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.

chapter |3 pages


chapter 1|7 pages

The experience of traumatic birth

chapter 2|10 pages

Person-centred care

chapter 3|13 pages

Birth plans

chapter 4|6 pages

Prolonged labour and shoulder dystocia

chapter 5|8 pages

Instrumental delivery

chapter 8|6 pages

ICU and anaesthesia

chapter 9|7 pages

Mental health issues

chapter 10|8 pages

Debriefing and Serious Incident reporting

chapter 11|6 pages

Managing the next pregnancy and delivery

chapter 12|7 pages

Trauma for staff