How to Tell When You Should Seek Therapy After a Traumatic Birth or Pregnancy
Seeking therapy isn’t easy, especially when you’ve never needed to before. It can be hard to know whether your distress is severe enough to reach out to a therapist for help. When you’ve gone through a traumatic birth or pregnancy, the doubts remain. How do you know when you need therapy? How do you know if your trauma is bad enough for you to seek professional help?
Sometimes we lie to ourselves. We diminish our pain and convince ourselves that we can get by on our own when the thing we need the most is professional help. If you don’t know how to determine whether you should seek therapy, hopefully, these tips should help you figure it out.
You Can’t Sleep At Night
It can be difficult to sleep when you’ve just given birth, of course. But experiencing a traumatic birth or pregnancy can make your sleep difficulties worse. Your baby might be sleeping soundly, but you’ll be tossing and turning all night until you have to wake up again.
Insomnia can affect several aspects of your life. You’ll be more irritable throughout the day, you’ll be less able to focus or carry out necessary tasks. You’ll be more forgetful, more frustrated with yourself. If this happens regularly, it might be a sign you need to seek therapy.
You Have Trouble Bonding
As a result of a tough birth or pregnancy, you might have trouble bonding with your baby. You might not feel close to them, might wonder whether you can care for them at all. Maybe you’ve tried different ways to bond with your baby: spending more time with them, talking to them more. If none of that has worked, it’s likely you feel very discouraged.
If you think your difficult birth or pregnancy is causing you trouble in bonding with your baby, then seeking professional help might be the right idea. It might be what helps you bond with them after so many tries.
You’re Always Distressed
A traumatic birth or pregnancy can leave you with a lot of worries. These might focus on your baby, on your parenting skills, on the world we live in. These worries can be constant, and can be paralyzing. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for you to experience anxiety or panic attacks. This can feel like a weight on your chest, like you can’t breathe, or intense panic and anxiety almost every day.
If you constantly feel like there’s something to worry about, or like you’re running out of air, then you might want to find a professional that can help you. These worries can interfere with your everyday life. You may end up changing your routines in order to avoid a specific stressor, for example. If your everyday life starts to be affected, then it might be a sign you need to look for help.
You Need Support
It’s possible you might feel isolated from the people around you. They might not have gone through a traumatic birth or pregnancy before, so they won’t understand what you’re struggling with. And it’s not their fault, but when you’ve gone through something like this, you need support. You need people you can talk to about this without feeling judged, people you can count on to listen and help you when you need it.
If you don’t have a support network like that, then it’s definitely worth seeking therapy. That’s what we’re here for, to help you when you need it. So don’t be afraid to make an appointment with us. We’ll help you cope with what happened to you and help you get back on your feet.
To learn more about how Mindful Reflections can help, check out our Birth Trauma Therapy page.
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