“At least you have a healthy baby” An overview of perinatal trauma and postpartum posttraumatic stress
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Childbirth is a complex, multidimensional, and subjective experience that effects the individual, their family unit and society. This study explores the nature of birth trauma and postnatal posttraumatic stress symptoms and analyses evidence for preventative and treatment interventions. It highlights the importance of good diagnostic practice and specialized tools, precise and rigorous research methods, and understanding the risk factors associated with birth trauma. It underlines the role of prevention, early intervention, and access to services. The results of this investigation show that while the recommended treatment methods of postpartum PTSD are predominantly Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing, there are multiple other methods with less supporting evidence that have great potential. It identifies a lack of inclusion of empirical findings and knowledge from the field of psychotherapy in clinical guidelines regarding PTSD and suggests that more research is needed to establish a deeper understanding of postpartum PTSD.