Recovering from any form of trauma is a challenging feat. And going through birth trauma is one of the most dreaded feelings a woman can ever experience in her life. The whole period and experience of pregnancy and childbirth often glamorised and romanticised as the most beautiful time of a woman’s life, may turn traumatising due to various underlying health and pregnancy factors.
Women who face such childbirth are left feeling inadequate and often doubt their self-worth. It is as overwhelming mentally as painful it is physically. Dealing with both the pain and trauma simultaneously is not something many women dream of or even expect when they think about pregnancy.
While we do not mean to scare women of pregnancy and childbirth, letting them know of the possible discomfort beforehand is not a bad idea. This helps them prepare themselves mentally for anything that might be coming their way. If you are currently trying to recover from birth trauma, this is the right article to help you overcome it. Let’s get started.
Why do some women experience traumatic births?
You might have heard the fact that not all childbirths are the same. There are easy and difficult ones. And then come the ones that leave the mother traumatised for many years of their lives. Including the type of childbirth as vaginal or c-section deliveries, the trauma a mother might experience depends on various other factors. Some of these include:
- Length of labour
- Medical interventions
- Use of pain medications
- Type of delivery
The childbirth occurring before a stipulated delivery time due to any other conditions can also be a traumatic event for the mother.
How does birth trauma affect other parts of life?
As with any other trauma, the one through childbirth also may affect other parts of a mother’s life. Some of the common effects include:
Traumatic birth may open you up to experience a plethora of emotions all at once. You might be sad, disappointed, angry, or all and more at once. This might affect your relationships with other people.
The stress a mother experiences at childbirth might also affect the time the milk comes in. It might be delayed for several days. You might need to depend on the formula to feed your baby for the time being.
· Fear and pain
Some women might experience trauma in a harrowing manner that leaves them afraid for many years. Fear of death, future pregnancies, pain, and being trapped is common.
7 Ways to help you heal from birth trauma
Here are some of the most common yet effective ways to deal with your emotions, time, and experiences when overcoming birth trauma.
1. Allow yourself time to process the experience
Going through pregnancy and childbirth is an overwhelming process in itself, let alone traumatic childbirth. You might need to allow yourself some healthy time to process all your feelings. Overcoming any bad experience requires gradually accepting and making peace with your experience.
2. Try and learn as much as possible about your experience
Knowledge is power. If you know about something beforehand, it may make your experience tolerable or prepare you to fight it better. As we mentioned above, reading articles like this, and exploring other sources of information to gather as much detail as possible can help you address your problems better. Read, talk, consult experts, and understand this experience to overcome it with time and the right support.
3. Spend time with your baby
We all hear about the importance of mommy-baby bonding immediately after birth. It is one of the most important and sensitive times for both you and your child. What you do during this period can define the bond you will share with your child in future up to a great extent. When fighting the trauma, you must remember not to blame yourself or your child for it. Spending more time with your baby may help you feel calm and recover faster.
4. Attempt breastfeeding
It can be tough when the milk hasn’t come in due to all the stress and fatigue you experience during childbirth. You may also be feeling bad about yourself for not being able to feed your baby. Relying on the formula for as long as it takes to keep your baby healthy is a wise choice. But you must also attempt breastfeeding from time to time.
5. Do not rush into another pregnancy to make things ‘right’
The feeling of inadequacy and ridicule might get the better of some women under this scenario. Many women may attempt to rush into another pregnancy too soon to just prove to themselves that they can get it right the next time. If you encounter this emotion, it is better to remind yourself that doing so can lead you into more trouble. Your top priority at this time is to be in the present and take care of your and your baby’s health.
6. Consult professionals for help
Doctors generally help new mothers with traumatic birth to overcome the experience. You may ask and share all your concerns and get them solved. If the experience seems too unbearable or overwhelming, it is better not to keep yourself suffering alone and talk to experts to guide you to the right path.
7. Take refuge in maternity shapewear
Maternity Shapewear such as pregnancy leggings and shorts provide a medical-grade compression that may prove helpful to support your pelvic muscles and lower back. These clothes may help soothe the pain down there while you work towards calming your mind. Ask your doctor, midwife, or health practitioner about the right maternity clothes for you.
Going through a traumatic birth is a life-altering experience. It can leave you feeling worse. If you are currently going through it or are recovering from it, please understand that you are not alone. Many women undergo this experience due to one or the other reason. Treating the bad feelings and recovering from them is possible with proper support.
Hopefully, practising the list above will make you feel better and recover sooner. For everything else, do not shy away from asking for the help of your doctor or therapist.