It is vital that healthcare practitioners understand the psychological impact of childbirth when caring for women. This accessible guide is designed to improve the care that women receive and, as a result, public health outcomes related to maternal and infant wellbeing.
This book outlines how clinicians can offer practical support to women after birth. It:
- discusses what we know about how women adapt to motherhood and develop a post-childbirth identity;
- outlines some of the causes and manifestations of post-traumatic stress following childbirth;
- provides practical guidance for setting up postnatal pathways for women traumatised by birth and how to communicate effectively;
- equips practitioners with the knowledge and skills to support pregnant women with a fear of birth;
- incorporates narratives from women to demonstrate how their births and related events were perceived and processed, before discussing how women’s views can be used to inform future practice;
- highlights the importance of restorative supervision for healthcare professionals working in this area to promote staff resilience and sustainability.
Drawing together theoretical knowledge, evidence, practical skills and women’s narratives to help clinicians understand the psychology of childbirth and support women, it is of significant value to all healthcare practitioners engaged in maternity services.
Table of Contents
1. Transition to motherhood 2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-Understanding the iceberg 3. Communication Skills: How to listen 4. Birth Afterthoughts-a stepped care model 5. Therapeutic Interventions-the next step 6. Supporting women in their next pregnancy 7. Promoting Staff resilience 8. Using narratives to inform practice
Alison Brodrick is a consultant midwife at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, UK. Alison has established the Sheffield birth afterthoughts service and an antenatal service for pregnant women who are fearful of birth. She is also involved in service redesign within maternity.Emma Williamson is a clinical psychologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, UK. Emma currently works therapeutically with women who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth and has previously researched in this area.