About CA18211

The main goal of DEVOTION CA118211 is to establish a multidisciplinary pan-European Research Network dedicated to minimising birth trauma and optimising birth experiences.

Part of this objective is to focus on the prevalence of birth trauma and work towards universal standards of measuring, assessing and preventing birth trauma.

Unlike other sources of trauma, perinatal or birth-related trauma is relatively unrecognised. Evidence suggests up to 30% of women describe their birth experience as traumatic and experience some symptoms of intrusion, avoidance or hyper-arousal.

Meta-analyses show post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 4% of women after birth and up to 18% of women in high risk groups. Rectification of this situation is essential.

In 2016, 5.11 million babies were born in Europe. This means that up to 1.5 million mothers may have had sub-optimal birth experiences. Further, this suggests that over 200,000 mothers and up to 200,000 fathers may have developed PTSD as a result of a traumatic birth.

Developmental research has firmly established that the quality of infant-parent relationships is a critical factor in early and later childhood development, consequently, a family-centred approach to any investigation of birth-related trauma is critical, as trauma can be transmitted within the family system.

Given the enormous economic burden it places on women, health systems, and particularly children, relatively small improvements in services to prevent, detect and treat this problem can benefit society significantly.

This COST Action will establish an international multidisciplinary network of researchers, clinicians, NGOs and SMEs to consolidate and disseminate current evidence and coordinate a joint effort to seek ways to prevent, minimise and resolve birth-related trauma, and to optimise emotional and psychological outcomes for parents and families and CA18211 will work to accelerate the translation of that knowledge into best practices that can be shared across Europe to reduce the societal and economic burden arising from birth-related negative/traumatic experiences.

To learn more about our research, please click here and if you would like to join the Network, please click here.

Our Team

COST Action 18211 Core Team performs the executive functions of the Network.

Dr Sigfridur Inga Karlsdottir

Working Group 1 Leader
Optimising the birth environment to reduce/prevent negative/traumatic birth experiences.

Dr Marianne Nieuwenhiujze

Working Group 2 Leader
Understanding how culture, organisational structures & regional differences influence childbirth experiences

Dr Mirjam Oosterman

Working Group 3 Leader
Short and long-term impacts on women, infants, and family relationships

Prof Annick Bogaerts

Working Group 3 Vice-Leader
Short and long-term impacts on women, infants, and family relationships

Dr Jonathan Turner

Working Group 4 Leader
Deepening our understanding of inter-generational trauma transmission through biomedical & epigenetic research

Dr Patrick Moran

Working Group 5 Leader
Health Economic Analysis

Dr Ibone Olza Fernandez

Working Group 7 Leader
Service User Groups

Researchers

CA18211 is a multidisciplinary network comprised of over 100 researchers from 33 partner countries.