The arrival of a new baby should be a cause for celebration. After nine months of waiting, your new family member has arrived and turned your whole world upside down in the best possible way.
The babymoon should be a time for bonding as a family unit, and a happy time for the new parents.
However, a traumatic birth experience can have a negative impact on this special time.
What is a Traumatic Birth?
There are many factors which could contribute to a birth being deemed traumatic.
These include emergency situations such as premature labor or unexpected interventions and birth injuries to mother and/or baby, or even death.
How a Traumatic Birth May Affect Your Partner
The postnatal period (sometimes called the fourth trimester) is a time of adjustment for all new parents. As well as adapting to a new lifestyle there are hormonal changes happening within the body.
A traumatic birth may impact on a new mother’s ability to bond with their new baby.
If there are physical injuries, they may not be able to offer baby the care they need. A traumatic birth can also lead to postnatal depression or postnatal psychosis.
How You Can Support Your Partner
The simplest way you can support your partner is by being there for them, both in a physical and an emotional sense.
Help your partner with day-to-day tasks and be aware that their body is in recovery mode, so they will need to rest.
Give them the opportunity to sleep by caring for the baby. Being a new parent, especially after a traumatic birth, can feel lonely.
Give them the chance to talk about how they are feeling and listen to their words. Ask what you can do to help. Sometimes something as simple as a hug can offer reassurance and comfort.
In Cases of Medical Negligence
If you believe the traumatic birth was a result of medical negligence, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a birth injuries lawyer. These specialists are able to give legal advice based upon your own unique situation.
Many offer a free consultation to advise whether or not you have a case. Taking this step can offer closure and, although nothing can make up for a traumatic birth, it may also bring compensation which can be used to support the family.
Look After Yourself
Cases of birth injuries and trauma impact the whole family. High stress levels can affect physical health including increasing blood pressure and affecting sleep.
Try to eat well and rest. It is important you also have people to talk to and get the emotional support you need.
Call on friends and family to help when needed – they will often be happy to help by listening to your concerns or providing practical help such as hot meals or collecting your groceries.
Most importantly, let your partner know you love them. Vulnerability can be high after a traumatic birth so this reassurance can be priceless.