As if the very act of childbirth isn’t physically traumatic enough, occasionally, there are complications that occur that can cause lasting damage to your body, your mind, or to the health of your new baby. During a traumatic birth, it is possible that there is a chance of you or your baby dying. Surviving a traumatic birth, whether it was from a birth injury or complication with you or your baby’s medical conditions, is no small feat.
Getting through this type of event on your birthing day is the first step, but the next steps happen at home and in the months that follow. These steps can be even harder to navigate. Here are four tips for a healthy recovery from a traumatic birth.
1. Be gentle and patient with yourself.
The first step to healing after surviving a traumatic birth is to simply be gentle and patient with yourself. This means that, for a certain time, it’s okay to pamper yourself at home. This is not always possible, but if you have the help of a supportive partner or family member to help with your newborn duties, it gives you more time to care for yourself. This kind of gentle self-care could include mindfulness exercises, nutritious food, and staying comfortable and relaxed in pajama bottoms while you’re around your house. Staying in your pajamas gives you more physical comfort which can, in turn, affect your mental state.
2. Work with a therapist to overcome lasting mental trauma.
Having a traumatic birth not only causes trauma to your body, but also to your mind. Working with a therapist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can help you on your road to healing. Investing in some time and energy into these therapy sessions with a trusted professional can help you address any of the negative or incessant thoughts that may plague you when you think about your newborn birth experience. Just as some may feel an aversion to driving after a car accident, you may feel a type of aversion toward motherhood or intimacy, which a therapist can help you address.
3. Speak with an attorney about your birth injury experience.
If the birthing process was severe enough that your experience left you with a serious injury, brain damage, or permanent disability, you may have legal options. Your baby may have experienced these things as well, in addition to the possibility of other birth defects and potential spinal cord injury. Sometimes, this harm to your baby or personal injury is due to medical negligence on the part of your doctors. This could be negligence in prenatal care or negligence when assessing risk factors to the birthing process. If you suspect your doctors of medical malpractice after having a traumatic birth that resulted in your child’s injury or even wrongful death, contact birth injury attorneys in your area. By doing an online search of “birth injury lawyers in Chicago” for example, you can find legal representation that can help you assess your birth injury case and assist in getting you the justice or compensation you need.
4. Try to repair relationships with your partner and new baby.
Following a traumatic birth experience, it may be possible that you experience strained relationships with both your partner and your newborn. The incident is not anything that your partner could ever fully ascertain, and your newborn may feel like the very reason you had to go through it at all. In addition to overcoming your personal PTSD, you may want to work with a medical professional who specializes in family healing after traumatic events. Your family can be stronger from this rocky start, but you must first put in the necessary work yourself.