Giving birth can be one of the most difficult and painful experiences in a woman’s life, and in some cases can lead to physical and emotional trauma. Let’s talk about it!
Birth trauma is defined as any distress experienced by a mother either during or after childbirth. This trauma can be physical, but is often emotional and psychological in nature.
These days, there are options to claim compensation for a birth injury to help you through the months ahead. This can help with the physical rehabilitation, easing financial strain, and securing any therapy and mental health services you may require. But, the question lies here: in what ways can birth trauma affect these aspects of life?
In this post, we’re going to discuss how birth trauma can affect a person’s everyday life to give you an idea of the gravity of the condition. Take a look…
What Influence Does Birth Trauma Have on a Mother’s Everyday Life?
At the time of birth, you might have felt helpless, fearful, or unheard. After birth, these feelings can develop into shock, guilt or numbness, and you might even experience high levels of anxiety and undergo panic attacks.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself, you might be undergoing birth trauma. If so, you’re definitely not alone as it’s been estimated that one out of every three births can lead mothers to psychological birth trauma.
It’s all well and good knowing the symptoms of birth trauma, but it’s important to know what impact they could have on your everyday life. The following is a list of ways birth trauma has affected the lives of other women who have been through it.
1. Difficulty bonding with your child
Psychological birth trauma often hurts family relationships, reduces the lactation period, and can lead to your children developing emotional, cognitive and behavioural disorders. it also adversely influences the development of your child.
In a study published in the Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal, one of the participants of the study who had been through birth trauma said: “I didn’t love my baby during the first three to four months as everybody came to kiss her and treated her with a sense of love, and the only person who didn’t have these feelings for her was me.
“I never thought she was my child, I don’t know why, I could only feed her my breast milk and there was no other feeling that I could have for her. When she was inside my belly, I liked her but this feeling went away once I gave birth to her.”
2. Problems with your relationship
Birth trauma has also been known to cause difficulties between the mother and their partner, primarily sexual avoidance and cold and distant sexual behaviour towards them.
This new attitude can lead to reduction in feelings of love and intimacy and eventually lead to the emotional breakdown of the relationship. Some women have reported it took them more than three years to begin to recover their intimacy.
If you’re experiencing incidents like this, it’s important to discuss them with your partner. This way, you can make sure they understand why it’s happening, and you can both do your best to be kind and loving towards each other.
3. Negative impact on health
The emotional and psychological effects of birth trauma can also cause physical health issues. Mothers going through this trauma often suffer from:
- Excessive fatigue
- Vital exhaustion
- Reduction in functional capacity
- Severe pain (in some cases)
These issues can lead to further breakdown of your life and the lives of your family.
4. Fear of having another child
If you were planning on having a large family, or more than one child, birth trauma can actually scare you away from having another child. Even those women who do have another child have a longer interval between them or choose to have a caesarean section.
Following a psychological birth trauma, some mothers display aggressive behaviours towards their relatives. Other mothers begin to feel shy and isolated, refusing to contact their close friends and family. As for the latter feelings, the reasons given were:
- That they were upset by the sound of other people’s voices;
- That they had forgotten everybody, and no-one mattered to them;
- and that this led to not inviting friends and family around to the house or meeting up with them.
How Can You Get Your Life Back on Track After Birth Trauma?
Now that we have an idea of how birth trauma can affect your everyday life, we’re going to give you some advice on how to move past it.
Firstly, it’s very important to seek professional help as soon as you notice any of the above behaviours in yourself. This will give you the best chance of reducing any pain and suffering for you and your family. It may also help you to:
- Talk to a midwife about your experience immediately after the birth.
- Talk to your midwife or doctor at any stage about how you feel.
- Ask for emotional support from friends and family.
- Use self-help measures, such as mindfulness and exercise.
If you’ve tried all the above and it hasn’t helped you enough or at all, you can always speak to your doctor and see if there are any medicines or other treatments you can have that might help you through your birth trauma.
Are These the Only Effects of Birth Trauma on a Person’s Everyday Life?
In this post, we’ve shared the five most common ways that birth trauma can affect a person’s life, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.
There will be lots of different ways, or variations on the above behaviour, that you notice after suffering birth trauma. The important thing to remember is that no matter what negative experiences you’re having, you should never go through them alone.
Call your midwife or doctor, speak to your friends and family even if it feels difficult or impossible, share your feelings with them and ask for help when you need it. At a time like this you should endeavour to use all the help available to you.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.