• Astrid Søgaard Larsen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This research is a mixed methods study of birth trauma, that is focused on intervention and the factors, leading to traumatization. The methods used; a survey that explores the symptoms and consequences of birth trauma, the factors leading to traumatization and experiences with different kinds of interventions. The second method used is phenomenological research interviews with three women, who has had a traumatic birth experience.
The results indicate that women, who have more than six defined symptoms of birth trauma, are significantly more likely to develop a psychiatric illness after the birth. The number of symptoms this group of women developed were not associated by differences in demographics such as age, education level or a previous psychiatric illness. These women are, however, more likely to suffer from six or more symptoms of birth trauma, if they had a self-perceived poor psychological health before the birth of their child. Women with six or more symptoms of birth trauma tended to attribute their trauma to subjective and relational factors during birth more than objective and obstetric factors. These factors often consisted of an overall feeling of a humiliating, non-including, cold, technical and mechanical experience, which did not meet their expectations and lacked cooperation and communication from the health staff. Many of the women attributed this experience to a lack of resources at the birth ward and a non-person-centered standardization of treatment. No particular intervention was found to have considerable better effect in treating birth trauma than others, but psychotherapy and extra visits from the health nurse showed the most promise.
The discussion led to interesting topics for further research, on whether the subjective and relational experiences of the women might be mediated by an insecure attachment style, which make it harder to feel secure in the hands of the health staff, complicate the birth and make it even more painful. Furthermore, how intervention might be improved by screening methods specifically developed for birth trauma, a clear referral procedure for treatment, and more preventive treatment to avert the ripple effects, birth trauma can create for the whole family.
Keywords: birth trauma, traumatizing factors, intervention, psychiatric illness
Publication date31 Oct 2021
Number of pages80
ID: 451629322