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A third of midwives who have experienced traumatic perinatal events have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
  1. Debra K Creedy,
  2. Jenny Gamble
  1. Menzies Health Institute, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Debra K Creedy, Menzies Health Institute, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Logan campus, University Drive, Meadowbrook, Brisbane, QLD 4131, Australia; d.creedy{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Aspects of midwives’ work are traumatic. Previous personal traumatic experiences place midwives at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

  • Witnessing trauma diminishes empathy, adversely impacting on care.

  • Reducing unnecessary obstetric interventions can prevent trauma to women and midwives.

  • Perinatal trauma is a preventable occupational health risk requiring research on effective prevention and support interventions. Models of maternity service delivery such as provision of continuity of midwifery care may be protective and should be investigated.


There is increasing recognition that witnessing traumatic events, as well as caring for traumatised individuals, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.