8 Actionable Tips for Going Back to Work After a Traumatic Birth

Stressed about going back to work after a traumatic birth? Here are some tips to help you get back to normality…

Experiencing injuries during childbirth can be traumatic for both mother and baby. Recovering from a birth injury yourself can be painful and time-consuming. On top of that, looking after a new-born who’s experienced an injury can be stressful and worrying.

Maternity leave is a great time to recover and acclimatise to your new way of life. That said, sometimes it simply isn’t long enough, and many people struggle to go back to work, understandably.

In this article, we’re going to take you through eight top tips for heading back to work after a traumatic birth. Take a look…

1. Take Your Time

You might feel rushed into heading back to work due to the impending end of your maternity leave. The truth is that your mental health is far more important than your career and, for some, going to work may be too much. Listen to your body and mind, for starters.

However, for some, concerns over your finances may mean you need to return earlier. What’s more, doing so may even serve as a distraction from your struggles and thoughts.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you’re on your own timeline. Take as much time as you want or need, whilst considering the logistics of it all. Be sure to talk it over with your loved ones and your GP before making a set decision.

2. Communicate with Your Manager

The stigma surrounding the discussion of traumatic birth in the workplace means that many peoples’ stories go unheard. The reality, however, is that between 10 and 20 percent of women experience some form of mental illness after giving birth. This is why communication is absolutely key when it comes to the transition to heading back to work after giving birth.

Any good employer should respect your struggle, and communicating your fears could help you to come to a beneficial arrangement. This way, you can discuss the options you have in front of you, so you can strike a balance between recovery, childcare, and career.

3. Suggest Part-Time or Flexible Working

If you’re not completely ready to head back to working full-time, and still require more time away from work, why not consider part-time or flexible work?

Part-time work allows you to start working again in a less intense manner, without the 9 ‘til 5 working life. This gives you plenty of extra time in the day to rest, recuperate, and spend time with your new-born.

Alternatively, flexible working could also be an option for you, which can allow you to complete your usual workload outside of the usual working hours. For example, say your baby normally sleeps in the evenings and cries all morning, you can work in the evenings instead.

4. Consider Working from Home

With the pandemic still well and truly underway, hybrid working is likely to become the new norm. This is giving parents the opportunity to work whilst also taking care of their children too. So, why not consider working from home some or all days of the week?

Not only can this help you with the physical aspect of things, as you don’t have to head to the office each day, it can help you to continue to look after your baby. This can give you the opportunity to form the mother/child bond, which can sometimes be tricky after a traumatic birth.

5. Rely on Your Partner

Despite the advances we’ve made in terms of workplace equality for women, the onus still mostly falls on women to take on the childcare role. That said, relying on your partner has now become more possible through the opportunities to work from home. So, why not encourage your partner to work from home with you?

This way, they can provide their fair share of the childcare responsibilities. This has many benefits, not least helping take off the stress of you heading back to work. It also provides you with a better chance at keeping your career progress going after you’ve taken your maternity leave.

6. Embrace You Skillset

Being a new mother can be daunting, and it might feel as though you have no clue what you’re doing half of the time. This can have a real effect on a person’s self-worth and self-esteem, further fuelling any post-natal depression symptoms that may come from trauma.

That said, in the workplace, that may be a different matter, and you may even be an expert at what you do here. So, try and embrace this expert status, and use it to improve your self-esteem in a way you know how to.

7. Don’t See Your Distress as Par for the Course

Due to the lack of education surrounding birth trauma, many people may feel as though their distress is somehow normal and manageable. Of course, experiencing mental health problems after a traumatic birth is completely normal.

However, the ongoing and extreme distress is not something you should have to simply deal with. It’s important to know that you’re not expected to be okay, and that seeking help is something you should always do.  

8. Know Where to Get Help

Speaking of help, it’s really important that you know where you can seek this sort of mental health support. The Birth Trauma Association is a great place to begin, as this is where you can hear the stories of thousands of other women who have been through something similar. Otherwise, there are hundreds of resources online, and support groups are always a consideration too.

Ready to Get Back to Work?

As you can see, there are a number of potential ways you can help to ease your transition back into the working world. There are certainly more tips where that came from, but these are just somewhere to start.

Everyone’s experiences and reactions to traumatic birth are different, and there is no one size fits all approach. Overall, it’s important to stick with what feels right to you in the moment, and remember that it’s okay to not be okay.

Good luck with your return back to work. We wish you all the best.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.