Data confirms traumatic births can negatively impact mother-baby bond

16 July 2021

Data released today shows that 85% of mothers who have suffered severe injuries during childbirth say their injuries damaged their relationship with their child.

The study was undertaken by MASIC, a charity that supports women who have suffered severe maternal perineal trauma during childbirth.

The findings of the study demonstrated the hidden impact of a traumatic birth and almost half the respondents indicated that their injuries affected the mother-baby bond. Of those mothers affected, 69% said the impact was both physical and emotional, with 45% saying they suffered post-natal depressions and 18% of mothers stopping breast feeding earlier than they had planned.

Denise Stephens, experienced medical negligence solicitor and partner in our Thames Valley office has said:

“I’ve acted for many women who have suffered a perineal tear during childbirth. The severity of their injuries can be life-changing, leaving physical and mental symptoms that last for many years”.

Injuries sustained after a traumatic birth are often due to things going wrong during the delivery of the baby or a failure to identify risk factors before the birth.

We have represented a mother who suffered a traumatic birth involving an avoidable uterine rupture. She should have been advised to undergo a planned C-Section but unfortunately was given incorrect information by her treating clinicians. As a result of her injuries, the post-natal experience for the mother was heavily affected. She was unable to independently take care of her baby for some months and she was left with the need for repeated treatment over the course of the child’s early life. Our client was unable to face going through childbirth again and also needed counselling to help her cope with the injuries incurred during what should have been a very special time of bonding with her daughter. We successfully settled this claim in early 2021.

The impact on mothers following traumatic births is not limited to cases similar to the one above or those who suffer perineal trauma and tears. Amy Greaves, experienced medical negligence solicitor in our Birmingham office comments 

“I act for a number of mothers who have had traumatic and prolonged labours and deliveries. A traumatic labour can often lead to an emergency c-section, which, whilst avoiding the risk of a 3rd or 4th degree tear and perineal injury, can lead to ongoing problems including with the mother-baby bond, ability to breast feed and post-natal depression. The proposals MASIC have suggested to improve the care mothers who have suffered perineal injury should be implemented but steps also need to be taken to ensure that traumatic births of themselves are avoided where ever possible This will ensure the safety of both mothers and babies.”



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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