Support Networks

Michelle Barnes

AIMS Journal, 2007, Vol 19 No 1

As well as AIMS there are other organisations that offer help and information on birth trauma. Some women will find the support that an organisation is able to offer of immense value,whilst others may have to search further to find what they need. Please be aware that what is on offer from organisations can vary hugely across the country. We welcome your comments and feedback on your experiences.

The Association of Radical Midwives
16 Wytham Street, Oxford, OX1 4SU
Helpline: 01865 248159
www.midwifery.org.uk
Set up by midwives in the UK committed to improving maternity care in the NHS, offering support and information to those having difficulty getting or giving good, personalised midwifery care.

ASSIST (Assistance Support & Self-Help In Surviving Trauma)
11 Albert Street, Rugby,Warwickshire, CV21 2RX
Helpline: 01788 560800
www.traumatic-stress.freeserve.co.uk
A support organisation and specialist treatment centre for people suffering from PTSD. ASSIST recognises that many individuals and their families/carers may need support as they struggle to come to terms with the effect that PTSD has on their lives and the lives of loved ones.

Birth Crisis Network
The Manor, Standlake,Witney OX29 7RH
Helpline: 01865 300266
email: birthcrisis@sheilakitzinger.com
www.sheilakitzinger.com/BirthCrisis.htm
The Birth Crisis Network is a UK help line for women who want to talk about a traumatic birth. The website gives details of the network and has links to articles.

Birth Trauma Association
PO Box 671, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 9AT
email: enquries@birthtraumaassociation.org.uk
www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk
A voluntary organisation that is working to raise awareness of Postnatal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Provides support and advice to women and information for health care professionals.

Doula UK
PO Box 26678, London N14 4WB
Tel: 0871 433 3103
www.doula.org.uk
A doula is an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. Doula UK is a network of doulas, run by doulas.

Independent Midwives Association
89 Green Lane, Farncombe, Surrey, GU7 3TB
Tel: 0870 850 7539 (local rate)
email: information@independentmidwives.org.uk
www.independentmidwives.org.uk
Should a woman not want an NHS/hospital birth or be finding it difficult to get support for a planned home birth check out the website to find an Independent Midwife near you. Independent Midwives may be contacted by women seeking advice or information on their pregnancy or birth, home visits and birth debriefing.

National Childbirth Trust
Alexandra House, Oldham Terrace, Acton, London W3 6NH
Enquiry line: 0870 444 8707
Breastfeeding line: 0870 444 8708
Preganancy and Birth Line 0870 444 8709
www.nct.org.uk
Information and practical support on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and being a new parent with antenatal classes and postnatal support groups.

Perinatal Illness - UK
PO Box 49769, London, WC1H 9WH
www.pni-uk.com
General enquiries: 01530 560645
A registered charity for women and their families who have any type of Perinatal Illness (PNI). These include antenatal depression, postnatal depression, puerperal psychosis and birth trauma.

Websites

A Little Wish
www.a-little-wish.co.uk
Information on the consequences of hysterectomy after pregnancy. Also for women who might need post pregnancy hysterectomy support.

BirthChoiceUK
www.birthchoiceuk.com
Where you have your baby and who you choose to look after you in labour will affect the type of birth you have and the care you receive. This website explains your options and gives information to help you make those choices.

Caesarean Birth and VBAC Information
www.caesarean.org.uk
Offers research-based information and support on all aspects of caesareans and vaginal birth following caesarean section. There are also stories of traumatic caesarean births, followed by positive births, repeat caesareans and VBACs.

Home Birth Reference
www.homebirth.org.uk
Research-based information and support on all aspects of home birth. Much of the information is relevant wherever a women is planning to have her baby. There are also many stories of women's traumatic birth experiences, followed by positive births, often at home.

Trauma and Birth Stress - PTSD After Childbirth
www.tabs.org.nz
Set up in 1998 as a support network in New Zealand by women who suffered stressful or traumatic pregnancies and/or births. The site contains a good deal of useful information including publications and articles written by midwives and mothers.

Yahoo egroups

UK Birth Complaints
health.groups.yahoo.com/group/birthcomplaints
A support group for women who have had issues with pregnancy/birth related care and are either in the process of complaining, thinking about complaining or post complaint.

UK Home Birth
groups.yahoo.com/group/homebirthuk
A home birth support group by email - for anyone interested in home birth.

UK Midwives and Consumers
health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ukmidwifery
Post a question to other mothers and midwives on any issue of pregnancy or childbirth.

UK Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC)
health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ukvbachbac
A UK discussion group on VBAC and HBAC for anyone with an interest in avoiding unnecessary caesarean sections.

Compiled by Michelle Barnes, March 2007

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