Doctors believe, that like soldiers returning from war, women giving birth can suffer lasting psychological damage due to their birthing experience.
Colin Howard, Executive Director of Manor Hall, Centre for Trauma in Stirling said that up to 6% of mothers in Scotland suffer from PTSD after giving birth.
This means that 3481 women suffer from the debilitating disorder every year alone.
Experts say that this can have a “disastrous” effect on mothers leaving them with years of traumatic flashbacks and can even damage their relationship with their child.
One mother who was diagnosed with PTSD after the birth of her first baby said that she still has nightmares from her daughter’s birth more than a year on.
Doctors believe that the condition is currently underdiagnosed as new mothers are scared to open up about their traumatic experience and the consequences it is having on their life.
As well as damaging the bond between mother and child, women can also lose interest in sex and their partner – as they can bring back memories of the birth.
The condition is currently underdiagnosed
Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks to the birth as well as increased anxiety.
One mother, who wished not to be named, said that she still struggles with what happened to her.
She said: “I still have nightmares about the birth. What was supposed to be one of the best experiences of my life, was the worst. Of course I love my daughter but it was all just too much.
“I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy all the way through. I went into labour a week early and the whole process was a long one. I was in labour for over 24 hours and in the end I had to have an episiotomy. While giving birth I ended up tearing and losing a lot of blood.
“After I was given my daughter things got hazy and I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know what was happening all I thought was ‘this is the it, I’m dying.”
“After I just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t even think about having sex again until after a year, and I am still not sure whether I could go through that again to have more children.
“At first I thought I might have had postnatal depression, but the feelings around the birth were just so intense, whenever I thought about it I just wanted to scream.
“I am starting to feel more myself now, but even more than a year the birth always plays on my mind.”
Losing a lot of blood
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is being successfully used by doctors to treat mothers suffering from PTSD.
EMDR, which is used to break up traumatic memories using eye movements, is commonly used with returning soldiers and war veterans suffering from the disorder.
Colin Howard, Executive Director of Manor Hall, Centre for Trauma in Stirling said: “It is quite outstanding, the figures involved. The prevalence is about one and a half to six percent of mothers.
“There are a number of factors which can lead to a woman suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after giving birth.
“There is the lack of control while in labour and the attitude of staff, there could also be inadequate pain relief, or no support from significant others. Sometimes women are experiencing unbearable pain and have no one to help them through it.
A number of women who have suffered PTSD after giving birth
“Historical data can be very important in this though. For example, women who have had a traumatic experience in the past can be more likely to suffer from PTSD after childbirth, especially those who have been sexually abused.
“A woman who has been sexually abused can be going into labour and may have a male doctor telling them to do things like open your legs, that’s a good girl and push, this is very likely to trigger fear which can lead to PTSD.”
Dr Alexander Yellowlees, Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist at the Priory in Glasgow said that he has treated a number of women who have suffered PTSD after giving birth.
Dr Yellowlees said: “I have treated several women who have PTSD after giving birth. It sometimes does not initially present as this, they may think they have depression or post natal depression, but when you start to talk about their experience it can lead to PTSD.
“It is about the perceived level of threat. As with all people who suffer from PTSD you believe that what is happening to you or around could lead to your death.
“There are not exact figures for this, but I think it should be more common than it appears when you think about what they went go through.
“Not many women talk about it, and I think that is why we do not hear about it. Like when soldiers came back from the war, they were just expected to get on with it, there is the same mentality here too.”]]>
The public feed – called SQA News Not – has attracted 10,000 followers among disaffected exam candidates since it started in January this year.
Thousands of S4 pupils are about to sit the new National 4 and 5 exams. Teachers claim stress levels on them and pupils are at an all-time high as a result of having too little time to prepare.
Now subversive students are getting their own back by posting a series of satirical tweets aimed against the SQA.
One tweet from the mock feed, posted with a picture of police detaining a suspect, said: “BREAKING: Chief Executive of SQA arrested for crimes against humanity #wevebeencaught.”
Another, posted on April 4, said: “UPDATE: Everyone here at the SQA hopes you are more stressed than you ever have been and you feel like you’re failing. Exams in 25 days. #HA”
One hard-hitting tweet said: “Let’s be honest. The new curriculum is a joke. We’re just bored of making you succeed in life so we now like to get pleasure out of you failing.”
On January 15, they wrote: “This year to save money we’re letting the person sitting beside you mark your paper. Cbf with all that marking s*** again. #SQAupdates”
One of the page creators from Edinburgh, who wished not to be named, said they decided to make the account because they were angry at the SQA.
The 16-year-old said: “We just came up with it in class and knew that we could really mock the SQA in a funny way.
“Lots of people are pretty angry at them right now and we knew people would like this sort of thing.”
Exams under the new education system, which emphasises choice, creativity and cross-subject learning, are to be sat by an estimated 65,000 next month.
Last week the new system was labelled a “shambles” after it was revealed teachers were completing pupils course work themselves.
The added pressure and time constraints with the new curriculum is also allegedly having a detrimental effect on the mental health of staff and pupils.
Alan McKenzie, deputy general secretary for the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said teachers should be calling for a mental health audit.
He said: “They should be asking for an audit of their mental health. That is how serious this matter is. Something needs to be done.
“It is negatively affecting the psychiatric well-being of our members. I’ve had them in front of me saying they’re going to have to retire or leave teaching because they ‘just cannot go on like this’.”
Earlier this week education bosses hit out at the curriculum again after it was revealed pupils were being called into school during the easter holidays to complete necessary course work.
The SQA declined to comment.]]>
All tickets for the 14 June event have been snapped up as Scotland’s Stobo Castle Ladies Day celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Tickets for the exclusive event were snapped up by Edinburgh’s elite 63 days beforehand.
Racecourse bosses have ordered over 1000 bottles of the finest bubbly for their well-heeled visitors, available from £49.
Fast becoming the hottest event in the Scottish social calendar, a £3000 cash prize is awarded for the best dressed lady.
The £100,000 William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup is the racecourses richest ever race, attracting punters from all over Scotland.
Musselburgh Racecourse commercial manager, Mary-Ann Sandercock, said: “Ladies Day at Musselburgh has become a runaway sell-out success on the Scottish social calendar.
“Thousands look forward to each year and the ladies, and men, really go the extra mile to look special for the big day.
“Young girls on a budget will spend wisely, make savvy choices about dresses, accessories and hats and look stunning.
“While those with more disposable income will spend several hundred pounds each to stand out from the crowd.
“The overall effect is that Ladies Day is one massive splash of colour, fashion and most of all fun, all washed down with around £50,000 worth of bubbly.”
Hospitality packages sold out in February, despite bosses increasing the capacity from 7500 to 9000 to meet demand.
Bosses are spending over £600 on free bottles of water for punters, over £6,000 on flowers and another £6,000 to give the course a face-lift for the big day.
And shelling out £14,000 on additional toilet facilities and £50,000 on marquee facilities to meet demand and make the day another huge success.
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “We are blown away by the huge appeal of this event.
“There are few who can question Musselburgh’s claim that we have established one of the UK’s most successful Ladies Days.
“We didn’t get to this position by accident and we have consistently invested more each year to improve the experience and make it the best social event on the Scottish racing calendar.
“Getting a leading brand like Stobo Castle on board as our long term sponsor has been a game changer and we have established a proper partnership which benefits both parties.
“Last year the atmosphere at Ladies Day was incredible and many thought it was our best yet, but our aim is to constantly make improvements and keep the crowds coming back for more.”
Musselburgh’s Edinburgh Cup meeting the week before Ladies Day on 7 June could now benefit from the Ladies Day sell-out.
Farnsworth added: “The Edinburgh Cup meeting already attracts a 6000 plus crowd and we expect those disappointed at not being able to go to Ladies Day will be make that their big summer racing day out, but they should book in advance to avoid a second disappointment.”
Musselburgh sells its own extras for those who forget vitals, such as coloured sunglasses, plasters, heel grips, sun cream, fleeces, ponchos, umbrellas and flip flops.
Last years biggest sellers were flip flops and sunglasses and I love Sushi sold out its entire 5000 unit stock after high demand.
There are seven permanent public bars at the racecourse which will be supplemented by two marquee bars, Edinburgh Gin pop up and Pommery Champagne.
If the sun decides to make an appearance punters can enjoy two ice bars selling refreshments and 8 mobile units selling beer in the hospitality and trackside marquees.]]>
The Care Inspectorate had previously criticised the home for its quality of services.
The daughter of a current resident at the Pentland Hill Care Home, in Edinburgh said she is relieved by the transformation at the home.
Dorothy McPartlin spent eight years as a nurse caring for people with dementia with the NHS, before retiring.
Her 93-year-old mother has been a resident since 2011, when the family secured a council-funded care package.
Now she has called for the efforts of the new team to be recognised, to allow the many changes to properly take root so the care service can continue to improve
Mrs McPartlin said: “I have never been shy about complaining and demanding change and there is no doubt things were pretty poor for a while.
“However, I will also give praise where it is due and I really believe that is what is called for now.
“There has been a remarkable change at Pentland Hill and the care staff have worked incredibly hard. It is time that was recognised.
“There was a time for all the endless negative criticism, but it is a different place now, with different management and many new staff.
“Now it needs to be given a chance for all of those changes to take root properly, to make sure the improvements are for the long term and the home keeps getting better.”
Mrs McPartlin’s mother, a grandmother of six and a great grandmother of two, was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago.
Thanks to her nursing experience, her daughter spotted the early warning signs.
The progressive illness affected her mother’s ability to speak, robbing her of her memory and eventually left her needing 24 hour care.
For a time her granddaughter moved into her home to help look after her, but when it became evident she needed round the clock attention, the family decided to seek a nursing home place.
Once her mother was settled into one of the dementia units at the home the family began to notice problems with staff and management.
The family felt there were too few staff to properly care for the residents and poor management which resulted in a chaotic atmosphere.
A formal Improvement Notice was issued to the home and Bupa, which operates the home responded by appointing an entirely new management team.
Mrs McPartlin added: “There were times when I was unhappy with what I was witnessing, particularly with my background in dementia nursing. I complained consistently.
“When the Care Inspectorate gave the home a low grading I wasn’t surprised at all.
“In fact I was relieved that someone else with real influence was acknowledging that there had to be change.”
“Huge changes have taken place and the atmosphere is completely different.
“The care staff say they are now getting the chance to spend much more quality time with residents.
“The staff are happy, the residents are happy. The changes I have seen are remarkable, particularly in the range of activities for residents.”
“The new home manager is very proactive, while the new unit manager is very approachable and I feel confident that I am being listened to and my comments are being taken on board.”
Kirsty Dace, Bupa’s director in Scotland, appointed the turnaround team at the care home and has led the process.
She said: “The management has been completely replaced and we’ve introduced sweeping changes across all aspects of the home. We can now say with confidence this is a safe and well-run care home.
“It is extremely gratifying to hear that the efforts and hard work of the team have been recognised by Mrs McPartlin and other relatives, as well as by our residents. We will continue to work with them closely and are determined to keep improving.”]]>
The move comes after ecology experts raised fears that the creatures, including the protected great crested newt, could be at risk from traffic as they moved to near by ponds to mate.
The proposed underpass is to be built in Glenboig as part of the plans for more than 1,000 new homes area.
Banks Property, who are heading up the construction work, called in experts from Heritage Environment Ltd to carry out a study when they purchased the land in East Dunbartonshire.
Gartcosh Local Nature Reserve, which is adjacent to the development area, supports one of Scotland’s largest populations and is therefore of particular importance for the species. It is owned and managed by North Lanarkshire Council.
Mark Bates, director of Ecology at Heritage Environment Ltd, said: “These newts, like other amphibians, spend most of their life cycle out of water in a number of terrestrial habitats but breed in pools and ponds.
“As our study identified that a small proportion of the Nature Reserve’s newts would have to cross the proposed new road to enter these ponds one of our key recommendations is the creation of an underpass to prevent them being killed.
“We’ll be providing the Glenboig Consortium with a range of recommendations to ensure the proposed new road has negligible effects on the newt population”.
“With regards to the wider proposed development, we will also be providing designs of newt movement corridors to be incorporated into the layout. The corridors will include a range of newly created wetland and terrestrial habitats.
“These measures will allow the newts access to the wider countryside and potentially establish new populations within Lanarkshire.”
Colin Anderson, director at Banks Property, said: “Throughout this process we have listened to extensive feedback and shaped plans that are the best possible fit for the setting and sympathetic to the local environment
“So we are extremely pleased the ecology experts have come up with a range of practical solutions to safeguard such an important pocket of rare wildlife, including underpasses and newt corridors.
“What is particularly pleasing is the possibility that the changes proposed could actually encourage the Great Crested Newts to thrive in other parts of North Lanarkshire.”
Last week a building firm in Milton Keynes had to spend more than £1m catching more than 150 great crested newts as they had to relocate them from the land they purchased.
The project to build 6,500 homes, four schools and a village centre at the site was held up for more than a year as work to move the amphibians was completed.
Youngsters from deprived areas of the country should be brushing their teeth with high-fluoride toothpaste only available on prescription, they argue.
More than a quarter of Scottish children suffer tooth decay, many of them from the poorest communities in the country.
New guidelines from government health experts say the amount of fluoride in toothpaste could make a big difference to tackling the problem.
Recent research showed that 39% of primary one pupils in the most deprived areas suffer from tooth decay compared with 18% in the richest areas.
They say “vulnerable” children aged 10 to 16 should use toothpaste which contains 2,800 parts per million of fluoride (ppmF).
Toothpaste sold in shops typically contains just 700 to 1,500 ppmF.
Products with high levels of fluoride can only be obtained on prescription because too much of the substance can seriously discolour teeth, particularly in children.
The advice has been issued by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, which advises health care professionals on best treatment.
The chairman of the SIGN guideline group, Derek Richards, said: “The recommendations recognise that dental care is not as straightforward as most people would expect and should be managed on an individual basis, by the professionals.”
Mr Richards, a consultant in dental public health, added: “There is also a bigger part for parents to play as they should be aware of useful tips such as checking the level of fluoride in the toothpaste.”
“Parents need to be reminded that twice daily brushing of their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste plays a vital job in the fight against decay.”
Eyebrows were raised after six five star reviews appeared for the Cromlix Hotel in Kinbuck, Perthshire, almost a week before it officially opened on April, 1.
A spokesman for the travel review site said last week that they had launched an investigation into allegations that the reviews were “incentivised”.
But now the company has completed their investigation and found the glowing reviews met their guidelines.
Hotel goers left sparkling reviews for the site making special reference to the “Wimbledon colour court”, the “fabulous Victorian building”, right down to the duvet cover on the bed which “had to be experienced”.
Bosses admitted 100 guests had stayed at the hotel – many of them for free – during a “soft launch” before the official opening.
But a TripAdvisor spokesman said: “In this instance, we investigated a number of reviews relating to the Cromlix Hotel and determined that they met out guidelines.
“We allow anyone who had a genuine service experience to share their honest, unbiased opinion on TripAdvisor, whether good or bad.”
The tennis star took bought the hotel last February for £1.8m.
Since the opening, the luxury hotel has racked up more than 15 four and five star reviews on TripAdvisor.
Guests can expect to pay up to £585 a night for a room at the hotel during their peak season.]]>
Undergraduates at Edinburgh University typically need four As at Higher to get in but it appears most are in the remedial class when it comes to cuisine.
The university’s newly-launched “Cook School” aims to change that, charging students £10 for a course that will teach classics such as spaghetti bolognese.
Knife skills and food hygiene will also be thrown in to reduce the chances of cooking sessions ending in casualty.
The initiative by the accommodation services department, launched last week and according to the uni has proved a smash hit with hungry students.
The move has also been welcomed by healthy eating campaigners in the capital who believe a good diet could boost academic attainment.
Ian Macaulay, the university’s assistant director in catering, said: “While ready-made meal will always be a popular choice among students.
“We hope the cook school will be a step towards changing behaviours and demonstrating that cooking with fresh ingredients can be much more cost effective, more healthy and fun.
“There is a definite need for cookery classes in universities, not only for students with no experience in cooking from scratch, but also for those who feel their skills in the kitchen need to be refreshed.
“It’s also a great confidence booster for students making the transition from catered to self-catered accommodation.
“The interest in the cook school from the university’s students has been phenomenal. It’s great to be able to provide students with the opportunity to learn from our professional university chefs.”
One University of Edinburgh student who has started on the course said: “I have found the classes to be beneficial in improving my existing cooking skills and teaching me to use healthy, fresh ingredients rather than over-processed foods.
“Now I know how easy it can be to cook a healthy meal from scratch, I will be spending more time in the kitchen.”
The initiative comes after Edinburgh’s New Town Cookery School offered a five-day “Getting Ready for University” course.
Costing £600, it aimed to prepare students to fend for themselves and survive healthily after leaving home.
Chris Mantle, a food and health development worker with Edinburgh Community Food, said that while his organisation usually worked with with the vulnerable or those in deprived communities poor diet was an issue across society.
“Students famously do not eat the best food, a situation not helped by the lack of emphasis on cooking and home economics at school.
“However Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence is putting healthy eating back on the agenda.
“And while it may take some time for this to bear fruit, it is heartening to see Edinburgh Uni tackling this issue by offering relatively affordable classes which cover not only healthy cooking but also crucially important areas such as good food hygiene and knife skills.
“The enthusiastic response from students shows that there is a need for classes like these, and a healthy diet means a healthy mind, better energy levels and perhaps, even better academic attainment.”]]>
Alan said kissing and cuddling baby Emily – born at 24 weeks on the legal abortion cut-off point – was “amazing”.
And Alan, 47, from Coldstream, Scottish Borders, enjoyed 30 minutes with his daughter who he saw smile for the first time.
Emily, who weighed just 1lb 3oz when she was born on February 27, is now up to 1lb 13oz and doing well enough to be taken off an artificial breathing machine.
The doting father revealed his tiny daughter even managed the baby “classic” of throwing up on him.
But she also opened her eyes and smiled.
Alan said: “It was amazing. It was a moment I’ve been waiting for since she has been born.
“When I was holding her she opened her eyes and it looked like she was smiling at me.
“She was sick on my t-shirt but I guess all babies do that to their daddies at some point.”
Emily’s mother, Claire Cressey, 34, said: “She is virtually breathing on her own now.
“We are hoping this continues and that we can bring her home soon.”]]>