Have you all heard about a Birth Afterthoughts Service that may be available in your NHS Trust?

Last Thursday I went to the JR Hospital in Oxford, where I gave birth in Sept 2011, to meet with a midwife in their Birth Afterthoughts Service. I had had a very traumatic time giving birth that resulted in an emergency c-section & a baby in Special Baby Care Unit that had 2 seizures within 24 hours, resulting in brain damage - all of which I'm sure contributed to my getting PP as I've no history of mental health problems. For details of this service see newspaper article - independent.co.uk/arts-ente...

I organised the appointment as I had some unanswered questions, was hazy about what had happened when and why and wanted to raise awareness of PP, as I felt they should have picked up on my symptoms during my 5 day stay as I was sectioned within 36 hours of discharge. I was put in the Warneford one of Oxford's major mental health hospitals and once I got a diagnosis of PP there were no MBU beds available, but my horrendous experience there is another story.

I found the Birth Afterthoughts experience really useful and feel I can finally get closure and move forward, no matter how my toddler's brain damage manifests itself. So far so good he has met all his major milestones.

If you had a bad experience giving birth and would like to talk through your blue notes in detail and get a fresh perspective on things then I'd highly recommend it.

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  • Hi Talk2LMH

    Thank you so much for letting everyone know about this amazing service. Is it available across the whole of the UK do you know? I know that midwives are definitely becoming more aware of the emotional and psychological impact of traumatic births. It's great that this service are offering the opportunity to talk and debrief at length when the woman is ready herself.

    I'm so sorry to hear of your birth trauma, and also of your baby's time in the special care baby unit. Our second child was rushed into intensive care at just 7 days old so I can only imagine some of what you have been through.

    How are you doing now after your experiences?

    Naomi x

  • If anyone would like to use this service in their area - a quick Google of Birth Afterthoughts brings up lots of NHS Trusts offering the service.

    If you live in an area without Birth Afterthoughts provision, you could try this national charity: birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/

    N x

  • Thanks Talk2LMH for letting us know about this service. I think it sounds great & could really help answer some of those questions & clarify things that we can wonder about for years. Sounds very helpful indeed!

  • Hi Naomi,

    Thanks for your replies. As your 2nd message says a quick Google search should reveal which NHS Trusts offer this service.

    Sorry to hear your little one also experienced a period of intensive care when so young. It was really hard not being allowed to hold my baby until nearly a week old and then when I did being so scared of accidentally pulling on one of the wires into his tiny body.

    I am really well now 18 months on thank you. I returned to full-time work last September and finished work in November to be a full-time Mum. I think I had to go back to prove to myself I could still do a demanding job and that I had fully recovered.

    As soon as I get time I will write a blog of my experience to hopefully help others who suffer this little known/talked about condition.

    May I take this opportunity to thank you for all you do for APP.

    Thanks @Andrea_at_app too for your comments too.

    Talk2LMH

  • Hi Talk2LMH, this sounds really interesting. I think it's amazing that these things are out there and not really known about that could really help people recovering from PP, or even just a birth experience that wasn't what they imagined (which is probably an awful lot of people!). I don't think there's a service near me from the quick Google search, but having had a traumatic birth experience myself, I think I'd really have welcomed the service. All the best, great to hear you are doing well and your little one too.

  • Hi spannerb

    Sorry to hear you've also had a traumatic birth experience. If there isn't a service in your area, "The Access to Medical Records Act of 1990" means that any woman can get a copy of her records by writing to the hospital where she was delivered. It might then be worth appealing to your GP practice for an appointment for a midwife to talk you through them. Good luck!

    Talk2LMH

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