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Support Loved One's Birth Trauma

Emily Turinas

4 min read

Jun 25



Supporting someone who has experienced birth trauma requires sensitivity, understanding, and practical assistance. Here are some ways family and friends can provide meaningful support.

Support Loved One's Birth Trauma

Emotional Support for Loved One's Birth Trauma

Active Listening: Be present and listen without judgment. Allow them to express their feelings and experiences without trying to fix or minimize their emotions. Often times following a traumatic event it is common to want to retell the events to better understand what happened. Providing a listening ear can be a huge support, but also ensure you are not asking questions or prying when a person is not ready to share.

Validate Feelings: Acknowledge their feelings and experiences. Validation helps your loved one feel understood and accepted. Remember when someone is vulnerable after a trauma they are not looking for advise or having things brushed under the rug. Just seeing them and their experiences at face value can be so helpful.

Encourage Professional Help: Gently encourage them to seek professional support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in trauma. When birth traumas lead to intrusive thoughts, negative emotions, or are impacting a person weeks later it is time to reach out for help. Learn more about the benefits of therapy for moms.

Practical Assistance

Offer Help with Daily Tasks: Assist with household chores, cooking, or running errands to reduce their stress and allow them more time to rest and recover. This is especially critical if the birth trauma resulted in physical trauma to the mama. Think about how the specific situation impacts your loved one, if she has a baby now in the NICU maybe it is watching the family dog or checking in on the house midday.

Provide Childcare: Offer to take care of the baby or other children to give them a break and time to focus on their own well-being. Now this can be a tricky one. For some a break to focus on themselves is welcomed and for others, they would prefer to support in other areas. Check in and see what your loved one wants. Also remember if there are older siblings giving mama time to spend with baby or older siblings alone might be welcomed.

Accompany to Appointments: Offer to accompany them to medical or therapy appointments if they feel comfortable with that. Depending on the birth trauma your loved one experienced there maybe an increased amount of appointments, hospitalization for mama, or NICU stay for baby. Provide a friendly face during these times, a ride to take some stress off, and maybe even show up with their favorite milkshake when you pick them up!

Creating a Supportive Environment

Create a Safe Space: Ensure they have a comfortable and supportive environment where they feel safe to express themselves and rest.

Be Patient: Recovery from birth trauma can take time. Be patient and offer ongoing support without rushing their healing process.

Respect Their Needs: Respect their boundaries and needs, whether they need space, time alone, or someone to talk to.

Educational Support

Learn About Birth Trauma: Educate yourself about birth trauma to better understand what they are going through and how to support them effectively. Check out PATTCH, they offer amazing information and resources on birth traumas.

Provide Information: Share resources, articles, or books on birth trauma and recovery if they are open to it. This is important, unsolicited advice is usually unwelcomed advice! Make sure you are reading the room and your loved one!

Social Support

Stay Connected: Keep in regular contact through calls, messages, or visits, showing that you care and are thinking of them. And here is the important part... even when they do not respond or cancel frequently following a birth trauma or even the birth of a baby it is hard to show up in the same way you use to. Give your loved one some slack and keep including them and letting them know you are there even if they are not in a place to reciprocate in the moment.

Include Them in Activities: Invite them to social activities and gatherings, but be understanding if they decline. And as mentioned above keep inviting them and including them even if they did not show the last time.

Encourage Support Groups: Suggest joining support groups for individuals who have experienced birth trauma, where they can connect with others who understand their experience. Postpartum support international offers support groups that are online and open for all that you can share with your loved one.

Encouraging Self-Care

Promote Self-Care: Encourage them to engage in self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies they enjoy. Check in with them about their sleep and eating and see if there are ways to support their overall wellness (and maybe you get some baby cuddles in while they get a nap).

Mindfulness and Relaxation: Introduce them to relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help manage anxiety and stress. But remember they have a ton on their plate, wait until they are ready to introduce activity back into their life.

Monitoring for Signs of Distress

Watch for Red Flags: Be aware of signs of severe distress, such as extreme anxiety, depression, or thoughts of self-harm, and encourage seeking immediate professional help if needed. Learn more about postpartum mental health.

Offer Non-Judgmental Support: If they express feelings of guilt or shame, reassure them that these feelings are common and that it's okay to seek help.

Supporting your loved one's birth trauma often involves a combination of emotional support, practical assistance, and creating a safe and understanding environment. By being patient, empathetic, and proactive, family and friends can play a crucial role in their recovery journey. Remember that professional help is often essential, and encouraging them to seek therapy can be a vital step in their healing process. Also it is important to remember that even if you are not the birthing partner birth traumas can have negative impacts on you. Check out resources for dad!

If someone you love is interested in gaining professional support during their postpartum journey, see if Emily Turinas PhD is a good fit for them. She is a perinatal psychologist who specializes in birth trauma and therapy for new moms & dads in Austin, Texas & Denver, Colorado. Schedule a free consultation today to see how Dr. Turinas could help process and support through birth trauma.

Emily Turinas

4 min read

Jun 25





Live Oak Psychology

Emily Turinas PhD


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