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Focus on birth trauma to enhance support

2023-07-12T13:48:33+01:00Wednesday 12 July 2023|

A study day to raise awareness of birth trauma, how it may be prevented and how parents and staff can be well supported in the aftermath is being run across two Black Country Trusts.

Tracy Denmade is a Patient Experience Midwife with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and she has organised the session to run jointly with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

In Walsall, Tracy, who is a Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner,  set up a Birth Reflections Service for women and their birth partners and has been listening to their experiences, pledging to act upon the feedback.

She explained: “Birth trauma is an individual response to a situation or set of circumstances that has the potential to have physical and or emotional, harmful effects that can be long lasting.

“A birth can become traumatic because of a medical intervention such as an emergency caesarean, or a complication, and women may fear they are going to lose their baby. They may also fear for their own lives. These fears can continue to affect their mental health for months and years later. This trauma can also be experienced by their partners and the staff supporting them, known as vicarious trauma.”

The study day is aimed at Midwives, Maternity Support Workers and Health Visitors across both Trusts and Tracy said there had been good uptake from teams.

“It’s vital for staff to have awareness and the tools they need to help prevent trauma where possible as well as know how best to support women and families afterwards,” Tracy added.

“For our patients, I hope that having a well-informed workforce will improve their experience and have a positive impact as trauma can affect bonding with the baby, feeding, relationships and planning for another baby.

“I am incredibly passionate about raising awareness of birth trauma and very proud of the service we can offer our women and families. This is our first study day on this important topic and I hope it will be an informative day for all who attend and that learn things that are helpful for their practice.”

The study day is taking place at Walsall Manor Hospital tomorrow (Thursday 13 July).

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