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Birth trauma - advice for my SIL please

(7 Posts)
OhGood Thu 03-Jul-14 14:34:21

SIL is in Africa, so can't easily get help and advice on this.

She had v traumatic birth with her DD2, resulting in hemorrhage and nearly losing her life - no transfusion blood available and she had an out of body experience, she thought she was dying, and we nearly lost her. That was 4 years ago.

Recently she's had an illness which has resulted in her feeling dizzy and nearly passing out. This seems to have kicked off panic attacks which she thinks are related to the birth. She says she remembers at the time trying not to pass out because she thought she would die if she did.

I'd really like to steer her towards some advice, online counselling or resources. She's also like to know if the birth could in fact still be having this effect on her so many years on.

Any advice or help appreciated. Thank you.

OneEggIsAnOeuf Thu 03-Jul-14 15:09:21

I gave birth 3 1/2 years ago and still haven't put it behind me - not quite your sister's experience but it was traumatic. I have a physical injury that still causes pain and makes it hard to forget the emotional trauma.

I also suffer with anxiety and depression (pre dating the birth). I have no experience of online counselling, but have found one to one and even group therapy invaluable and could definitely help if this is available to her.

In terms of self-help the thing that really turned my life around was learning the techniques of mindfulness meditation. It is fantastic for coping with anxiety and panic. It is not at all flaky, and is available on the nhs in the uk as it is proven to be effective in dealing with depression and anxiety, and i have massively reduced the number of panic attacks i experience since learning the practice. A good place to start is here, but i'd also recommend this book, which covers the complete course. Not sure if that was the sort of thing you were hoping for, but i hope she has a look at it and finds it helpful.

OhGood Thu 03-Jul-14 18:30:12

Thanks, OneEgg. I am so sorry you had the experience you did.

I'll pass your suggestions on, and thank you again.

OhGood Sat 05-Jul-14 10:38:12

Bump sad

OneEggIsAnOeuf Sat 05-Jul-14 17:22:31

Sorry you haven't had any other responses. You could maybe try getting the thread moved to the health section? It does sound like anxiety triggered by the birth, rather than needing advice about the birth itself, so you may find more help over there - if you contact MN they can move the thread for you, or you could just post a new thread and link to this.

Sometimes having a debrief about the birth with the hospital can be really helpful in understanding what happened - is anything like that a possibility where she is? In addition to counselling, meditation, etc, medication is another option - not necessarily ads - there are also beta blockers like propanolol which have very few side effects and deal very effectively with anxiety. May be worth considering.

KatharineClover Sun 06-Jul-14 07:30:57

Sorry to hear of your SIL experience, I had similar (PPH, lost consciousness etc) but luckily in the NHS so transfusion was available. Thankfully, just over 3 years on, I've managed to deal with my trauma to a great extent (and I'm now 30 weeks with no 2, with a doula and using hypnotherapy).
In the early days (when I was experiencing flash backs /panic attacks) I used online support groups. The Birth Trauma Association have a website, and a FB support group. There is also a support group on Babycentre.

OhGood Sun 06-Jul-14 10:10:55

Thank you to both. Katharine - congrats on your second and best of luck.

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