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What to say (and what not to say) to a woman who has had a difficult birth

The birth of a child is a transcendental event, and as has been mentioned on other occasions, what happens during childbirth is deeply engraved in the brain of mother and baby. It is an experience that marks us and leaves us with an invaluable gift: our baby.

However, there are times when childbirth is not what the mother expects and due to various circumstances, it ends up becoming an unpleasant experience that is not always understood by other people.

For this reason, and in order to create a little empathy and understanding towards this type of experience, we share with you what to say (and what not to say) to a woman who has had a difficult birth .

What is a difficult birth?

We call difficult childbirth those birth stories that are not remembered as something pleasant. Although giving birth is an intense and emotional experience, there are cases in which it is negative, unpleasant or even traumatic.

The reasons can be diverse, from the fact that there was some health complication that could hasten or hinder the birth of the baby, to the environment in which the mother gave birth, as happens in cases where violence is reported. obstetric

For women who have experienced a birth like this, talking about their experience is difficult and also painful , because in addition to having experienced it as something negative, it leaves a bad taste in many of their mouths and they feel disappointed at not having been able to positively enjoy a such a unique and special moment.

If we know someone who has had a difficult birth, it is important to show empathy and accompany her in the best possible way , taking special care of what we say, because we must not forget that after the birth of a baby an important hormonal revolution takes place that makes us more sensitive.

Five phrases you should avoid saying to a woman who has had a difficult birth

“But your baby is fine”

Trying to minimize the pain of a bad experience just because it didn’t have a tragic ending is almost like telling the person to shut down their emotions . She has the right to feel sad and to experience the mourning of childbirth that did not go as expected.

“You would have done/said…”

As I mentioned previously, obstetric violence can be the reason behind a bad birth experience. However, telling the mother that she would have said or done something, when it is clearly impossible to go back in time , only makes her feel guilty and even increases her sadness.

“You should feel grateful”

Who says they don’t feel grateful? Feeling sadness for having had a difficult birth is not in conflict with being grateful for the life of her and her baby. These types of phrases do not contribute anything useful or positive.

“There are mothers who have a worse time”

Making comparisons when someone is suffering has never been helpful. Although in certain situations it can help us to put things in perspective, in cases like this it seems that we try to minimize the mother’s feelings.

“It’s over, get over it”

Each person manages emotions in their own way, and there is no set time to stop feeling or move on.

Four phrases that you can say to a woman who has had a difficult birth

Usually, we know that a woman has had a difficult birth because it is usually she or her partner who share their experience with us. In these cases, there are several things we can say or do to help.

“I hear you”

It is a simple phrase, but without a doubt one of the most significant . And it is that frequently, those who have had a difficult birth or have been victims of obstetric violence usually receive some of the phrases that we do not recommend saying. Letting them know that we are willing to really listen is a nice way to support them.

“How can I help you?”

Perhaps there is not much we can do, since it is a situation that has already occurred, but the simple fact of showing that we have this intention helps the mother feel seen and loved .

“I’m here for when you need to talk”

One of the best things we can do for someone who is feeling sad is to respect their feelings . With this phrase we not only tell her that we are willing to listen and try to understand her, but that we will wait for her to decide when and how to seek our support.

“You are not alone”

Finally, remind her that she does not have to go through these negative feelings alone . In some cases, the bad taste in the mouth that a difficult delivery leaves is reduced with the passing of days and the beautiful moments next to your baby, but if it has been a traumatic situation or that leads to something more serious such as depression postpartum, it is good to remind them that they are not alone and there are professionals who can help.

In Babies and more | What to do and what to say if you feel that you are not being well treated during your labor

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