The last thing any expectant mother anticipates is a difficult, or assisted birth. We know that these events happen but never truly believe that it could happen to us. Until it does. There are many different kinds of negative birth experiences that a mother can go through, from the lack of control throughout the birthing process to poor communication with your medical team. A lack of attention given to your concerns could lead to a birth injury that impacts you and your child.
Not only do you have to adapt to life with a newborn and your physical and mental recovery after labor, but the impact of a difficult birth experience may cast a shadow over what should have been the happiest moment of your life. Of course, everyone’s birthing experience is different just as birth injury symptoms can vary greatly. With this in mind, I’ve gathered 4 simple pieces of advice that will help you to heal and accept the negative birth you experienced.
Talk to Your Partner
During this difficult period of time, communication is key. It might feel that the only person who can bear this mental burden is you. When in fact, reaching out and speaking to your partner about your feelings will potentially lighten your emotional load. Perhaps the relationship you have with your partner has been affected, you may feel resentment, let down, or things may be strained. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to seek counselling and work together to understand how you’re both coming to terms with what happened.
Ask to See Your Medical Notes
This might seem a little daunting, however, reading through the details of what occurred might bring some insight and closure. Researching and learning as much as you can from your experience will help you to come to terms with it and perhaps even understand why this happened. If you are planning on having more children, learning from your medical notes and understanding medical terms are ways to be prepared for a future birth experience.
Focus on Your Baby
It’s not uncommon to feel disconnected from your baby after birth, especially when the experience wasn’t ideal and incredibly distressing. Taking the time to get to know your new baby will certainly help you overcome feelings of despair and guilt. Enjoy plenty of skin-to-skin contact if you can and certainly nurse him/her if possible. Baby massage is also a fun and relaxed way to connect with your newborn. Just don’t feel rushed or pressured.
Take Care of Yourself
When you have a newborn to prioritize, it’s easy to neglect yourself. But when you’ve had a traumatic birth experience, it’s even more likely. Make sure you’re resting as much as possible, keeping yourself hydrated and eating well. You might feel like you have your hands full, or feel guilty about prioritizing yourself, but you shouldn’t. After all, you won’t be any good for that little one if you’re sick, exhausted, and emotionally compromised.