Childbirth and becoming a new mum is a life changing experience. But what about the physical and emotional trauma that can come along with it? According to new Medibank research, nearly 3 in 4 Aussie women (74%) experienced an injury or condition as a result of having vaginal childbirth in the last 5 years. And what’s most worrying is that 1 in 5 women (22%) said they’re not comfortable talking about their injuries with anyone — believing there to be a stigma around discussing these.
If childbirth-related injuries and conditions are so common, why aren’t we talking about them? We spoke to Amy and Helen from Eastside Midwives, and new mum Amber-Lea to learn more. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.
Most common conditions facing women
Perineal tears were one of the most prevalent injuries reported, affecting 43% of women. This was followed by haemorrhoids, at 38%, damage to the pelvic floor and urinary incontinence — both at 31%. Additionally, of those who experienced a childbirth-related injury or condition, 62% were still experiencing symptoms more than a year after birth.
The stigma around childbirth-related injuries
According to the research, more than 1 in 2 women (52%) thought there was a stigma around childbirth-related injuries and conditions. This could explain why 20% of women delayed seeking medical treatment for their injuries until symptoms persisted or worsened, and 21% still hadn’t sought treatment for their symptoms up to 5 years after giving birth.
Are you living with an injury? Seek help
If you think you may be living with a childbirth-related injury or condition and are a Medibank member, call our Health Advice line on 1800 644 325 to speak to one of our registered nurses — available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, speak to your GP so you can get the right treatment that is specific to your needs.