Kim Thomas for all
Kim Thomas is 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. Kim lives in Hertfordshire with her
partner and their daughter.
Click here to contact Kim
Or telephone: 075 1069 7987
(Please note that this number is for media
contacts only - please use the Facebook group or
firstname.lastname@example.org for support
or research data
BTA response to the Maternity Review will be on this link
Key Information for Journalists
About the BTA
The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) is a voluntary organisation
established in 2004 to support families suffering from Post Natal Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) or birth trauma. It is the only organisation in the UK which
deals solely and specifically with this issue. We aim to offer advice and
support to all women and their families who are finding it hard to cope with
their childbirth experience. We are also dedicated to researching PN PTSD
and developing better diagnosis and treatment for sufferers as well as establishing
The BTA have a strong commitment to campaigning for informed
choice in childbirth – this must not be confused
with campaigning for or against any particular type of
birth. We simply believe that it is essential for mothers
and fathers to be made fully aware of all the possibilities
open to them and that their subsequent informed choice
should be treated with respect and compassion by health
What is Birth Trauma?
In this context Birth Trauma is Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after childbirth. We
also include those women who may not meet the clinical
criteria for PTSD but who have some of the symptoms of
the disorder. This is distinctly different from Post Natal
Depression and PTSD is the term for a set of normal reactions
to a traumatic, scary or bad experience. Symptoms are debilitating
and can have long reaching consequences for sufferers and
The BTA has a very successful website at www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk.
The site currently receives over 10,000 unique visitors
every month and this is rising. The site has become an
extremely useful tool not only for parents, but also for
professionals in a wide range of fields from midwifery
to psychology. If you need information on birth trauma
quickly this should be your first port of call.
Who suffers from PN PTSD?
Studies indicate that, in the UK, around 10,000
women a year develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Also, as many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised
by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms of PTSD.
Sufferers can come from any background however women
who have had a history of abuse or previous trauma are
at greater risk.
The BTA is committed to working with maternity and mental
health practitioners and the NHS to ensure that labouring
women receive the information and care they need. In our
experience the vast majority of traumatic birth experiences
which lead to symptoms of PN PTSD are avoidable or the
symptoms are treatable if properly diagnosed.
Birth Trauma Association Logo - Download
EPS File (774 kb)
- It is estimated that, in the UK alone, 10,000
women a year may develop Post-Natal Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PN PTSD).
- As many as 200,000 women may also feel traumatised
by childbirth and develop some of the symptoms
- Approximately 1/3rd of women have some traumatic
response to birth.
- There are risk factors for Post Natal PTSD
which include a very complicated mix of objective
(e.g. the type of delivery) and subjective (e.g.
feelings of loss of control) factors. They include:
- Lengthy labour or short and very painful labour
- Poor pain relief
- Feelings of loss of control
- High levels of medical intervention
- Traumatic or emergency deliveries, e.g. emergency
- Impersonal treatment or problems with the staff
- Not being listened to
- Lack of information or explanation
- Lack of privacy and dignity
- Fear for baby's safety
- Baby’s stay in SCBU/NICU
- Poor postnatal care
- Previous trauma (for example, in childhood, with
a previous birth or domestic violence)