Giving birth is a thrilling time for many mothers. After all, you’re bringing a new tiny human into the world — one that you love more than pretty much everyone else. You can’t wait to meet the little guy or gal.
Giving birth should be easy, painless, and uplifting in an ideal world. Everything would go according to your birth plan, and you’d meet your bundle of joy quickly, without any hiccups along the way.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen — quite the contrary. According to a recent study, as many as 45 percent of new mothers experience Birth trauma.
What is a Traumatic Birth Experience and How Can You Help?
A traumatic birth experience is when a mother experiences distress or discomfort during childbirth. Every woman is different, so each mother might experience trauma differently.
Contrary to what the term might suggest, a traumatic birth experience doesn’t necessarily stem from a physical birthing complication (e.g., a uterine inversion or an emergency C-section).
Trauma can be psychological in many cases (e.g., stressing over). COVID-19 allows you to give birth in a hospital). After all, the birthing experience can be incredibly stressful and physically exhausting — even when everything goes to plan.
Traumatic Birth: Physical and Emotional Impacts
New mothers must deal with psychological and physical pain after a traumatizing birth.
After giving birth, new mothers feel exhausted. Since most muscles strain during contractions, it’s perfectly normal to be sore throughout the body after giving birth. Of course, there’s also vaginal bleeding and vaginal soreness to deal with. Hormones can fluctuate greatly, making it more difficult for new mothers to be emotionally stable.
Every mother is different, but it generally takes between Six to eight weeks for the body to recover after giving birth.
Many women experience psychological problems after giving birth, in addition to the physical trauma they have to deal with.
One in seven mothers become pregnant. postpartum depression after giving birth. This can make women feel sad, isolated, and helpless after giving birth. These feelings can lead to a decrease in appetite, loss of sexual drive, and a lack of appetite. Postpartum depression can also cause women to have difficulty bonding with their babies.
Although rare, some mothers may experience postpartum psychosis. This can cause dangerous thoughts and behaviors. If you or someone you know who’s recently given birth is dealing with hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions, seek medical help immediately.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Depending on how awful the birth experience was, Some mothers may experience PTSD.. One study found that mothers who had less education, received less prenatal care, and gave birth early were more likely to develop PTSD. Additionally, research also suggests that new mothers who’ve suffered from depression and those who were victims of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence are also more likely to develop PTSD.
In addition to affecting a new mother’s well-being, PTSD can also Relationships with romantic partners can be damaged. Women who’ve had a traumatic birth report a lack of sex and arguments with their significant other over the birth itself, among other things.
Now that you have a better idea of what a traumatic birth is and what a new mother might experience in the aftermath of one, let’s turn our attention to the most important piece of the puzzle: what women can do to overcome these feelings and live their best lives.
How to overcome a traumatizing birth experience with postpartum healing
A traumatic birth experience can seem devastating right from the beginning. However, there are ways you can overcome the trauma.
It will take some time. But as long as you’re dedicated to improving your headspace and becoming the mom you’ve always been destined to be, you will get through this challenge before you know it. Here are some tips to help you make it happen.
1. Think about what you have experienced
Although you may be tempted to ignore your trauma, it will still be there if you don’t confront it head-on. It all starts with being honest with yourself. Spend time thinking about what you’ve been through and try to understand exactly why you feel the way you do. To really clear your mind, journaling might be a good option.
Once you’ve processed your thoughts, it’s time to share them with those closest to you — your partner, your family, and your friends. Don’t share anything more than you’re comfortable with. But the sooner you can connect with someone else about what you’re going through, the faster the weight will be off your shoulders.
2. Spend time with your new baby
It’s not at all uncommon for new mothers to feel disconnected from their babies after a traumatic birth. You can prevent these feelings from happening but you can take steps to address them. Easing into skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding when you’re comfortable can help you get through this difficult time.
3. Talk to a professional regarding your traumatic birth.
At the end of the day, you need to know that you don’t have to deal with this entire situation on your own. While talking with your friends, family, and partner about your emotions and what’s going through your mind can be helpful, you may be best off speaking to a neutral third party when the going gets really tough after giving birth.
After all, emotional healing when you have a tiny new human in your life can be hard — even if you aren’t experiencing postpartum depression. A professional therapist who specializes treating new mothers can make a huge difference.
If you’re struggling after a traumatic birth experience, Reach out to a therapist right away to get the help you need to adjust to this huge life change.
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