1st Edition

Trauma and Birth A Handbook for Maternity Staff

By Sheila Broderick, Ruth Cochrane Copyright 2021
    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    Our book aims to provide those working in the maternity services, including those in general practices, with an understanding of what it means to be on the receiving end of care. Together with a description of various types of traumatic birth, we explain some of the reasons why women vary in terms of how traumatised they are by their birth experience. We provide information, encouragement and support for maternity staff to help them lessen the incidence of birth trauma, and to develop the confidence to help women when birth trauma does occur. 

    The authors are a senior counsellor and an obstetrician, each with a long experience of helping women who have had difficult births. The approach of each to the subject is different but complementary. The book covers the psychological and emotional aspects of traumatic birth as well as the medical issues and includes a section on the effect of traumatic birth on the staff themselves.

    The market for this book is practising midwives and obstetricians, who by understanding the prevalence of traumatic birth and some of its causes can contribute to its reduction. Those in their training years will find it helpful at the outset of their practice. It will also be of interest to general practitioners, health visitors and counsellors.

    1.The experience of traumatic birth  2.Person-centred care  3.Birth plans  4.Prolonged labour and shoulder dystocia  5.Instrumental delivery  6.Perineal, anal sphincter and bladder injury  7.Surgical considerations including haemorrhage and blood transfusion  8.ICU and anaesthesia  9.Mental health  10.Debriefing and serious incident reporting  11.Managing the next pregnancy and delivery  12.Trauma to staff


    Sheila Broderick qualified as a Social Worker in 1977. She initially worked at a therapeutic community for people with drug addiction. She then worked for Greenwich Mind, mental health charity, before she left to work at University Lewisham Hospital as a Women’s Health Counsellor. Her work at the hospital was always woman-centred, with kindness, support and an acknowledgement of each person’s uniqueness at its heart. When she retired in 2013 she was Senior Women’s Health Counsellor.

    Ruth Cochrane has been a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist since 1997. She is a busy generalist and is regularly to be found on the labour ward. She is particularly interested in high-risk obstetrics, major benign gynaecological surgery, the management of perinatal loss and undergraduate education. She runs a postnatal debrief clinic for women and their partners who have had traumatic births.