PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Childbirth

It’s pretty rare to hear that acronym and childbirth in the same sentence.  However, it is not rare at all to develop PTSD from a traumatic childbirth experience.  It’s important to note that the trauma is in the eye of the one being “traumatized.”  In my case, pain, fatigue, feelings of helplessness, postpartum hemorrhage, poor communication, and a pervasive feeling that I was going to die on that hospital bed contributed to my PTSD. From the limited information I can rustle up, I have read that anywhere from 1-6% of women develop PTSD from childbirth.  That is a significant statistic when you are one of the percentages that deal with it, or one of the many loved ones that care for someone falling in that percentage.  It is truly bothersome to me that this mental illness is not linked to childbirth on a regular basis in an effort to get those afflicted into treatment quicker, and to apply preventative measures that limit the cases in the first place.   I can’t tell you how many times I have begun to explain that I have PTSD from a traumatic childbirth experience when the listener responds, “Oh Postpartum Depression, oh, I know what that is!”  Postpartum Depression and PTSD are different diagnosis, although both mentally debilitating to the person afflicted with the diagnosis.  It’s important to differentiate PTSD and Postpartum Depression because the treatments for both are very different and the illnesses deserve to be looked at as two separate entities.

Thanks for Reading!


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