Before you give birth, you probably have a vague idea of what will happen. Or, maybe you didn’t really have a clue. Each birth, and each birthing person, is unique but not all births are peaceful or non-eventful.
Some births can be traumatic, leaving physical and mental scars.
If your birth didn’t go the way you had hoped, you might still be dealing with physical or mental trauma. The good news is, you aren’t alone – and there is help out there! Here are four ways to help heal your body and mind after a traumatic birth. Read on:
Talk about it
There are in-person and online support groups for birth trauma that can be very healing for many women. Sometimes, just talking about your birth experience and sharing it with others who can support you and relate can be just what you need. If it isn’t enough, a therapist can definitely help you work through your emotions. Don’t hold it in, though. It’s important to process your thoughts.
Sometimes, one of the most healing things you can do is to learn about your experiences. When we know better, we do better. So, ask for a copy of your medical records. Talk to your doctor or midwife so you can understand what happened. There are also books that talk about birth and birth experiences that can be helpful. And if you decide to have another child, that education can serve you well in your next birth.
Bond with baby
Often, a traumatic birth can impact the way we bond with baby, leaving new moms feeing disconnected and even heightening postpartum depression and anxiety. It can also impact breastfeeding. If you need help, a postpartum doula or even a supportive friend or family member can help out. The important thing is to be gentle with yourself and take the time you need.
A traumatic birth can leave us with physical difficulties as well. Incontinence issues, pain and other conditions are all possible even after a “normal” birth. But there are physical therapists who specialize in postpartum therapy and healing and you CAN get the help you need to feel better and heal. Ask your doctor or midwife for a referral or talk to your friends – chances are, one of them has sought out therapy but they might not have talked publicly about it!
At Everything Birth, we hope you can find physical and emotional healing after your traumatic birth.