Amy Dawes was 16 months postpartum when she was diagnosed with a bilateral levator ani avulsion – her pelvic floor muscle had torn off the bone – and it was even later that her birth trauma prolapsed.
Now Amy, the mother of two daughters, is on a mission to help other women struggling with a compromised quality of life as a result of birth trauma. She is passionate about raising awareness, speaking out about the life-altering injuries she sustained through childbirth back in 2013.
So, she founded the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA). Through the ABTA, Amy uses her own journey as a map to assist women who find themselves in a similar situation, and to educate health professionals to better identify those mothers most at risk.
Birth trauma comes in many forms; it means a wound, seriously injury or damage, that may be physical or psychological. It may be the result of an extreme disconnect between a woman’s expectations of what would happen and the shock of what actually occurred, or relate to a loss of control in the face of authority, unexplained interventions and the physical damage sustained.
Three years after Amy first founded the ABTA, they are holding their first fundraiser – an art exhibition and auction run by fellow Brisbane mum and artist (and fellow Amy) Amy ‘Sodapop’ Dominey.
Amy Dominey approached Amy Dawes, hoping to raise awareness and funds following her own experience with postpartum PTSD after the birth of her first child. Her art had become her outlet for expressing her trauma, and she wanted to connect with – and support – other women who had similar experiences.
On Saturday November 9 at Open House, West End, join Amy Dawes, Amy Dominey and a number of other artists – including popular Brisbane artist Hayley Wills – to raise much-needed funds and awareness for the ABTA’s Birth Trauma Peer2Peer support Program. The program is an online live chat service for women impacted by trauma following birth and their families – the first service in Australia that deals specifically with birth trauma.