A counselling model for postpartum women after distressing birth experiences

Gamble, Jenny and Creedy, Debra K. (2009) A counselling model for postpartum women after distressing birth experiences. Midwifery, 25 2: E21-E30. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2007.04.004

Author Gamble, Jenny
Creedy, Debra K.
Title A counselling model for postpartum women after distressing birth experiences
Journal name Midwifery   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0266-6138
Publication date 2009-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.midw.2007.04.004
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 25
Issue 2
Start page E21
End page E30
Total pages 10
Place of publication Kidlington, United Kingdom
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: to describe the development and application of a brief counselling intervention for women who have experienced a traumatic birth.
Intervention: the birthing trauma counselling model reflecting women's need to establish a therapeutic connection with a midwife, talk about their birth experience and have their feelings validated. Gaps in understanding of events need explanation and explicit connections made between the event and subsequent emotions and behaviours. Developing a rational understanding of birthing events and how labour may have been managed differently assists women to revise their assumptions about maternity care and gain a sense of control. Fostering social support, reinforcing positive approaches to coping and exploring solutions to restoring self-confidence and reducing anxiety may help re-establish psychological equilibrium.
Discussion and conclusion: the counselling intervention is consistent with trauma theory and draws on cognitive behavioural therapy principles. Midwives are well placed to provide counselling support to women experiencing birth-related distress. Further testing of the intervention in the clinical setting with a large sample is required.
Keyword Counselling
Randomized controlled trial
Posttraumatic stress disorder
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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