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Post-Adoption Self-Care for Birthmothers

labor tips for birthmothers

Often, birthparents are underserved during the adoption process. While studies have been conducted regarding the adoptees and there are many resources available to adoptees, there aren’t many resources available to birthparents, who might face difficulty after the adoption.

Placing a child for adoption with a family could be one of the most emotional events in a woman’s life. Despite that, there still are not many post-placement services and supports available to birthmothers.  After placing a child for adoption, you need to take care of yourself, so here is a guide for practicing self-care following an adoption.

The adoption process can be different for every mother. Not every mother who places a child for adoption will have the same responses after an adoption, but many will suffer trauma-like responses that might be divided into these basic categories:

 

  • Emotional and Psychological

 

  •         Feelings of detachment
  •         Sadness or moodiness
  •         More crying than usual
  •         Feeling helpless or hopeless
  •         Feeling numb
  •         Over excitability
  •         Restlessness or irritability
  •         Intrusive thoughts or distressing dreams or nightmares
  •         Reliving the event
  •         Flashbacks
  •         Feelings of isolation

 

  • Cognitive

 

  •         Problems concentrating
  •         Feelings of confusion
  •         Distracted
  •         Slower thought process
  •         Behavioral problems
  •         Lethargy
  •         Hyperactive tendencies
  •         Insomnia
  •         Social isolation
  •         Need to discuss the event

 

If you notice these kinds of symptoms, you should understand that these are normal aftereffects of placing your child for adoption. After the child has been placed, you might feel a mixture of feelings, such as being detached from reality, confusion, sadness, or feel like life has been disrupted. Ensuring you adequately care for yourself is extremely important during this time.

Self-Care

In the time following placing your child for adoption, you should remember that your feelings are normal. Don’t blame yourself for any feelings you might experience. You need to be understanding of yourself, listen to both your mind and body, and be kind to yourself. If you are tired, you should rest. If you are hyperactive, be sure that you productively use that energy. You shouldn’t make yourself do something that you don’t want to do.

Talking to people is an important factor. When you start feeling overwhelmed, you should reach out. The feelings that you experience might be overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to reach out to someone. You should have someone that you can trust to help you through this trying time. If you don’t have someone in your life to fill that role, try to find a local or online support group. There are crisis lines and community resources that can also help you doing this difficult time.

If possible, avoid making any life changes or major life decisions in the weeks and months directly following the adoption. You shouldn’t put pressure on yourself until you are feeling much better. You should take time to just concentrate on you and your wellness. Make sure you have the time and the space to take a long bath, read, cry, or experience rage or other feelings. Don’t use substances to numb the pain because it will just prolong the healing process. Use this time to heal and take care of yourself, so you can ease yourself back into the rhythm of everyday life.