Having a baby is a true miracle and often an extremely happy time. However, people don’t talk about how giving birth can be physically and emotionally traumatic for the mother, not to mention exhausting. It can be difficult because the world expects you to be happy after having a baby, but instead you may feel exhausted, in pain, scared and under a lot of pressure.
Birth is extremely traumatic for the body. Mothers who have just given birth are both physically and emotionally exhausted from birth, lack of sleep, and trying to use their own body to now feed another human being.
If you had experienced any other trauma besides birth, people would ask you how you’re doing, offer their support, and tell you to take time for yourself. But after the very common experience of trauma while giving birth, the mother is sometimes forgotten by her loved ones. We can forget to ask how the mother is doing because we have the expectation that she is full of joy. This is why post-partum depression and post-partum anxiety is so common.
I have had clients tell me that while they were pregnant, they received a lot of attention and love from people around them. But the moment the baby was born, that attention was gone and the mother was left feeling like she lost that support.
If you have a friend or family member that recently had a baby, make sure you ask how she’s doing and acknowledge the potential recent physical and emotional stress that she may have went through. Let her know that you’re there to listen and that she has your support.