Posttraumatic Growth in Women After a Childbirth Experience: The Influence of Individual Characteristics and Intrusive and Deliberate Rumination

Brandão T., Brandão S., Prata A. P., Silva R., Abreu W., Riklikiene O., ...More

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier


Objective: This study targets women who had a self-defined traumatic childbirth experience to (a) explore the differences between sociodemographic-, obstetric-, and trauma-related variables in relation to the rumination style; (b) determine differences between intrusive and deliberate rumination in relation to posttraumatic growth (PTG) dimensions, and (c) test whether intrusive rumination is associated with deliberate rumination, which in turn is associated with PTG dimensions. Method: A cross-sectional study design was employed using a web-based survey method for data collection. In total, 202 women who identified their childbirth experience as traumatic participated in this study. Results: Intrusive rumination and deliberate rumination were positively associated with all dimensions of PTG in women following the traumatic childbirth event. Deliberate rumination fully explained the relationship between intrusive rumination and PTG aspects of relating to others, new opportunities, and personal strength, and partially explained the relationship between intrusive rumination and PTG aspects of spiritual changes and appreciation of life. Conclusions: The results suggest that deliberate rumination can contribute to explain the occurrence of PTG. These findings could help develop psychosocial interventions to maximize opportunities for deliberate rumination for women with traumatic childbirth experiences.