How Traumatic Childbirth Affecs Obstetricians

Posted on April 12, 2016

Photo: flickr

To get a sense of how traumatic childbirth impacts healthcare professionals' mental health and their professional and personal identities, Katja Schrøder, RM, MSc Health, of the University of Southern Denmark, and her colleagues asked Danish obstetricians and midwives to complete a survey and participate in interviews.

A total of 1237 professionals responded, of which 85 percent stated that they had been involved in a traumatic childbirth, where the infant or the mother suffered severe and possibly fatal injuries related to labor and delivery. Although blame from patients, peers, or official authorities was feared (and sometimes experienced), inner struggles with guilt and existential considerations were more prominent. Feelings of guilt were reported by 49 percent of respondents, and 50 percent agreed that the traumatic childbirth had made them think more about the meaning of life. In addition, 65 percent felt that they had become a better midwife or doctor due to the traumatic incident.

The findings may be helpful for efforts aimed at providing adequate support to healthcare professionals in the aftermath of traumatic childbirth, which will benefit not only professionals but also patients because the physical and emotional state of clinicians impacts upon the quality and the safety of patient care.


Category(s):Other, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Wiley


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