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.

chapter 1|15 pages

Transition to motherhood

chapter 2|23 pages

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Understanding the iceberg

chapter 3|16 pages

Communication skills

How to listen

chapter 4|26 pages

Birth afterthoughts

A stepped care model

chapter 5|8 pages

Therapeutic interventions

The next step

chapter 6|16 pages

Supporting women in their next pregnancy

chapter 7|16 pages

Promoting staff resilience

chapter 8|11 pages

Using narratives to inform practice