Show simple item record

dc.contributor.supervisorNorman, Alyson
dc.contributor.authorBaptie, Grace
dc.contributor.otherFaculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciencesen_US

Approximately one-third of women appraise their childbirth experience as traumatic and many women experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result. Whilst earlier work concentrated on prevalence and risk factors of clinically significant trauma, recent research focuses on the large group of women who experience childbirth as traumatic but do not necessarily meet the threshold for PTSD. This thesis comprises a mixed-methods design to investigate predisposing factors associated with presentation of postnatal posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms and the appraisal of childbirth as a traumatic experience. Specifically, this thesis aims to address the following questions: What perinatal risk factors are associated with a traumatic appraisal of childbirth and postnatal PTS symptoms? What antenatal vulnerability factors are associated with PTS symptoms? and are there aetiological differences between postnatal trauma, depression and anxiety?

Firstly, findings from two large-scale survey studies reveal the subjective birth experience to be a stronger predictor of postnatal PTS compared to the obstetric experience. Significant subjective factors include low internal control, feeling dissociated and poor perceived staff support, which also presents as a mediator between obstetric intervention and PTS symptoms. Secondly, qualitative analysis provides a new thematic framework of contributory factors for women’s appraisals of childbirth as traumatic or non-traumatic in relation to women’s experience of feeling empowered or powerless during birth. Thirdly, a quantitative, longitudinal study presents pre-existing PTS and alexithymia symptoms during pregnancy as novel predisposing factors for postnatal PTS symptoms. Lastly, in comparison to postnatal depression and anxiety, birth trauma appears to have a distinct aetiological pathway. Collectively, these findings provide consistent evidence that a negative subjective birth experience contributes to a traumatic appraisal of childbirth and presentation of PTS symptoms, over and above obstetric experience. This thesis supports initiatives seeking to empower women during birth and offer antenatal and postnatal screening for birth trauma.

dc.publisherUniversity of Plymouth
dc.rightsCC0 1.0 Universal*
dc.subjectBirth Traumaen_US
dc.subjectPerinatal Mental Healthen_US
dc.titleBirth Trauma: A mixed-methods investigationen_US
dc.rights.embargoperiodNo embargoen_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

CC0 1.0 Universal
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as CC0 1.0 Universal

All items in PEARL are protected by copyright law.
Author manuscripts deposited to comply with open access mandates are made available in accordance with publisher policies. Please cite only the published version using the details provided on the item record or document. In the absence of an open licence (e.g. Creative Commons), permissions for further reuse of content should be sought from the publisher or author.
Theme by 
@mire NV