What can help?


It is very likely that you will start to feel better after a month or two. Upsetting feelings you may have in the month after a difficult birth are normal, remember you are also adjusting to being a mother. To help your own recovery:


  • Talk to friends and family about your feelings, and make sure you have good support from these people.

  • Talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor.

  • Try and get plenty of rest, do some gentle exercise and eat a healthy diet.

  • Don’t isolate yourself from people. 

  • Access peer support if available in your area.

(click on the page heading to link to "Coping with a Difficult Childbirth Experience" information leaflet which includes brief assessment questions)

How would talking therapy help me?

There are two types of talking therapy that can help if you do have PTSD which are recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline for PTSD

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT)

TFCBT can help you to work through the memories in a safe way and make sense of the feelings you are having. CBT helps you to think about how your symptoms fit together, affect each other, and keep the problem going.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR helps you to work through the memories in a safe way, helps your brain’s memory networks to connect, and allows your brain to process the traumatic memory.

Interventions not currently recommended:

The NICE Guideline for PTSD specifically states:

"For individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, the systematic provision to that individual alone of brief, single-session interventions (often referred to as debriefing) that focus on the traumatic incident should not be routine practice when delivering services."

"When PTSD sufferers request other forms of psychological treatment (for example, supportive therapy/non-directive therapy, hypnotherapy, psychodynamic therapy or systemic psychotherapy), they should be informed that there is as yet no convincing evidence for a clinically important effect of these treatments on PTSD."

Read more about PTSD treatment recommendations from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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