocking turn of events. Suddenly, the midwives were rushing you to surgery instead of the hypno-birth you’d prepared for. Or the skin-to-skin contact you’d imagined couldn’t happen because you or your baby needed medical attention. And in those short, shocking moments, everything once imagined about meeting your baby is lost.

Very often, however, it is events around childbirth that contribute more to birth trauma than the process of the birth itself. One of the most significant factors is how women feel they were treated during labour, especially if they felt uncared for or dismissed by people who were supposed to be caring for them at such a vulnerable time. These are the invisible moments which can turn an upsetting birth into birth trauma.

Birth trauma happens at the point of a massive transition – the beginning of motherhood. New mothers are left feeling they have already failed at motherhood. And it can be impossibly hard to shift these negative thoughts without help.

Dr. Miriam Inder - Clinical Psychologist

How it works

Step one

Contact me and let's talk

Contact me using the button below and we can book a free introduction call so you can be confident I'm a good fit for you.

Step two

Together, we'll create a plan

With the security of feeling comfortable with me, we meet and begin by gently creating a shared understanding of your needs, crafting an individualised treatment plan.

Step three

Start moving forward again

We work together, at a pace that’s right for you, using specialist psychological therapy to help you achieve your therapy goals and move into the life you’ve been picturing.

Symptoms and Signs of Birth Trauma and PTSD

You can expect to experience lots of unpleasant thoughts and feelings in the immediate days after birth trauma. Our brains have developed effective ways to help us process complex events.

Sometimes, however, these difficulties continue beyond the first few weeks, and our bodies might need some help recovering.

The sorts of unpleasant things you might experience with birth trauma are:

  • Intrusive memories about what happened can pop into your mind uninvited
  • Feeling on edge and finding it hard to relax
  • Intense emotions or body sensations, like anxiety, fear, guilt or shame.
  • Getting stuck on thinking about birth, ‘why didn’t I do/say….’
  • Or, conversely, trying not to think about what happened
  • Feeling cut off from yourself or your baby
  • Finding it hard to sleep, even when the baby sleeps, perhaps also having nightmares.
  • Birth trauma or PTSD is different from postnatal depression, but they often get confused with each other, even by professionals.

With postnatal depression, the main problems are persistent low mood and sadness, loss of enjoyment in life and your baby, and trouble sleeping and concentrating without the additional birth-related symptoms mentioned.

Although it’s important to say that many mothers do have BOTH birth trauma and postnatal depression, they often go hand-in-hand.

Treatment Options and Strategies

After a traumatic birth and on top of looking after a new baby, it can feel impossible to keep any kind of routine or preserve time for yourself, which is entirely understandable. Still, staying connected to people you care about and continuing with small activities is helpful.

Consider asking for support from your health visitor or GP. You can also contact your maternity service to enquire about a ‘birth debrief’ so you can better understand what happened.

If your trauma symptoms persist after the first few weeks, you may benefit from specialist birth trauma therapy. Birth trauma therapy is a type of psychological therapy, or ‘talking therapy’ which is the first line of treatment for birth trauma or PTSD. Eye-movement desensitisation Therapy (EMDR) is proven to be effective in helping people with birth trauma symptoms.