Articles - 4 Strategies to Recover from a Traumatic Birth
Some things you can do right away to begin the healing process

4 Strategies to Recover from a Traumatic Birth


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Some things you can do right away to begin the healing process

This article comes courtesy of BirthTalk.org

Here are some steps you can take to help find some healing and completion if you've had a traumatic birth experience: 

1. Get Validation

A woman’s first step on her path to healing is usually when she realises that it would be understandable if she felt bad about her birth. This is the moment when she realises that her feelings are OK, her response is normal, and her emotions are understandable, considering the experience she's been through. Many women find BirthTalk’s Healing From Birth support group is the first place they receive this validation. Part of the process comes from hearing other women’s experiences, realising that you are not alone, that others have felt similar ways to you, and that it is possible to heal.

2. Get Your Notes

Accessing the notes from your previous birth can begin a new phase of the healing journey. Going over the records with an experienced and understanding midwife can offer new insights, highlight new areas to process, and enable a woman to begin to reclaim the birth, bad as it may have been, as her own. Read the article Retrieving your records – how to get them, what to do with them, and why it can be a healing step, which gives a list of exactly what to request from the hospital (important, otherwise you may just get a one-page overview), and some examples of how other women have used their notes as part of their healing journey.

3. Write Your Birth Story

The process of writing the Birth Story (perhaps using your medical records as a guide) can awaken a heightened understanding of the experience, and an appreciation of just what you went through. It may also pinpoint areas that are hazy that you may want to explore further. Read more: How to Write Your Birth Story After a Traumatic Birth (& why it can be a helping step).

4. Get Some Different Information

Check out the BirthTalk Suggested Reading and Articles pages for information about birth and birth trauma that is often difficult to find elsewhere, but which can be vital steps along the path to understanding and moving on.

Postnatal PTSD is a serious mental condition that affects up to 6% of Australian women; and almost a third of all mothers report feelings of trauma after birth. Birth trauma and PTSD are treatable with medical help and early detection – read our article on 'Identifying the Signs of Postnatal PTSD' to learn more.

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