New parents are expected to go through all kinds of emotions in those first few days and weeks after welcoming their baby into the world, but what they don’t expect is to be dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic birth injury experience. Birth injuries are something that people don’t like talking about and don’t want to think about happening, but unfortunately, they can. They can be life-altering for the baby, which leaves parents struggling to cope and pick up the pieces.
For anyone going through this experience, here are some of the ways you can best cope.
Take the Time to Feel Your Emotions
It’s easy to want to push your emotions aside, especially if you’re running off adrenaline and are so focused on your baby’s health, but allowing yourself to feel the emotions is essential for your well-being. Even if that means you need time to cry, grieve and feel anger – that’s okay. Surround yourself with a support system that you can rely on and vent to.
That support system can include family members, close friends, professionals such as a counselor or therapist, online forums and groups, or in-person support groups for parents going through similar experiences.
Learn All You Can About the Treatment Plan
People often feel better when they are doing something and working on a solution, and in this case, it may be a treatment plan. Your child could have a team of doctors and professionals working on a plan, so you need to be focused and ask as many questions as possible. Taking an active role and being your child’s advocate will be necessary from day one.
Because this is all-new, it’s natural to have questions and feel confused and overwhelmed, so don’t be afraid to speak up and voice concerns.
Your baby’s treatment plan may include such things as:
- Physical therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Stem cell therapy
Speak to an Attorney
Depending on the birth injury and its cause, you may want to speak to an attorney. If the birth injury was caused by the negligence of someone or something else, then you could have a valid claim. Birth trauma claims are made for such things as birth paralysis, birth asphyxia, cerebral palsy, C-section error, shoulder dystocia, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and more.
You can schedule a consultation with an attorney who can walk you through the medical malpractice process, discuss potential outcomes, and indicate the kind of compensation you can ask for. Compensation is especially important if your child requires immediate or ongoing permanent care.
Have Other Children? Include Them in Conversations
If you have other children, it’s important to include them in what’s going on. This doesn’t mean you have to divulge every small detail, but they need to be in the loop so that they know what to expect. With so much attention on the baby right now, it’s easy for them to feel left out, confused, lonely, and even scared. Look for ways they can stay involved and even help with care in their small way.
There’s no getting around it, coping with a birth injury is not an easy path for parents. There will be struggles and heartache, so this is a time to show kindness to yourself.