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Database - Alliance francophone pour l'accouchement respecté (AFAR)

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Currently 3059 records
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Created on : 16 Oct 2003
Modified on : 02 Dec 2007

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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

Post-traumatic stress disorder after childbirth: the phenomenon of traumatic birth. CMAJ. 1997 Mar 15;156(6):831-5.

Author(s) :

Reynolds JL.

Year of publication :


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Résumé (français)  :

Abstract (English)  :

CHILDBIRTH CAN BE A VERY PAINFUL EXPERIENCE, often associated with feelings of being out of control. It should not, therefore, be surprising that childbirth may be traumatic for some women. Most women recover quickly post partum; others appear to have a more difficult time. The author asserts that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur after childbirth. He calls this variant of PTSD a "traumatic birth experience." There is very little literature on this topic. The evidence available is from case series, qualitative research and studies of women seeking elective cesarean section for psychologic reasons. Elective cesarean section exemplifies the avoidance behaviour typical of PTSD. There are many ways that health care professionals, including physicians, obstetric nurses, midwives, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, can address this phenomenon. These include taking a careful history to determine whether a woman has experienced trauma that could place her at risk for a traumatic birth experience; providing excellent pain control during childbirth and careful postpartum care that includes understanding the woman’s birth experience; and ruling out postpartum depression. Much more research is needed in this area.

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Keywords :

➡ depression, anxiety ; traumatism ; post-traumatic stress ; psychology

Author of this record :

Cécile Loup — 16 Oct 2003
➡ latest update : Alison Passieux — 02 Dec 2007

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