Navigating When Child Birth Doesn’t Go as Planned
The anticipation of childbirth, for many comes with meticulous planning. If you’re having your first baby, planning can give you a real sense of control, and increase your hopes of a smooth and joyful experience. Life has a habit of unfolding in unpredictable ways, and birth is no exception. When a birth doesn’t go as planned, the impact on new parents and the baby can be huge. This article will focus on some of the challenges it’s possible to face, and how you can find resilience, even when dealing with the unknown.
Adjusting Your Expectations
While having a plan in mind and knowing what you’d prefer is natural, it’s a good idea to go into a birth situation with flexible expectations. When circumstances change, try to adapt your expectations and place your focus simply on the well-being of yourself and your baby. The main goal is a safe and healthy delivery.
Gathering a Support Network
If things don’t go to plan, it’s important that you have a safe and supportive network of loved ones around you. Be ready to lean on your partner, family, friends, or even a doula. They can offer you emotional support as any changes unfold. Remember, the emotional burden can be alleviated by talking and sharing your hopes, fears, and feelings with others.
Communicate with your Healthcare Provider
Your healthcare provider should be an ally in navigating any unexpected changes. Aim to keep communication with them open and clear. Don’t be afraid to seek clarity if you are struggling to understand the reason behind certain changes and deviations from your ideal birthing plan. Understanding medical rationale can offer you a sense of control during an uncertain situation. Unfortunately, occasionally, your healthcare provider can make mistakes or be negligent, resulting in changes needing to be made and even birth injuries to yourself or the baby.
Honor Your Experience
While every birthing story is different, every birth is a testament to the mother’s strength and courage. Especially if things haven’t gone to plan, whether your birth story involved a medical intervention, medical negligence, a change of location, or an unexpected outcome, know that you did your best and made the best choices you could for yourself and your baby at that moment. Adversity fosters resilience, and as you navigate any unexpected changes you should feel proud of the inner strength you are cultivating.
Coping with Your Disappointment
While honoring your experience, it’s still okay to experience feelings of hurt, disappointment or even anger towards a situation. Recognizing that these feelings are totally normal and completely valid is crucial. Allow yourself to process these challenging emotions, and don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help or even find support groups near you. Connecting with others who have gone through a similar birthing experience can bring a sense of comfort and community. A support group or professional help can also provide you with a safe space where you feel able to express your feelings without fear of judgment.