Birth accidents and related traumas are something no mother, or family, want to experience, but it’s not an uncommon occurrence. A wide-ranging study conducted in 2010 and published by the NLM found that there are up to 37 births with trauma per 1000 in the USA every year, with many of these occurrences having long-term impacts for the family. These impacts can affect anyone, from the mother to the wider family, but almost always start with the child his or herself.
Birth trauma’s immediate impact
Birth trauma will always immediately impact the child in question, and in many cases is avoidable. A commonly raised issue in cerebral palsy malpractice suits, cerebral palsy being one of the most frequently cited results of birth trauma, is the actions of doctors within the hospital, and any relative lack of aftercare. This is because, while many hospitals are vigilant to cerebral palsy and other condition related to birth trauma, they often fail to provide a level of care to disrupted homes after leaving the hospital. This is important – according to Australia’s Better Health agency, the disruption to a home resulting from such difficult situations can have a huge impact on the family and the child’s chances of proper development.
Traumatic birth can have deep emotional and psychological impacts for the child. This is exacerbated by the fact that many homes that have experienced birth trauma can experience disruption and disarray. Both within the family and further afield, a lack of support following a traumatic birth can create problems within the home that impact the baby and, crucially, the mother.
Mental health and mothers
According to a recent analysis by the BBC, up to 4% of mothers experience some form of mental illness following the birth of their child. Where traumatic birth is involved, this number rises and, crucially, encompasses more complex conditions such as PTSD. This clearly impacts a mother’s ability to care for their child and for themselves, which can create huge impacts so early in a baby’s life.
Clearly, then, birth trauma is not something that can be fully managed and healed while within the hospital. The lingering impact of the situation is something that can have a huge impact on both the baby and the mother’s life, as well as family. To properly support families who are impacted by traumatic birth, full support from the day of birth must be provided for as long as it is required.