If you are a mother of a child that suffered birth trauma, you shouldn’t be surprised if you react in ways that are out of character for you. Some mothers are very sensitive and the birth trauma of a child can be very stressful for both the baby and the mother. Although you may have been very upbeat during your pregnancy, the reality of the birth trauma may bring you down somewhat.
This is not unusual because birth trauma is not pleasant at all for both the infant and mother affected. Read on to find out more about birth trauma, its effects, and how you can get help for it.
Effects of Physical Birth Trauma of a Newborn Infant
If you are the parent of a newborn infant, you were probably hoping for a perfect baby, one that would be easy to love and care for. The reality that your newborn has birth trauma can be overwhelming. The infant will naturally be affected and display physical signs of the birth trauma it suffered, such as:
- Crying with a high-pitched voice, possibly accompanied by grunting
- Crying with the back being arched
- Showing fussiness or resistance to being soothed by a caregiver
- Showing sensitivity to light sources
- Showing nausea coupled with vomiting
- Being breathless
- Finding it hard to suck, eat or swallow
- Drooling too much
Aside from these, a capable pediatrician may be able to discover other signs of birth injuries such as:
- Skin looking pale and waxy
- A cough that doesn’t go away
- Vision effects
- Loss of hearing high frequencies
- Low heart rate
- Low levels of oxygen within the blood
- Nasal passage inflammation
- Hypotension or hypertension
The pediatrician may be able to discern other signs of birth trauma aside from these.
As can be expected, any or all of these symptoms can make a newborn infant uncomfortable and may even be painful for the child.
The pediatrician who examines the newborn should inform you right away of their findings, especially if the symptoms point towards a serious medical condition. You and your spouse should ask the doctor immediately about how you can relieve your infant of such symptoms and how to find out if there are any underlying birth injuries.
If you need to know how to find a caregiver who will assist you at this time, you can get a free guide so that you can focus on the condition of your child and how you can get help for that. This is especially helpful for working mothers and even for single mothers.
Effects of Psychological Birth Trauma on the Mother of a Newborn
As the mother of the newborn who may have birth trauma, you may feel a lot of guilt when the pediatrician informs you that your baby has birth injuries. For example, if you were a smoker shortly before or even during the pregnancy, you might feel that you somehow caused your child to develop birth trauma.
The pediatrician can tell you if the birth trauma is not related in any way to your previous vice. If you seem to continue feeling uncomfortable and even distressed, you may be suffering from psychological birth trauma yourself.
Psychological birth trauma afflicts many mothers of children who had birth trauma during the delivery. Some symptoms of psychological birth trauma in mothers are:
- Postpartum depression
- Feeling out of control
If left untreated, such symptoms can possibly lead to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or postpartum depression for the mother. The mother’s relationships with the other members of the family may suffer as a result. The lactation period may also shorten.
Even if the mother recuperates well, her other children may develop their own psychological conditions due to the deterioration of mother-child relationships.
If the mother goes on to develop postnatal depression, she may find her relationship with the newborn infant deteriorating as well. This may go on to produce a decline in the infant’s normal development up to childhood years.
In turn, the mother may later express an unwillingness to have another pregnancy and view it with anxiety. This may be due to the unpleasant conditions of her earlier pregnancy and the resulting birth trauma her infant went through. If the father is able to convince her to carry another child to term, she may ask for more time before she gets pregnant again.
The mother may have a fear of intimacy and having sexual intercourse with her husband since this may lead to having another difficult pregnancy and possibly another cycle of birth trauma. The father, on the other hand, may not understand the degree of anxiety and psychological birth trauma that the mother is experiencing, and this may imperil the marriage itself.
How To Get Help For Birth Trauma
The first step for any mother who suspects that the newborn infant has birth trauma is always to seek a consultation with a capable pediatrician. The pediatrician should be someone who has considerable experience in the diagnosis and treatment of birth injuries since an inexperienced pediatrician may miss some crucial signs of birth trauma in the infant.
After diagnosis, the pediatrician should be able to recommend a path of medical treatment for the infant and possibly refer the infant to a specialist in birth trauma treatment. (A good example of this is a referral to a bone surgeon who specializes in surgery for infant bone fractures).
In turn, the mother of the infant should seek psychological support and treatment from a competent psychologist. Even though the mother may be anxious about this treatment too, this is a good step to take to diagnose and provide relief to a mother who has psychological birth trauma already.
Treating birth trauma in infants and psychological birth trauma in their mothers are both serious medical conditions that deserve competent attention from specialists in these fields. It is important to treat infant birth trauma since, if left untreated, it really may affect the physical, mental and psychological development of the child.
On the other hand, psychological birth trauma in the mothers of such infants is less well known so it may go unnoticed even if the mother is already suffering as a result. Hopefully, both the infant and the mother may be able to recover from this painful episode of their lives with appropriate help from the right specialists.