Book Review: Why Birth Trauma Matters

Reviewing Why Birth Trauma Matters, by Emma Svanberg


This is such an important book that needed to be written. It is written by a clear expert in this subject, and includes important information and evidence, along with the personal stories of women’s experiences.

I work solely with new mothers, and it is very confronting to realise how often these women reveal traumatic experiences surrounding their births. These voices need to be heard. We need to stop looking away, stop rationalising and belittling personal emotion and experiences, and to start facing this issue head on. This book is an important step in this direction, and its appearance on the market will hopefully allow those who are working with and supporting mothers to understand the complexities of birth trauma and its ramifications. It also provides great steps to take towards being able to personally cope with and deal with birth trauma, if you have been through this experience yourself.

I particularly liked the exploration into the less typical areas of what is traditionally seen as trauma, and that what some may see as ‘routine’, others can view as traumatic. Pain, checks and examinations, helplessness, how women feel about their bodies… Traumatic experiences are ‘in the eye of the beholder’, and a reminder that we must listen.

A hard read, but a vital read.

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