Birth Recovery Resources
For many women their birth is how they hoped it would be, but for around a third of women birth can feel very difficult and distressing. You may feel like you are constantly reliving or replaying your birth. You may feel angry, irritable and on edge and you may have nightmares and poor sleep. These feelings can last for days, weeks or months. If these feelings feel overwhelming, or they are affecting your day to day life as a new mother, please consider seeking help from a registered healthcare professional.
For most women in the UK this means seeing your General Practitioner and/or Health Visitor. Try to go, you will not be judged, you are not a bad mum and you are not to blame. Take a list of questions or a friend or your partner to advocate for you. If you are not happy with the response, perhaps try to book to see another GP. Some UK practises now have Perinatal GP Champions; you might want to consider requesting to see them.
In many locations across the UK you can self refer yourself to see a therapist via the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) scheme or alternatively you can find private therapists who are specialists in perinatal care.
The following organisations have some great advice on recovery and information on support services for birth trauma. There are also peer groups and helplines.
(Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services)
If you are feeling very low or suicidal, or waiting to see your GP feels too long a wait, or if it is out of normal working hours and you need immediate help, you can walk into your closest A&E, call the NHS 24 service on 111 or call The Samaritans for free, 24 hours a day.
You can and will heal from a difficult birth with time, care and support from family and professionals. Give yourself time to heal both your body and your mind. Know that you don’t have to do this alone. There is support available to you.