Birth partners, male or female, can become traumatised because they have witnessed a birth going wrong.
Looking back, you're not even sure what happened; one minute it was OK, the next alarms are going off, people are running and pushing you out of the way and the person you love is on a trolley being rushed towards the operating theatre. You are told you cannot go too and are left outside by yourself not knowing if your partner and child are alive or dead. No-one comes to tell anything for what seems like hours.
Sometimes, having to watch someone you love be in pain for many hours, and the feelings of helplessness that evokes are very hard to deal with.
Sometimes, a birth is so completely different to what you'd envisaged that you are so shocked you can hardly speak or move. You try to comfort your loved one as you watch the struggle to give birth but you have no idea what to do or say.
Sometimes, seeing thesomeone you love being treated unkindly or disrespectfully really upsets you. You hate seeing them bullied like this, but if you don't do what the doctors say, they tell you the baby will die. You have no idea what to believe, what to do for the best or how to help your partner as they tries to give birth.
This can leave you with symptoms of PTSD:
Birth Related Bystander Trauma
This can leave you feeling guilt-ridden and questioning why you didn't say anything at the time. It impacts on your life when you can't sleep or concentrate properly but just go over and over it in your mind.
If you are experiencing symptoms like these, do see your GP at there may be additional treatment, help and support available to you. Do feel free to contact the Project to discuss your individual therapy needs.
If you are feeling distressed as a result of what you saw during a birth, it's very possible that the person who gave birth may be suffering from Birth Trauma. You can read more about that by clicking HERE