Traumatic Childbirth and Its Aftermath: Is There Anything Positive?

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Abstract

Up to 45% of new mothers have reported experiencing birth trauma. For some individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, there can be a positive legacy called posttraumatic growth. Using Tedeschi and Calhoun's Posttraumatic Growth Model as the theoretical framework, the purpose of this pilot study was to determine levels of posttraumatic stress, core beliefs disruption, and posttraumatic growth in women who have experienced traumatic childbirth. Thirty mothers completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale-Self Report, Core Beliefs Inventory, and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Type of birth and length of time since the traumatic birth occurred predicted 38% of the variance in posttraumatic growth. In order to help mothers, childbirth educators need to understand the process involved in posttraumatic growth.

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