Birth is a beautiful and miraculous experience. That tiny bundle of joy that appears out of a woman’s body signifies the beginning of a new life. Giving birth is an empowering experience that many mothers cherish for their entire lives. However, for some mothers, their birthing experience becomes traumatic and leaves them feeling traumatized and stressed.
If you’ve had a similar experience as a mother, you could be feeling sorrow, guilt, fury, and despair. It’s vital to understand that you aren’t alone, and there are strategies to overcome the issues.
What Makes a Birth Experience Traumatic?
There’s unarguably no single answer to this question as each woman’s experience is unique. However, some common factors can contribute to a traumatic birth experience. These include:
- Feeling like you were not in control of your own body or the situation
- Feeling like you were not listened to or respected by your care providers
- Experiencing excessive pain during labor and delivery
- Witnessing your baby being injured during labor and delivery
- Having a baby who is born critically ill or dies shortly after birth
Birth is an incredibly personal event, and each mother will have a varying definition of what constitutes a traumatic birth.
However, suppose you feel your experience had something to do with the incompetence of your care providers. In that case, it’s crucial to reach out for help. We’d suggest you approach a Birth Injury Justice Center and consult a birth injury lawyer.
If you’re unable to overcome your traumatic birth experience, here are some tips that may help you:
Acknowledgment paves the path
First, it is essential to acknowledge how you feel and give yourself time to grieve. Also, avoid rushing the healing process and let it take its natural course. Learning as much as possible about your experience will also help. It can include reading books, articles, or blog posts on the subject. It’s also helpful to talk to other mothers who have gone through a traumatic birth.
Don’t be hard on yourself
It’s also crucial to take it easy on oneself. Keep in mind that you are not to blame for what occurred. The birth did not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t mean that you failed. You did the best you could under the circumstances. So, don’t judge yourself as a parent.
Your partner is going through the same experience
A stressful birth experience may create tension in your relationship. Be understanding of your partner and be mindful of their feelings as well. They are just as affected by what happened as you are. They might feel like they didn’t do enough or weren’t supportive enough during the birth. Reassure them that they were there for you and that their support meant everything to you.
Another pregnancy is not the answer
Thinking about another pregnancy may be the last thing on your mind right now, and that’s okay. Adding another pregnancy to the mix may not be the answer to your current situation. Before considering another one, you need time to heal emotionally and physically from your previous birth. Pregnancy after a traumatic birth can be complicated. There is a high risk of miscarrying or having another traumatic birth experience.
If you feel like you’re struggling to cope with your emotions after your traumatic birth, please reach out for help. Talk to your care provider, a therapist, or even a support group. You are not alone in this. Many mothers have been through what you’re going through and have come out the other side. There is help available, so please seek it out. Besides, your friends and family can also be a great source of support.
Your birth story is yours
No matter what anyone says, your birth story is yours and yours alone. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t “perfect” or if things didn’t go according to plan. What matters is that you and your baby are safe and healthy. Remember this whenever anyone tries to tell you how you should feel about your birth experience.
Spend more time with your baby
Indeed, spending more time with your baby is an effective way to recover from a traumatic birth experience. Bonding and attachment are important in the early weeks and months after birth and can help you heal emotionally. Hold your baby, cuddle with them, and give them all the love they need.
Breastfeeding has healing powers
It’s no secret that nursing has several advantages for both mother and child. But what’s truly fascinating is that it can aid in healing a difficult birth. The oxytocin released during breastfeeding may help with childbirth pain and promote healing. However, it might be challenging to breastfeed if you’re still dealing with the emotional effects of your traumatic birth. If you haven’t breastfed in the past, it’s vital to seek assistance from a lactation consultant or your physician.
Take care of yourself
While it’s necessary to get help after a distressing birth, it’s also critical that you care for yourself after a traumatic birth experience. Ensure you get enough rest, eat healthy foods, and stay hydrated. Exercise can also help release tension and improve your mood. Similarly, find new activities, consider getting massage therapy, or go out shopping (if your health permits).
While every woman’s experience is different, these tips may be helpful for mothers who have gone through a traumatic birth. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or isolated, please reach out for help – there is no shame in admitting that you need assistance. Besides, you are not alone, and some people want to help you recover. Soon, your experience will become a thing of the past, and you’ll enjoy life to the fullest with your new self.