New mothers in Australia suffer from trauma

June 1st, 2011 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 1 (IANS) About one third of all Australian women, with no history of mental illness, feel traumatised by childbirth and have to undergo counseling to ease their stress, a study has revealed.

The study led by psychologist Debra Creedy from the University of Queensland surveyed 1,038 pregnant women with no previous history of mental illness, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.

The study said that about 30 percent of women - after they gave birth - described childbirth as “horrific” or “terrifying”.

“They feared for their life or that of their baby,” said Creedy, who has been studying maternity health for over 15 years.

Untreated trauma could lead to anxiety or post-natal depression, causing reactions like excessive concern for their kids or fear of giving birth again, the study said.

“Unless these emotions are dealt with in a productive way, they can have lasting effects on women,” Creedy said.

Creedy and a team of researchers from the University of Queensland have trained a team of midwives for counseling such new mothers.

“We found midwives are very well placed to support the emotional needs of women because they understand childbirth,” she said.

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