More than half of women who suffered trauma during childbirth have been postponed having more children.
A snapshot survey of 1,000 members of the Mumsnet website found that 79 per cent of respondents had experienced birth trauma.
Women can develop birth trauma after experiences such as an unplanned cesarean section, emergency treatment, or a difficult birth with a long, painful labor.
Nearly two-thirds of mothers who experienced birth trauma said they felt a “lack of compassion” from health professionals during childbirth, while 44 percent said language had been used implying that They were “a failure or the fault” of their experience.
About 53 percent said the experience had deterred them from having more babies.
Women can develop birth trauma after experiences such as an unplanned caesarean section, emergency treatment or a difficult birth with a long and painful labor (File Image)
Nearly two-thirds of mothers who experienced birth trauma said they felt a “lack of compassion” from health professionals during childbirth, while 44 percent said language had been used implying that They were “a failure or the fault” of their experience (Stock Image)
Almost two-thirds of those surveyed by Mumsnet did not believe healthcare workers were doing everything they could to prevent birth trauma.
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But the Oxford University team said the results should be taken with caution.
Theo Clarke, MP for Stafford, who has spoken of his own traumatic birth, in which he thought he was “going to die” after suffering a third degree tear and needing emergency surgery, has called for action.
The Conservative MP said: ‘The results of this survey are deeply disturbing.
‘They speak to my own experience of birth trauma and, quite clearly, also to the horrible experiences of many, many other women.
“The survey makes clear that more compassion, education and better aftercare for mothers experiencing birth trauma are desperately needed if we are to see an improvement in mothers’ physical well-being and mental health.”
Mumsnet chief executive Justine Roberts said: “We hear daily on Mumsnet from women who have had deeply upsetting experiences in maternity care, and this latest research underlines that the majority of mothers experience birth trauma, as whether physical or psychological.”
“This trauma has long-lasting effects and it is clear that women are being failed at every stage of the maternity care process: with too little information provided beforehand, a lack of compassion from staff during childbirth and poor postnatal care. deficient for the physical and mental conditions of mothers. mental health.’
Kim Thomas, chief executive of the Birth Trauma Association, added: “A maternity system that puts women at the center of care is not some kind of unworkable goal; it’s the minimum women have a right to expect.”
It comes as a “heartbreaking” report shows the UK’s child death rate has risen for the first time in seven years.
Previously, the death rate had decreased year on year from 2013 to 2020.
What is a stillbirth?
A stillbirth occurs when a baby is born after 24 weeks of pregnancy. If a baby dies before 24 weeks of pregnancy, it is known as pregnancy loss.
Not all stillbirths can be prevented; However, not smoking or drinking, as well as not sleeping on your back and attending all prenatal appointments can reduce the risk.
What are the signs?
Signs may include that the baby is not moving as much as normal.
Pregnant women should contact their doctor immediately if they notice a difference in their baby’s movements.
What are the causes?
Stillbirths do not always have an obvious cause, but can occur due to complications with the placenta or a birth defect.
They are also more likely to occur if women suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or an infection that affects the baby, such as the flu.
Stillbirths are more likely to occur if women have twins or multiple pregnancies, are overweight, smoke, are over 35 years old, or have a pre-existing condition such as epilepsy.
What happens after a stillbirth?
If a baby has died, women can wait for labor to begin naturally or be induced if their health is at risk.
Grief support groups are available for parents who have experienced a stillbirth.
Some find it helpful to name their baby or take pictures with them.
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But there were 2,473 stillbirths in 2021, up from 2,292 the previous year, and 1,151 newborn deaths in the first 28 days of life, down from 1,051.
The researchers who published the report, from the universities of Leicester and Oxford, said the increase occurred mainly in babies who died in the womb before women went into labour.
That suggests the pandemic may have left women more reluctant to contact medical professionals, or unsure who to contact, if there was a reduction in their babies’ movements.
But researchers are unsure of the cause (SUBS – please retain) and will closely monitor the 2022 figures to see if this is a broader trend and not a consequence of healthcare disruptions during Covid.
The Government is currently not on track to meet its ambitions to reduce stillbirth and neonatal death rates by 2025, according to baby charity Tommy’s.
It comes amid ongoing problems with care at some hospital trusts, creating a postcode lottery for pregnant women.
Recurring problems seen in research include failures to regularly monitor or record babies’ growth in the womb and inadequate responses when women report a change in their babies’ movements.
The new ‘State of the Nation’ report, from the MMBRACE-UK researcher collaboration, also highlights an increased risk of child death for mothers from black and Asian backgrounds and those from economically deprived areas.
The cause of death remains unknown for a third of stillborn babies and an additional third is due to problems with the placenta.
For babies who die shortly after birth, the most common cause is hereditary birth defects.
Elizabeth Draper, lead perinatal expert at MBRRACE-UK, said: ‘In 2021, the perinatal mortality rate increased in the UK for the first time in seven years.
‘It is important that the UK Government, Royal Colleges and Health Commissioners support rigorous reviews of all stillbirths and neonatal deaths to identify common themes that can improve clinical care and the delivery, provision and organization of services, reducing need for future independent research. ‘
Robert Wilson, head of the joint policy unit at Tommy’s and the Sands charity, said: “We keep hearing these heartbreaking statistics, but saving baby lives and tackling inequalities in pregnancy and baby loss are still not policy priorities. that they deserve to be.” ‘
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to making the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth for all women, regardless of their ethnicity or economic situation.”
“To reduce disparities between women and babies from ethnic minority backgrounds and those living in the most deprived areas, NHS England has published guidance for local maternity systems, with support of £6.8 millions”.