If you have suffered Birth Trauma there is help and support.
If you have had a traumatic birth it is important to seek help and support. This can be difficult at a time when you are feeling at your most vulnerable.
If you are struggling remember;
- Do not suffer in silence. Speak to someone, a partner, family or a trusted friend.
- Approach your Midwife, Health Visitor, GP or local primary mental health service.
- Remember you are not alone, there are others too that have been affected by birth trauma.
- Remember you are not to blame!
- Look after yourself, make sure you rest and eat a good balanced diet.
- Do activities that help you to relax, such as reading, going for a walk or listening to music.
- Know your limitations and what you can do both physically and emotionally.
- It is usually possible to make an appointment at the hospital where you gave birth to review your medical notes to discuss exactly what happened and why. This is often called a ‘debrief’.
- Seek help and treatment.
- Find local support groups or support groups on social media (such as the Birth Trauma Association and Unfold Your Wings)
- If it helps write about how you are feeling or what you have been through.
What kind of help/support may you be offered?
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used. It allows the person to challenge their thoughts and worries and see/think about them in a different way.
- Counselling can also be of benefit to help process and come to terms with trauma from a difficult birth or time in a NICU unit.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment especially used for those who have experienced trauma.
- Mindfulness is a another approach that helps us to become aware of our thoughts and feelings and see how they are unhelpful to us. It helps us stand back from our thoughts and see patterns. Over time we can notice when our thoughts are taking over and this helps us realise we can work to prevent this and find ways so that our thoughts do not control us.
- Medication too can help lessen the physical symptoms of birth trauma such as anxiety and provide much needed respite to aid recovery.
Please be as honest and as open as you can with your GP or Healthcare professional so they can suggest the best treatment for you.
Looking for support?
When seeking support for birth trauma it can be a minefield knowing who to trust. False promises, unrealistic guarantees and experimental therapies can lead to damage. Also remember that if any treatments are as effective as they claim there will be research to back this up.
So when looking at treatments ask;
- What are the results that are being promised?
- Is there promise of a cure or quick result?
- Are they realistic?
- Is the treatment evidence based?
- Is the treatment right for that individual?
- Is there some improvement as the treatment progresses?
Remember also that everyone is an individual, with unique experiences, personalities and needs. Not all treatments will work for everyone. This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you as a person, only that that particular treatment wasn’t right.
Finding what does work can take time!
Recovery from Birth Trauma maybe a long and difficult journey, but it is possible.
- Seek help.
- Take each day slowly.
- Be gentle with yourself and don’t expect too much of yourself.
- Recovery takes time, help and support.
- Lean on those that love you and accept their help.
- Talk about your feelings if you can and look for local support groups when your ready.
- But most of all don’t give up! You will recover and move beyond birth trauma.
Love Emma Jane