Birth Crisis: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Birth Crisis

1st Edition

By Sheila Kitzinger


208 pages

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Paperback: 9780415372664
pub: 2006-06-01
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pub: 2006-06-08
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One new mother in twenty is diagnosed with traumatic stress after childbirth. In Birth Crisis Sheila Kitzinger explores the disempowerment and anxiety experienced by these women. Key topics discussed include:

  • increasing intervention in pregnancy
  • the shift in emphasis from relationships to technology in childbirth
  • how family, friends and professional caregivers can reach out to traumatized mothers
  • how women can work through stress to understand themselves more deeply and grow in emotional maturity
  • how care and the medical system needs to be changed.

Birth Crisis draws on mothers' voices and real-life experiences to explore the suffering after childbirth which has, until now, been brushed under the carpet. It is a fascinating and useful resource for student and practising midwives, all health professionals, and women and their families who want to learn how to overcome a traumatic birth.


'In the 1990s, Shelia Kitzinger set up a Birth Crisis hotline and corresponding workshops to address the concerns of women who contacted her about their difficult birth experiences. Birth Crisis springs from their stories of distress and healing. Each chapter knits their experiences together with the author's commentary and lists ways to avoid destructive maternity care.' - Jane Pincus, Vermont, USA

'Birth Crisis provides a thorough explanation of what constitutes a 'medicalized' birth experience and what the symptoms of PTSD are after giving birth. This book also provides women with alternatives to the medical model and provides support for women who may be experiencing trauma after giving birth….Birth Crisis does an excellent job of bringing to light a very important issue in women's health.' - Sara Martino, Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books

This is a comprehensive account of the ways that birth can be a traumatic experience in our society. Helen Sassoon, Research networker. New Digest

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Birth Contrasts 3. Pain 4. Institutional Power in a High-Tech Birth Culture 5. Sexual Abuse and Birth 6. Nightmares, Flash-Backs, Panic Attacks 7. 'If Only I Hadn't…' 8. The Baby 9. The Partner 10. Making Sense of the Birth Experience 11. The Next Pregnancy

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Allied Health Services / General
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery