Pregnancy and birth are life-changing events that are physically and emotionally demanding. Adding adoption into the equation can make things more challenging, even when a birth mother is confident that adoption is the best choice for herself and her child. It is normal and expected to feel anxiety and uncertainty about adoption at any stage during the process, which is why birth mothers need to have plenty of professional counseling and therapeutic support available to them.
What Is Adoption Birth Mother Trauma?
Adoption birth mother trauma occurs when birth mothers experience negative physical or psychological symptoms of trauma as a result of placing their baby in an adoption plan. Unlike birth trauma, which refers to symptoms of trauma that women experience after they give birth, adoption-birth-mother trauma can happen at any point during or after the adoption process. According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is an emotional reaction to a distressing event. Trauma impacts people in different ways and can affect the way we relate to ourselves and others, and is an involuntary internal response to an external event.
What Are Some Symptoms of Adoption Birth Mother Trauma?
There is a range of physical and psychological responses that a person may have to a traumatic event, including:
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Insomnia or disrupted sleeping patterns
- Digestive issues
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to reach out to your doctor and adoption counselor or therapist for support. Many women experience postpartum depression, which can be especially complicated for birth mothers, as deciding to put your baby in an adoption plan can be one of the most emotionally challenging decisions that a person can ever make.
What Are Some Ways To Manage Birth Mother Trauma?
It’s important to remember that the healing process looks different for everyone and that there is no set timeline for how long it takes to recover from birth mother trauma. Although not all birth mothers experience severe trauma symptoms, everyone deserves compassionate help and support during and after the adoption process. Here are a few tips that may help you cope with symptoms of birth mother trauma:
Living a healthy lifestyle with lots of self-care is vital for all birth mothers. Pregnancy and birth are stressful and physically demanding, and taking good care of your body can help you recover with greater ease. Eating a nutritious diet, spending time in nature, and having a consistent sleep schedule are all foundational to feeling your best. Self-care also includes setting aside time for activities that bring you joy or comfort, like going for a walk, creating art, journaling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Although support groups are not a substitute for other forms of care or treatment, they provide invaluable emotional support and a sense of community for birth mothers. Speaking with other women who have gone through the same process can help you feel seen and heard in a way that other people can’t provide. Although their journeys will be different from yours, regularly attending a support group can help you feel hopeful and less alone when you realize that everything you’re experiencing is normal and par for the course.
Speaking with an experienced adoption counselor or therapist can be very beneficial for birth mothers. Therapy is a way to unburden yourself and to be heard by another person in a safe, non-judgmental space. Some people withdraw or self-isolate when they go through a challenging experience, but that is often exactly when they need human support and connection the most. Attending regular therapy or counseling is a great way to receive support whenever you need it, and is provided free of charge by adoption agencies.
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How We Can Help You?
As adoption lawyers in the state of Florida, we have years of experience with the adoption process. We are proud advocates for and sensitive to the needs of birth mothers and children, and we understand that choosing to put your baby in an adoption plan is a life-changing decision, full of emotional highs and lows. We are here to support and guide you each step of the way, whether or not you decide adoption is right for you. If you would like to schedule a consultation to find out more about adoption and the services we offer, contact us today.
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