What is TABS?
ORIGINATING IN NEW ZEALAND, TABS is Trauma And Birth Stress, a Charitable Trust that serves as a support group of mothers. We have in common stressful and traumatic pregnancies or births that affected our lives negatively for months or years afterwards. We formed TABS because of the need to make PTSD known as a form of mental illness that can happen following childbirth, but quite distinct from the Baby Blues, Post Natal Depression (Post Partum Depression) and Post Natal Psychosis.
Early in 1998, five of us, Carolyn, Kiri, Narelle, Sue and Toni, came together via the correspondence page of the NZ Little Treasures magazine as a result of two letters, the first by Toni, the second by Narelle, asking women who had had PTSD to make contact with each of the writers. Thus TABS began! We are now the face of over 200 women who have made contact with us since that time.
Since 1998, the four of us based in Auckland have spoken about PTSD to over 3,500 people. These presentations have been to professional and lobby organizations of various stakeholders in the maternity sector, including conferences of specialists and special interest groups. In addition, we have brought our concerns before senior Government officials, and have been warmly received.
We have contributed material and articles to a number of mass media publications, as well as receiving some unexpected publicity when magazines from the same publisher shared their sources! In 2001, one of our members appeared on TV3's 20/20 Programme in an article on maternal mental health following the publicity surrounding the sad events in the Andrea Yates case. All of these have brought us into contact with mothers affected by PTSD.
We have published a regular newsletter, and circulated widely a pamphlet about PTSD. These publications have been an encouragement and a support for many women even if some did not contact us until much, much later, and probably there are others we will never hear from. That doesn't worry us - the important thing is that mothers and families are helped and pointed in helpful directions.
WHO DO WE REPRESENT?
In December 1999 we sent out a questionnaire to all TABS Members (PTSD sufferers.) We wanted to obtain information about the people that we support to enable us to best represent them
Response rate 43 %
75% said classes were not helpful
"Only cover perfect births"
"Did not tell you about possible complications"
Several women attended only 1 or 2 sessions, then had a premature birth.
Trauma was from:
WHAT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE?
ADVICE TO PREGNANT MOTHERS:
ADVICE TO PROFESSIONALS:
WHAT THERAPY HELPED ?
HOW DID A SUPPORT GROUP HELP ?
DISCLAIMER: The materials provided at this website are for informational purposes and are not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of PTSD or as a substitute for consulting a caregiver competent to diagnose and recommend treatment for PTSD.