chapter  Chapter 5
The psychological needs of birthing women, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic childbirth
WithLis Garratt, Mavis Kirkham
Pages 19

First, in order to understand more fully the needs of survivors of CSA giving birth, let us take a look at what research says about the needs of birthing women in general. No woman approaches birth without a history of some kind, and it is very likely that some will have previously suffered traumatic experiences not necessarily associated with CSA. Halldorsdottir and Karlsdottir undertook some very useful phenomenological research into the experiences of mothers who gave birth in Iceland, with particular reference to their perceptions of midwifery care. 1,2 Both studies reveal the huge impact that carers can have upon women’s lived experience and lasting perceptions of childbirth. Their interviewees’ accounts highlight three main areas of need as they journeyed through to motherhood: 1) caring and understanding from their attendants; 2) security, which involved being kept informed of what was happening; and 3) a sense of control of self and circumstances.