Healing from a Traumatic Vaginal Birth
If there is one thing that you can count on during birth, it is that birth is an unpredictable process.
Birth can leave deep emotional wounds, some of which we may want to erase. Unfortunately, as conscious humans, we cannot just erase these unfavorable memories and we must process these emotions or we can be negatively affected for years.
If you identify yourself as a person who experienced a traumatic birth, and are feeling negative emotions as a result of your experience, read on. Below are five tools to help you navigate through this difficult time and help you heal.
- Talk to someone. Being able to talk about the trauma with someone who can offer support (either a professional or close friend/family member willing to hear you) will help you process the experience. If you can’t talk about what happened and resolve the emotions, it can lead to further feelings of isolation and trauma. It can even disrupt the relationship between you and your baby. Journaling can be very therapeutic, especially if you decide to work through your emotions on your own.
- Forgive Yourself. Traumatic births can be accompanied by self-blame. Women can think they failed in some way if the birth process wasn’t what they had hoped. Forgive yourself and realize you did the best that you could given the circumstances. Forgiveness is the key to acceptance.
- Love on Your Body. Do whatever you love to do to make yourself feel good in your body again. Doing things like going on a nature walk, yoga, meditation, bubble baths. Deliberate self love will help you grow and/or regain a positive relationship to your body.
- Find the Silver Living. Think of the positive experiences that happened during your birth. Even if it’s just the little details – the way your partner held your hand and looked and you in the eyes to comfort you. Maybe there was a nurse who made you feel included and empowered in a decision that was being made. Find all the silver linings.
- Give yourself time. Healing doesn’t take place in an instant. Healing takes time and looks different for everyone. Instead of telling yourself you should be “over it” already, just know that healing can take as little or as much time as you need.
If you need support, please reach out to a BIRTHFIT Leader in your community.
All the love,
Dr. Kristyn Silver, D.C., 200Hr RYT, Birth DoulaBIRTHFIT WEST LOS ANGELES
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