Early mothering affected by the trauma of emergency hysterectomy

Researchers in Australia have found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that mothers who have undergone the trauma of an emergency hysterectomy following severe postpartum haemorrhage have revealed three main areas of concern. They were ‘initial separation: lost bonding time’, ‘feelings of failure’ and ‘relinquishing care of the infant’.Postpartum haemorrhage and subsequent hysterectomy is a traumatic birth event which have a dramatic potential to effect a woman’s experience of motherhood and her initial relationship with her baby. However, as this is a particularly rare occurrence it seems that it has been easy to dismiss the experiences of such women especially as there is very little known about their early mothering experience following an emergency hysterectomy.

The researchers worked with 21 women who had experience postpartum haemorrhage and who subsequently had a hysterectomy have concluded that they need much greater recognition of their specific needs following childbirth. This should include providing them with opportunities to talk about their experience and to ask questions which can help them to reconcile their feelings.

Also, giving them the opportunity to have their babies in intensive care unit with them whilst they recover at the same time as receiving ongoing emotional support and guidance, may also be useful approaches in assisting women during this difficult and traumatic time.


  1. Having experienced an emergency hysterectomy 10 weeks ago as a result of post-partum haemorrhage following the birth of my first child, I would agree with these findings completely. I am very surprised there is no emotional support/counselling provided in hospital or connections for these services provided by hospital staff and doctors as part of post-operation recovery. This needs to be standard practice and is as essential as the care provided for physical recovery.

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