Why Hasn’t Birth ‘Debrief’ Worked Very Well? 

Maybe you think it has? 

Every since I trained as a midwife in 1994 one form or another of ‘birth debrief’ has taken place in the UK.

Recent research suggests that what we have been doing all these years hasn’t worked very well at all.   

The ‘confidential inquiry into maternal death’ report (2015) is very clear that postnatal mental health issues are becoming a leading cause of death following child birth.

What can be done? 

The Maternity Review (2016) has pointed towards increased investment in our NHS postnatal service, a call to action which is long overdue. 

Mia Scotland (clinical psychologist, doula, hypno birther and author) and I are choosing to make a contribution in this area. 


On Thursday 9 June 2016 we are running a co-led workshop exploring this very important subject. 

Details regarding what we are going to cover will follow, but we will certainly be taking about :

the ‘signs’ that can be seen in clients that would prompt a professional birth worker to refer a woman to specialist services.

Ways of listening and speaking that create an environment for a woman and her partner to heal within. 

What process’s we have used that support the on going recovery of person ‘stuck’ inside a story of trauma. 

These subjects and much more will be discussed on the day. 

Places on the workshop will be limited, here is where to book:



71 thoughts on “Why Hasn’t Birth ‘Debrief’ Worked Very Well? 

  1. Very interested in this workshop! Please keep me posted.

  2. Winnie Caldwell

    Midwives are in a unique position to influence a woman’s birth experience…and being in this privileged position can always benefit from insight in how we can transform birth culture and how to recognise the signs of post traumatic stress in the post -natal period and how we can help women work through this.I am very interested in the power of the language we use and how this impacts on women’s perceptions and feel we can always benefit from learning how we can inadvertently cause damage …and also how we can help to heal and nurture women who approach motherhood with negative memories of their birth experience .

  3. Mark, please keep me posted and let me have details! This is a subject so very close to my heart.

  4. Emma Phillips Harrington

    Be interested in this workshop depending on location as I teach Thursday evenings. Subject has been discussed at my local hospital and the reflections service.

  5. It hasn’t worked because no one knows about it! 99% of my friends who have had a difficult birth had no idea that they can request a debrief (hampshire uk)
    I had a ‘debrief’ with a consultant who said ‘standard forceps birth then, you have have what you want next time…’ – that is not a debrief. It was only with my third child 8 years later, that I found a consultant midwife at a different hospital, who finally went through my notes clearly and simply but explained enough for me to understand and allow me to give up the guilt I’d carried for 8 years, and allow me mentally to accept and plan for the induction which was needed(but not needed as she came early)
    Enjoying your facebook page. Thank you!

  6. Yes please to a place.

  7. Interested to see the details, pls mail to Sonja@wisehippobonn.de

  8. Yes please. Talking to a clinical psychologist at work recently ( non-NHS) who was saying that traditional de-briefing following birth trauma has its risks because of the nature of talking through the experience again. Might be obvious to some but made me realise how little I know about this area – I want to know that I am offering the right sort of listening/ talking/ signposting support to women following their birth. Please put me on the list. Anne

  9. Sounds great. I’d love to know more.

  10. I am interested in coming along. Lucy Shutes (shutes@btinternet.com) Doula Hypnobirth teacher.

  11. I’d be most interested, depending on venue!
    Such an important facet of our work!

  12. Please keep me in mind as I have mental health issues due to the birth I’ve asked for help that was a month ago and I have heard nothing

  13. I’d be interested in this also. Please email me.

  14. I’d be really interested in this conference/ workshop. I’m a clinical midwife currently on secondment to the RCM as Better Births Midwife.

  15. Definitely would like to attend 😊

  16. Could I be updated please. Thanks x

  17. Watching for more information x

  18. I would love to Come along. Are student midwives eligible? I am currently doing my dissertation on birth trauma and hope to look into debriefing in my final chapter

  19. I’d like to register my interest please

  20. Gemma Gluckman

    Very very interested in this workshop. I actually wrote my undergraduate dissertation on this topic.
    Let me know
    Thank you

  21. This is so important. I had traumatic birth and had two “debriefs” both of which reinforced the harmful message I was receiving everywhere that my birth was “normal” and that at least I was healthy and so was my baby. I think it was just a lack of skill and possibly a service provided directly by the hospital is never going to work brilliantly given the overhanging cloud of potential litigation. I needed to hear someone say they were sorry it had been that way for me and clearly noone could say that as it may be an admission of something. Some brilliant hypnotherapy and EFT and group work with other new mothers has turned this traumatic birth experience into a golden nugget in the treasure chest of my life experiences. A good “debrief” could have been part of this journey. Sending my very best wishes for the workshop which I sadly am unlikely to be able to attend.

  22. I’d love some details on this please

  23. Hello. I am very interested in attending. I work at a midwife in the east Midlands. Please send details.

    Many thanks

  24. Where will the workshop be held mark?

  25. Looks like an important and timely workshop Mark. I have blogged about my use of postpartum rituals for women after traumatic birth here https://magicalbirth.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/closing-the-bones/

  26. Hello! Are there any spaces left for this workshop, please?

  27. I am interested in this workshop

  28. Yes this is some thing I would be interested in attending and learning more about. Of course dependant on location, cost and shift allocation. Please keep me updated

  29. Prevention is better than cure.

  30. I am certainly interested

  31. Yes please Mark

  32. Can you say where in the UK you’ll be running the session? I can’t see it mentioned in the post.

  33. Sounds like an amazing workshop. I’ll be 40+8 so can’t really attend but would be interested in a future workshop 😊 X

  34. Hi I am definately interested.

  35. Johanna Grant

    I would be v interested in the workshop

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