Seeking Postpartum Solace: Why Is It So Important?
The time period that follows the birth of a child can be especially challenging for mothers. It's important that we respond to our need to be open and share our thoughts and feelings.
Perhaps the birth of your child was difficult or unhappy. Because the medical staff did’t respect you… Because you suffered… Because you feared for yourself or for your baby… Because you felt alone… Or because you faced inhumane medical protocols…
Whatever the case may be, you need to express your feelings about the situation that caused you harm. Doing so is an important step in finding relief and healing.
In the following article, we’ll share more about this important need.
Fortunately, many medical facilities have improved their procedures and bedside manner when it comes to childbirth.
However, we’ve all heard stories of women who share unpleasant accounts of their birthing experience.
Causes of emotional pain
- Last-minute C-section.
- Indifference and lack of empathy from the medical staff.
- Separation from the baby before the mother has had her first contact with him. This can be while the staff bathe the baby, cut the umbilical cord, etc.
Finding the courage to open up and seek postpartum solace after childbirth isn’t easy, but it is beneficial. For one reason or another, we are reluctant to relive our negative experience. But we need to “get it out” in order to find healing.
It’s not easy to begin this conversation. For many of us, it can be painful and even make us feel ashamed.
But it doesn’t matter how difficult, complex and painful your experience has been. There will always be someone who is willing to listen and remind us that life is about more than just that one moment.
We can always count on a friend, a family member, or even a specialist.
Despite the hostile, indifferent or negative treatment you may have received at the hospital, life goes on. It’s important to remember that, and know that you can move on.
All you need to do is let your feelings out and tend to those unpleasant emotions. That’s what seeking solace after childbirth is about.
Disrespect towards birthing mothers leaves its mark
It all begins with a few contractions. Little by little, these contractions become more frequent, more regular.
We experience an ever growing pain in our kidneys. Some mothers head to the hospital, only to be sent home because they haven’t dilated enough yet.
“You’re not there yet,” they say. At home, she fills the bathtub with warm water, or starts pacing, or perhaps places some heat on her lower back.
This is a physically intense and painful process. Even so, most women experience unforgettable excitement and joyful anticipation at this point.
However, once your water breaks, there’s no turning back. This is when the often invasive medical protocols begin.
Vaginal exams, undressed and exposed, surrounded by strangers, lying on a stretcher…
Many professionals explain that every mother dreams about having “the perfect delivery.”
However, most women know that childbirth is rarely everything we dreamed it would be. Giving birth hurts, it isn’t easy, and it usually isn’t particularly pleasant.
No child comes into the world without tears. The reality is that mothers don’t need a perfect delivery. But they do need the medical staff to respect them – and this doesn’t always happen.
- From the minute they walk into the hospital, many women experience the coldness of medical protocol. Before they can even state their names, a nurse comes to examine her cervix. Sometimes the nurse doesn’t even speak to or look at the mother to provide a bit of comfort.
- Time goes by and the vaginal examinations continue, plus fetal monitoring to check the baby’s heart rate. In many cases, women receive an injection of synthetic oxytocin to accelerate the contractions and birth.
And unfortunately, there are still institutions that shave the woman’s pelvis and/or apply an enema. This is more and more uncommon, but it still exists.
Under bright white spotlights, the mother is told to do one thing: push. And she is only allowed one position to do that: Lying back down on a hospital bed.
Postpartum solace: Tell your story
Communication is a vital part of our emotional well-being. We need to let out our fears and doubts in order to heal and move on.
During the birth process, there are a number of situations that can occur for which no mother is prepared.
And if the treatment of the medical staff is inhumane, then mothers end up feeling like a simple vessel. They are an inanimate baby container, and the baby must be removed.
Mothers should not ignore this sort of trauma. We must seek healing and freedom. We need to allow ourselves to cry and name our feelings.
This is why finding solace during the postpartum period is so important, and is nothing to be ashamed of.
You should never lock your feelings away and allow the trauma to continue. It’s much better for you, and your family, that you share your experience with other mothers, friends or family members.
Cry about your fear, release the pain, anger and helplessness that you suffered.
Furthermore, we must fight for adequate and humane medical birthing protocol as well as staff with emotional intelligence in order to reduce pain and suffering and improve the birthing process altogether.