Five Important Steps for Recovering from a Difficult or Traumatic Birth


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You’re sure to feel a range of emotions and find things challenging after you’ve experienced a difficult or traumatic birth.

But over time and with the right approach, you can recover and move on with your new life.

Here are five important steps you should take to recover from a difficult or traumatic birth.

1. Seek Emotional Support and Talk Things Through

One thing you shouldn’t do is bottle up your feelings and keep them to yourself. After a difficult or traumatic birth, it’s important that you seek out emotional support from the empathic people around you that you love and trust.

In addition, if you’re finding you’re not getting better, talk to a professional about your feelings. You may not want to relive your birth experience, but by articulating and contextualizing what happened, you can gain more insight into why and how things happened the way they did.

In turn, that can bring a sense of relief and reduce the likelihood of you continuing to carry unpleasant feelings around with you.

Many maternity units provide debriefing services to assist women with birth-related trauma, so that’s a good place to start. You may also wish to consider getting counseling or therapy from a professional. 

You could seek professional assistance days, weeks, or even months after the birth. 

2. Acknowledge Your Feelings Toward Your Baby

Sometimes, experiencing a difficult or traumatic birth can lead to mothers feeling detached from their babies or having negative feelings toward their babies.

That’s quite normal.

If you experience such feelings, try to view the feelings in the context of what has occurred. It’s completely understandable that you could feel that way and over time, you will feel differently. 

So, don’t give yourself a hard time if you have negative feelings towards your baby, but do give yourself time.

3. Be Gentle with Yourself

Whether you have negative feelings towards your baby or not, it’s important that you remember to be gentle with yourself.

You’re already experiencing a hard time, so don’t make it worse by blaming yourself or feeling guilty.

Any feelings that you go through after a difficult or traumatic birth are understandable, so be kind and gentle to yourself.

4. Be Aware of How the Difficult Birth Has Impacted Your Relationship

Your partner could also be traumatized after a difficult birth. That means the pair of you could be feeling confused, sad, angry, and a whole other range of emotions.

In turn, you could feel distant from your partner. You could even feel angry toward your partner.

In such situations, give it time. If things don’t improve after a few weeks, seek relationship counseling that’s tailored to couples in your position.

In the meantime, actively find ways to respond to each other in supportive and loving ways. 

5. Make a Formal Complaint and Contact a Lawyer

Lastly, sometimes difficult or traumatic births are due to inadequate care by healthcare professionals. If medical negligence or malpractice caused or contributed to your difficult birth, you should consider filing a formal complaint and pursuing compensation.

By doing so, you legitimize your experience and you can become more empowered. Perhaps most importantly, you can bring those responsible for the negligence to account.

Make a formal complaint to the relevant professional body. Then, contact an experienced and specialist law firm, like The Birth Injury Attorney, that can help you pursue compensation from the healthcare provider, doctor, or another healthcare professional that’s responsible.

In turn, you could use the compensation to help with your child’s medical costs. 

Hopefully, digital healthcare can contribute to reducing medical neglect in the future. You can find out more about digital healthcare in this insightful article.