Counsellor Elly Taylor, who specialises in parenthood, says that the impact of a traumatic birth on a couple’s relationship can be devastating.
“I’ve had couples that have split up over a traumatic birth experience. At a time when couples are forming their family, the way that the family was formed actually breaks the family up,” says Taylor who has authored a book about preparing for parenthood called Becoming Us.
Taylor says that birth trauma often causes the mother to feel intense anger towards her partner and her partner doesn’t understand why.
“Once the initial shock has worn off, it’s quite common for mothers to become angry and their partner often cops the anger. Because she can’t articulate or directly express her anger to the doctor or midwife or caregiver who may have caused the trauma, she can then be angry at herself, and angry at the world, and angry at her partner instead.”