Birth Trauma Has Wide Reaching Effects Says Legal Expert
According to the Birth Trauma Association, around 20,000 women a year are affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to trauma experienced during childbirth. A further 200,000 women may also have some of the associated symptoms.
When medical negligence occurs in maternity units, and babies suffer avoidable injuries, the psychological effects on mums – and wider family members - can be extremely damaging according to a medical negligence specialist.
Birth injuries solicitor Diane Rostron said: “Giving birth is a vulnerable time for both mother and baby but also a precious time that many women choose to share not only with their partners, but also with wider family members.
“When things go to plan and both mother and baby are carefully monitored by medical professionals throughout, it’s a moment that is always remembered and treasured. In rare instances when medical errors occur however, this can quickly turn into a living nightmare leading to not only avoidable physical birth injuries, but psychological trauma for the mother and wider family.
“The mental scars can be as devastating and long lasting as the physical injuries but can often go untreated or misdiagnosed as post-natal depression. It can sometimes also be overlooked that partners or grandparents who witnessed the events are also left traumatised and in need of support.
“Wider family members who are present at a traumatic birth can be significantly impacted emotionally as they witness the difficult events leading to symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
“We have represented families where grandparents have been diagnosed with PTSD after witnessing the extremely distressing birth of their grandchild. We secured compensation to provide the support that they needed following the incident which affected the whole family.
“There is support out there and birth trauma is increasingly recognised and talked about.”
Families who believe that they may have suffered both physical and psychological birth injuries due to medical negligence can contact Diane Rostron on 01253 766 559.
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