Whoever tells you that giving birth is “easy” has most definitely not experienced this roller coaster ride full of emotional struggles and physical hardships. Because giving birth is hard, no matter how you do it, no matter how many times you do it. And for some of us, it’s incredibly challenging. Maybe your birth didn’t go according to plan, or you had a traumatic experience. Maybe it was just really, really long and challenging. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that you did your absolute best. Look at those cute cheeks and chubby thighs – your baby is here, and you made it happen. So, pat yourself on the back, mama. You deserve it.
However, if you’re still struggling with the emotional or physical pain of your challenging birth experience, use these tips to regain health.
Understand What Happened
Challenging birth experiences haunt mothers for longer than anticipated. It could be because you had a long labor, the umbilical cord was wrapped around your baby’s neck, or a second-degree tear. All this and more might cause nightmares or intrusive thoughts about the birth. If you want the labor and delivery process to be different next time, you must understand what happened during this birth. This way, your care team will be better prepared for your next experience.
Get Legal Help if Needed
It’s a sad reality that around 25 percent of newborn deaths occur due to medical negligence. If your baby died or was injured during childbirth and you suspect it was due to the carelessness of a medical professional, then you might want to consult with a birth injury lawyer.
With birth injury legal help, you might be able to get the closure and compensation you need to move on. Besides, there’s no need for you to suffer any more than you already have.
Talk about Your Experience
It is an important step, yet many are afraid to do it. Birthing is traumatic, no matter how you slice it. It may affect your mental and emotional health for weeks, months, or even years after the event. So talk about it. Talk to your partner, friends, care team, or therapist. Getting your feelings and emotions out in the open can be cathartic. They may help you cope with your experience in ways you never thought possible.
Get Physical Support
Your body just went through an unimaginably demanding physical experience. So, give yourself some time to recover. If you had a C-section, you’d need at least six weeks to heal before you can start doing things like working out or carrying your baby for long periods.
If you delivered normally, you’d need at least a few weeks to recover. Your healthcare provider can recommend light exercises and activities to help you heal properly and avoid complications. You can employ a postpartum doula to help you with breastfeeding, light housework, and newborn care.
Find a Support Group
Do you feel like you aren’t understood? Do you fail to communicate with your partner or family about your birth experience? If so, you might want to consider joining a support group. It is a brilliant way to connect with other mothers who have had a similar experience. You can share your stories, offer and receive advice, and generally vent about the whole experience. Sometimes it’s in the places that we least expect that we find the most support.
Get Some Rest
Sleep deprivation causes a whole host of physical and mental problems. It may be hard to get a good night’s sleep when you have a newborn at home, but it’s essential to try. If possible, take turns with your partner or another family member to look after the baby while you get some much-needed rest. You can also hire a night nanny to give you a few hours of sleep each night. If you cannot get some sleep because you feel anxious, include essential oils like lavender in your nightly routine to help you relax.
Do Something Nice for Yourself
After a difficult birth, you deserve a little pampering. So, go ahead and treat yourself. Get a massage, buy flowers, or take a long hot bath with therapeutic Epsom salts. You’ve earned it, mama. It also reminds you that you don’t have to put yourself on the back burner only because you have a little human to care for now. You are still important and deserve to take care of yourself, too.
Understand the Impacts on Your Relationship
Your relationship with your partner will undoubtedly change after you’ve had a baby. But if you’ve gone through a difficult birth experience, those changes can be even more pronounced. Maybe you can’t find time to cuddle or have sex like you used to. Maybe you’re resentful or angry towards your partner for not being there during the birth. These are all normal reactions. But it’s important to discuss how you’re feeling with your partner to work through these changes together.
We often tend to be too harsh with ourselves. After not fulfilling your ideas of the birthing process, you may feel like you failed in some way. However, it is not the case. You most certainly did what was best for you and your little one, which is always worth celebrating. You don’t have to feel pressured to “bounce back” quickly after giving birth. Remember to give yourself time to recover, both physically and emotionally. Never let your birthing experience define you.