For many women birth is a means to an end. The ‘means’ being a wealth of pain, pushing and likely panicked screams. The ‘end’ being a shiny new baby. But most of us feel reassured by the fact that many new mums swear they forget about it all the minute they hold their newborn in their arms.
But Amanda Holden is proof that certainly isn’t the case for everyone. The Britain’s Got Talent judge has opened up about the two traumatic births she endured in 2011 and 2012 and revealed that she turned to counselling to help her cope with what happened.
The TV presenter gave birth to her son, Theo, who was born stillborn in 2011. Then a little more than a year later the 46-year-old suffered a haemorrhage during her pregnancy with her daughter Hollie, now four, after the placenta attached to her bladder and ruptured an artery.
Amanda who also has an older daughter 11-year-old Alexa with her husband Chris Hughes, explained that she needed therapy after feeling unable to cope.
“It was like grief counselling,” she told the Daily Star. “I wasn’t coping. I had to do something.”
“I’m incredibly pragmatic and I understood I had to get someone to help me,” she continued. “I stopped therapy because it had served its purpose.”
Though they are considered to be rare, Amanda Holden certainly isn’t alone in experiencing a traumatic birth. According to the Birth Trauma Association (BTA) as many as 200,000 women may feel traumatised by childbirth and in the UK alone it is estimated that 10,000 women a year go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or symptoms of the disorder, as a consequence of their birth experience.
Though the effects of a traumatic birth can vary, some of the symptoms described by sufferers include, revisiting images of labour and birth, developing a fear of giving birth in the future, finding it difficult to bond with your baby and experiencing guilt as a result and feeling isolated and lonely.
If these symptoms persist in the weeks and months after having your baby, experts suggest you seek support from your GP or health visitor. Or you can speak to one of the volunteer supporters at the BTA.
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