Birth trauma has two definitions: one of them is injuries sustained by a newborn during delivery, and the other is post-traumatic stress disorder sustained by a woman due to traumatic labor and delivery. In fact, with the second definition, birth trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are essentially the same. Men who are trying to support women who’ve been traumatized during labor and delivery need to know the right ways to help. This guide will make it easier.
Allow her to get as much rest as possible
PTSD from birth trauma causes physical and mental exhaustion. This is why new dads should do all that they can to help their partners get plenty of deep and healing rest. If a woman is caring for a newborn, this may be tough, but men should encourage their partners to nap when their babies do. If your baby has an injury or is living with other examples of birth trauma, or your partner is dealing with health complications after labor, you should take over the legal tasks and encourage her to nap frequently and get lots of rest at night. If she has lost the baby sue to stillbirth, she will be grieving, and rest will help her to move through the stages of grief.
Nightmares are quite common among women who’ve experienced birth trauma. Men should prompt their partners to talk to doctors about nightmares and other birth trauma symptoms that may negatively impact sleep. Doctors may recommend medications, such as antidepressants, which soothe PTSD and promote better sleep. Women with babies may need to stop nursing before taking certain medications that help to alleviate symptoms of birth trauma. However, one antidepressant prescribed for PTSD, Zoloft, is considered safe for nursing mothers.
Talk to her about how she’s feeling
Talk therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist may help to soothe birth trauma, so it’s definitely recommended, but talking to a partner is also valuable. This is why you should make a concerted effort to connect with your partner while she’s dealing with PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares, anxiety and flashbacks. When you encourage your partner to open up about how she’s feeling, you’ll help her to vent and release tension.
Add structure to her life
Set routines help people with PTSD to feel safer and more relaxed, so be sure to promote structure at home. Think about what you can to make daily routines more organized and comforting. For example, you might want to get into the habit of going to bed with your partner at a set time, rather than varying bedtimes from evening to evening. You may also want to set mealtimes and times for chores. Of course, you should also pencil in time for enjoyable activities, such as watching movies, reading or going for walks.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do to help a partner who’s gone through birth trauma. However, you must also take care of yourself. Men who’ve witnessed birth trauma may also be affected by it. So, be good to your partner and yourself.
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