Traumatic birth leading to postpartum... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

2,826 members2,018 posts

Traumatic birth leading to postpartum psychosis


Hi, I hope everyone is keeping well. I have just read Danielles story on the APP Instagram page and it mentioned postpartum psychosis being triggered by a traumatic birth I didn’t realise until now this could be the case. I am just wondering how many other mums have been affected in the same way with a traumatic birth then subsequent problems with postpartum psychosis afterwards x

17 Replies

Hi there. Yes I believe my psychosis was triggered by a very traumatic birth and poor recovery afterwards. X

J42018 in reply to Mummy1986

Thanks for responding. Hope you are keeping well now x

My birth was traumatic to me, so was my whole pregnancy tbh, and I believe that played a big part in how ill I got. My perinatal CPN agreed. Traumatic pregnancy, birth and inability to breastfeed resulted in difficulty bonding and a whole big mess that landed me in an MBU and further traumatised me.

Hi, my psychosis was triggered by a long traumatic birth and lack of sleep


Hi J42018

How are you doing? My psychosis revolved a lot around reliving the birth, so I think that was a trigger for me. As well as lack of sleep and some genetic predisposition.

Like you I read some of the mum's stories compiled by APP and seeing some common elements with my own experience was reassuring in some way and gave me hope that recovery is possible.

Take good care and keep safe

J42018 in reply to EmiMum

Hi I am doing well now, still on medication which I don’t see changing any time soon but I’ve learned to accept that it’s not a weakness, it’s an illness I’m recovering from. As you say recovery is possible I just believe it takes time and the right help. Really hope you are keeping well. Thanks so much for your response. I’ve felt very alone with this illness until I joined this group. As much as it breaks my heart that other mothers have experienced this there is comfort in knowing I’m not alone and hope that I can recover further by opening up about this horrible illness. X

EmiMumVolunteer in reply to J42018

Glad to hear you are doing well. I also found it quite healing to share and read about going through pp. You are definitely not alone. Take really good care

Hi, a traumatic birth was definitely a huge factor for me. It left me in a state of shock, and I forgot that I needed to sleep (so I didn't). That plus family drama, genetics and limited support was not a good mix

FitelVolunteer in reply to Believeinpeople

Hello, I could have written your words in reflection on my experience too. The blend of all those factors as with you, resulted in my experience of PP. Hoping you are feeling much better now. I volunteer with APP (Action on Postpartim Psychosis), theeir website has so many useful resources - very much worth taking a look.

That's comforting to know there's someone else who had a similar experience. Working through the remaining grief and trauma has been really lonely at times. Thanks

I had a traumatic delivery. I feel a bit cross that ante-natal classes and general advice prior to giving birth always seems to encourage you to have minimal pain relief etc. I would say on the whole I have a fairly high pain threshold but I had a fairly long-ish labour and had very little input from the midwives. They initially tried to send me away as I wasn't quite as dilated as they hoped. When they finally came to see me I was begging for an epidural. They checked me and said I was fully dilated and that it was too late for an epidural. I had to have forceps due to the position baby was lying in, I only had gas and air throughout. The forceps delivery led to a bad tear which the obstetrician attempted to fix with no luck as I was in too much pain, the local anaesthetic had not worked. So in the end I went down to theatre where I had an epidural anyway. The whole time I was in theatre I was worried I would die as I was losing a lot of blood. I also kept asking if my baby was hungry and did she need a bottle as I was aware I hadn't fed her. When I got back to the ward and my baby I stayed awake all night feeding her and looking at her as I hadn't had the time holding her etc that I expected to have after delivery. So to my original point I feel like if I had been offered an epidural earlier on the trip to theatre and being parted from my baby would not have happened xx

Marshman in reply to Marshman

During my psychosis I would often walk around shouting 'there is no such thing as as a high pain threshold' qnr crying, so it had some impact

J42018 in reply to Marshman

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. So sorry you have went through this also. This group has been really helpful to me in the short time I’ve been part of it to not feel so alone in what I’ve went through, I hope it’s helped you too. Hope your keeping well now x

Yes, when I gave birth to my daughter in 1995, it was a long labour her spin was presented to my spin so very painful.. I had opted for an epidural.... first the nurse trying to fit the cannula in my hand couldn't find the right vein, so had a lot of blood everywhere... to top this she then had trouble inserting the epidural needles as I had little space between the bones , keep telling me to wiggle my toes and to keep very still as could end up paralysed... I felt sheer fear and panic at this time, baby in the end needed a vontose delivery, when the doctor started cutting I panicked as didn't like the sound or sensation of it being done... midwife said to the dr to stop and he turned around, say "she can't feel anything "carrying on the midwife shouted at him that I wasn't relaxed... exhaustion after being in labour all night with little sleep, thus then being put on the ward with everyone visiting other mums.. champagne be popped etc didn't help , I just felt in shock the perpetual pyhcosis came on within the first week , one thing I kept saying I couldn't move my legs and needed to wiggle my toes like I was going through the trauma again so definitely the dificult birth was a big factor in me getting poorly... I have often pondered on this question I feel that after a long difficult labour a quiet ward where I could have rested properly and recover would have been a great benefit as 3 days in the hospital no sleep didn't help.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences, it’s been really helpful to me to know that I’m not alone in what I’ve went through. Hope you are all keeping well now xxx

Well-read in reply to J42018

Hello. I had a 'normal' birth, both times. But I do think birth is a somewhat traumatic experience.


Hello, yes I believe my PP was triggered by a number of intrapartum related areas: 2 weeks overdue, c-section, large haemorraghage and placenta accreta. Reflecting on returning home just 2 days later, looking back now I'd suffered massive trauma but hadn't had the time to recognise at the time.

You may also like...