Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in New Mothers

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Prevalence [of] ... posttraumatic stress disorder after childbirth ranges from 1.7 to 9 percent ...

...The following variables were significantly related to elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms levels: low partner support, elevated postpartum depressive symptoms, more physical problems since birth, and less health-promoting behaviors. In addition, eight variables significantly differentiated women who had elevated posttraumatic stress symptom levels from those who did not: no private health insurance, unplanned pregnancy, pressure to have an induction and epidural analgesia, planned cesarean birth, not breastfeeding as long as wanted, not exclusively breastfeeding at 1 month, and consulting with a clinician about mental well-being since birth ...

... the high percentage of mothers who screened positive for meeting all the DSM-IV criteria for a posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis is a sobering statistic ...

Time to do something positive about this statistic! Continuity of care and carer is unlikely to result in PTSD. A written birth plan that is agreed by the woman and her health care provider antenatally, and then honoured during the labour and birth, are also key to avoiding PTSD. Another important factor is asking women questions early in their pregnancy so that women who might be at an increased risk of PTSD are able to access help during the pregnancy to avoid issues later on.