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One In 10 Women Suffer PTSD After Childbirth


A new report released today from a survey, titled “New Mothers Speak Out,” has discovered that 1 in 10 women suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medical experts have stated that PTSD, which is more associated to people who have experienced violent events, can be triggered by a painful or complicated labor and deliver.

Nearly 900 women are screened for childbirth PTSD connection.

The Childbirth Connection commissioned Harris Interactive to screen 900 U.S. mothers using a PTSD screening tool. Nine percent of the women surveyed screened positive for all the criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and 18 percent of participants showed some signs of the condition, according to the report.

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PTSD is thought to be far less common in mothers than postpartum depression, which affects about 15 percent of mothers, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Many Health care professionals think that there is an increasing number of obstetric procedures used in labor and delivery that might be playing a role in PTSD. Cheryl Beck , a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing and was an adviser for the study said the mothers reporting signs of post-traumatic stress disorder had a higher rate of medical intervention and were more likely to describe feeling helpless in a threatening environment.

It was also noted that women who had a history of sexual abuse or other trauma also increased the risk of PTSD related to childbirth. According to the New Mothers Speak Out Journal, the survey’s results are “likely to add fuel to a debate about how to better identify and treat maternal mood disorders and whether widespread, systemic screening is warranted.”

The symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts that can last for more than a year. The reaction of post-traumatic stress disorder is not to be confused with postpartum depression which is a persistent low mood, although some new mothers who experience PTSD can have postpartum depression as well.