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
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
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.
If you are a health care professional and you would like
more information about birth trauma or you would like to
help raise awareness of this issue then please contact
The Executive Committee runs the BTA. It is made up of
a core group of committed activists whose duties stretch
from support to press and publicity. Without this hard-working
body of individuals, supported by our many wonderful volunteers,
the BTA would not be able to continue its work. If you
would like to become active at this level, please contact
Our current committee includes:
Orford - CHAIR
Julie is a part-time freelance graphic designer and is currently
studying for a degree in Psychology. She had a traumatic forceps delivery
in August 2004 and joined the BTA as a volunteer shortly after that.
Julie went on to have two miscarriages, before a very
positive subsequent birth in 2009. She is Chair of the BTA,
and has responsibility for the BTA website/publications as well as running
birth trauma training sessions for health care professionals. Julie has
been the Chair of her local MSLC and has worked with the National
Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), as a
guideline development group member and as a lay member working on quality
standards. Julie is also on the committee of the
newly formed British Psychological Society- Crisis, Disaster and Trauma
Maureen Treadwell is co-founder of the BTA. She previously worked as
a lecturer setting up her own company. Maureen was a member of the
Guideline Development Group for the Intrapartum Care guidelines for
the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Maureen also
runs the media team.
Lucy became interested in birth trauma after suffering postnatal depression,
bonding problems and PTSD following the birth of her son in 2006. She
is particularly committed to breaking the taboos around talking about
difficult birth and bonding issues. She is a freelance health journalist
and author who has contributed to numerous national magazines, newspapers
and websites. Lucy has since had a subsequent positive birth.
- Lou Silver
Lou works as a Project Development Officer in Student Support Services at
Nottingham Trent University. Her areas of work include mental health, autism,
disability and care leavers. She has previously worked for a number of
years managing local, regional and national volunteer programmes in the
fields of housing advice, money education and refugee awareness. She had
a traumatic birth in 2010 following a lengthy induction and emergency c-section,
and joined the BTA in 2011 shortly after completing a course of EMDR therapy.
- Janine Knight - Administrator
Janine currently works as a doula in SW London, Surrey and Middlesex, specifically
working with mothers in the early postnatal period, alongside thoroughly enjoying
every moment of being a mother to her own son. Previously she has worked as
a PA in the city and in Air Traffic Control on the south coast of England.
She trained to be a doula while living in Australia for two years where she
gained much experience, met some inspirational people in the world of birth
and postnatal period and felt compelled to continue the role of a doula on
her return to the UK. Janine also has personal experience of birth trauma following
the birth of her son in 2005 and has undergone the processes to better understand,
talk about, recognise and own her experience. She is also a member and volunteer
of Doula UK as part of their Internal Communications team and has also volunteered
for Australian Red Cross in Family Support.
Our trustees are responsible for ensuring the organisation
is properly and effectively run. You can find out more
about the role of a Trustee from the Charity
- Paul Alway
Paul is an engineer/project manager in
the refrigeration industry and is also a part-time
session drummer. Paul agreed to become a BTA trustee
after witnessing traumatic events in the delivery
room in 2004 at the birth of his son. He wishes
to ensure that the good work of the BTA continues
to go from strength to strength and helps as many
people as possible.
- Dr Debbie Sayers
Debbie was a co-founder of the BTA.
She is a qualified Solicitor with a PhD and has
a particular expertise in human rights law. She
has worked on issues of prevention, hospital
training, support, website and newsletter development.
Debbie has also written many of the BTA publications.
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.
- 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 MP, 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 includes being
co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health.
- Emeritus Professor Brian Toft OBE - PATRON
BA (Hons), Dip Comp Sci (Cantab), PhD,
ICDDS Dipl, FIOSH, FIIRSM, Hon FICPEM, FRSA
Educated at the Universities of Lancaster, Exeter and Cambridge
Brian Toft is Emeritus Professor of Patient Safety at Coventry University,
visiting Professor of Patient Safety at Brighton and Sussex Medical
School, Chairman of the NPSA External Reference Groups for Safer
Neuraxial Devices and holds several senior advisory positions including
membership of the World Health Organisation’s European Regional
Advisory Council on patient safety and healthcare.
In 2001 Brian was the first non-physician to chair an external inquiry
into the death of a patient in the National Health Service. He was
presented with the Royal College of Radiologists Glyn Evans Memorial
Lecture Medal for his work on ‘involuntary automaticity’ in
2006 and awarded an OBE for his services to healthcare in the 2010
Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Brian has published over 70 papers on the subject of risk management
and patient safety. He is the lead author of Learning from Disasters:
a management approach published by Palgrave Macmillan, a member of
the USA Joint Commission International: International Editorial Advisory
Board, the UK Editorial Boards of Risk Management: an International
Journal and Emergency Management Review.