Fathers Suffer Post Traumatic Stress After Birth

Fathers Suffer Post Traumatic Stress After Birth

New research has shown that a severely traumatic childbirth can affect fathers as well as mothers. Experts have said that hospitals need to pay more attention to fathers after births involving life-threatening complications.

Some women have not met this news with any sympathy, arguing that they are the ones that have to endure the months of being pregnant and having their bodies grow and change shape, to then have excruciating labour to endure.

One father who took part in the research has not been able to return to work, seven years after watching his daughter being born. The man was diagnosed with post traumatic stress after witnessing his wife almost die whilst giving birth to their daughter, and to then have to watch his daughter being taken away to intensive care.

A team of researchers at Oxford University questioned men whose partners had under-gone procedures such as emergency c-sections.
Many of the men spoke of similar scenarios; they spoke of being left in hospital corridors and waiting rooms, unaware of the outcome for their partner and child.
One man, Darren Dixon, spoke of having severe flashbacks of his unconscious wife covered in blood, and had even considered suicide. He was so severely traumatised, that doctors diagnosed him with PTSD. He told researchers "For the first three years my flashbacks were off the scale. Suddenly I would be able to smell the hospital and I'd be back in that theatre with my wife. I just cried from morning until night and I became agoraphobic. I still don't work now".

The Professor who led the research, Marian Knight, said "Many of these emergencies happen during labour or immediately after, and involve severe bleeding. The mums are severely ill and need lots of care; and while everyone is running around looking after mum, it can affect dads too. For the dads it's extremely vivid because they are fully aware of what's going on".

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