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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic birth can have a debilitating effect on parents already adapting to significant life changes during the post-partum period. Cognitive therapy for PTSD (CT-PTSD) is a highly effective psychological therapy for PTSD which is recommended in the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2018) as a first-line intervention for PTSD. In this paper, we provide guidance on how to deliver CT-PTSD for birth-related trauma and baby loss and how to address common cognitive themes. Key learning aims (1) To recognise and understand the development of PTSD following childbirth and baby loss. (2) To understand how Ehlers and Clark's (2000) cognitive model of PTSD can be applied to post-partum PTSD. (3) To be able to apply cognitive therapy for PTSD to patients with perinatal PTSD, including traumatic baby loss through miscarriage or birth. (4) To discover common personal meanings associated with birth trauma and baby loss and the steps to update them.

Original publication




Journal article


Cognitive Behaviour Therapist

Publication Date