Who Are We?
The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) was established in 2004 to support women suffering from Post Natal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or birth trauma. We are not trained counsellors or therapists or medical professionals. We are mothers who wish to support other women who have suffered difficult births and we aim to offer advice and support to all women who are finding it hard to cope with their childbirth experience.
The BTA is the only organisation in the UK which deals solely and specifically with this issue. We aim to tackle the problem with work which is focused on three main areas:
(1) Raising awareness of birth trauma
(2) Working to prevent it
(3) Supporting families in need
We have four leading experts on our Board, a Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee of committed activists. In addition, we have many active professional and lay volunteers whose skills range from administration to obstetric and psychological expertise.
The BTA believes that too little is known about the psychology of childbirth and this means that the mental health consequences of it are all too often and, all too easily, ignored. We also believe that, on occasion, the emotional needs of women are sidelined or forgotten. We are very keen to have the support of health care professionals for our work so that we can campaign effectively to change any current practices that contribute to traumatic birth experiences.
Our current committee includes:
Gwyn is responsible for managing the executive team and co-ordinating volunteers.
- Maureen Treadwell
Maureen Treadwell is co-founder of the BTA. She previously worked as a lecturer setting up her own company. Maureen is our research officer and our rep on various working parties and lay panels e.g. UKOSS and MBRRACE
- Kim Thomas
Kim Thomas is our press officer. She a freelance journalist specialising in healthcare, social care and education. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Guardian and Financial Times. In 2013 she published Birth Trauma, a guide aimed at helping women experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder after a difficult birth.
Jo is the BTA volunteer manager and is setting up the regional support network.
- Rachael McGrath
Rachael looks after fundraising and social media.
Board of Experts
Our Executive Board includes leading figures in both research and practice relating to birth trauma. We are able to turn to them for professional advice and information on recent developments and we are indebted to them for their invaluable voluntary contributions. Our Board Members are:
- Helen Allott
Helen is a consultant obstetrician with a special interest in helping women who have suffered from a traumatic birth experience. She runs a Post Delivery Counselling clinic at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
- Professor Pauline Slade
Pauline is Professor in Clinical Psychology at University of Liverpool and Consultant Clinical Psychologist for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals where she runs the Birth Trauma Clinic Previously she was Deputy Director for the Clinical Psychology Unit at University of Sheffield where she was involved from the beginning of the doctoral clinical psychology training programme. Professor Slade's fuller biography can be seen here.
- Dr Susan Ayers
Susan is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Sussex. Her main interest is the development of post-traumatic stress disorder after health events, particularly childbirth. She has undertaken qualitative and quantitative studies of traumatic birth and published widely on the topic.
- Judy Crompton
Judy Crompton is a trained midwife and trauma therapist, specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
- Sandra Gidley previoiusly an MP and LibDem Spokesperson for Women’s Issues
Sandra originally qualified as a pharmacist and it was her interest in the Health Service that originally led her to become active in politics. Sandra has been an antenatal teacher and is actively involved with her local constituency hospital. Her parliamentary work included being co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health.