For some mums giving birth is a happy experience mixed with a little anxiety. For others, it can prove to be incredibly traumatic, especially if things don’t go to plan.
However, if you want another baby but are held back by previous experience, it is possible to work through this and try for another pregnancy.
Here are a few tips on how!
It is estimated that around a third of women feel their birth experience was traumatic and of these group of women, up to 9% are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
For others, there maybe exists a sense of guilt, blame or resentment surrounding the traumatic birth. It’s understandable then, the thought of having another baby causes these women anxiety and distress, putting some off even trying for another baby.
Communicating your feelings about your previous birthing experience is a good place to start. If your partner was present during the birth chances are, your partner may also be traumatised.
Talking about it does a couple of things to help you resolve your anxiety:
Really familiarising and educating yourself with the birthing process can also aid in reducing your anxiety for your next birth. Talk to the hospital you choose to give birth at and ask them what options you have if a crisis unfolds.
By knowing what outcomes are possible, you may feel empowered and more informed when making the best choice for you and your baby during labour. This may also give you confidence knowing you will be well looked after if something does go wrong.
Seeking consistent counselling during the course of your pregnancy may also assist in the realisation that all births are different.
By engaging the regular services of a counsellor, you can work through anxieties associated with birth, especially during the last stages of your pregnancy. By talking about your past fears, the hope is that you can then be present and take one day at a time.
By learning to be present and learning to cope with problems as they arise, will help you deal with the unknowns of labour. As always, having a positive support network around you will always help.
If PSTD is something you are struggling with, it’s time to get the help you need.
Postnatal depression (PND) can affect mums and dads, here are the causes and symptoms and how to get help.
For more information on PTSD visit Beyond Blue.