In the previous article about caesarean births, I talked about the impact of diet on physical recovery after having a caesarean section. It is very important to support the body’s processes with the right kind of nutrition to bring it back into balance after everything you have been through, both during your pregnancy but also after the abdominal surgery itself (which is what a caesarean section actually is).

But what is talked about even less is how to process what happened: How you are feeling mentally will affect how you are feeling physically – because everything is connected.

It’s one thing if you had a planned C-section and had the time to prepare mentally, but it’s another thing entirely if you went through it completely unplanned because your labour stalled or the baby had to be delivered in a hurry.

Of course, your baby’s health is all that matters… but what about you? Do you have daily flashbacks about what happened? Do you feel you have questions about what happened? Or – would you rather block everything out and never think about it again?

There’s a lot to process!

Here are some tips for your emotional recovery:

  • Accept what happened and give yourself time. It is important to remember that you are not alone – many other women have been through what you are going through now. It’s normal to feel confused and disappointed.
  • Talk about it! And preferably keep talking about it as often as you want to. Talk to your partner, your family, your midwife – and anyone who will listen without judging. Putting your feelings and experiences into words is a very important process.
  • Have confidence in yourself! You are a good mother to your baby, even if the birth didn’t turn out the way you planned.
  • Ask for your maternity notes to read about the whole process if you feel you want to know more details about what happened and why.
  • Try keeping a diary where you write all your thoughts down. Write everything you think of: how you experienced the birth, which part bothers you the most, how you feel now, whether you are disappointed about anything, but also what you are grateful for. Beware of feelings of shame, fear or guilt. If these feelings keep coming up, you may need to talk to a therapist. Ask your doctor or midwife for help – and don’t leave it too long.

Photo iStockphoto