As we have grown, lived, and learned we have discovered that there are so many facets to life and the world isn’t so black and white.
We see those shades of grey.
No woman’s journey after sexual abuse is the same, but each is indefinitely worth her ability and opportunity to continue to heal. Pregnancy presents us not with a challenge but an opportunity to reconnect with our bodies and our baby. We can be empowered, strengthened, and renewed by our growing confidence as women and as mothers we can birth present and purposefully.
The following are some personal tips to help create a healthy and purposeful pregnancy for women who have or are journeying through pregnancy after experiencing abuse.
1) Surround yourself with compassionate people
This goes beyond the realm of choosing your care provider. Surround yourself with friends and/or family that are truly there to support and love you. These are people who are purposefully bringing positivity and light into their conversations and actions. This does NOT mean that they have to know or understand the nature of your journey it just means that they are people that you have a genuine healthy relationship with. If there are people on your Facebook or other social media pages that contribute to you having a negative head-space, unfollow their feed. It’s not a sign of weakness or censorship, it’s actually a sign of self-awareness and personal power!
2) Consider a support group or therapy
If you think talking might be a helpful outlet for you this could be an amazing tool for you. It takes courage to talk about your abuse and many people are unsure how to react to this type of information. It’s not that they are uncompassionate, but rather unprepared with how to say or do the right thing. If you don’t feel like a support group is the right choice, therapy might be a better option or vise versa. There are so many outlets and resources for women who are going through a very similar journey, look into your local and online resources to find out what options there are. I promise there is one that will work for you.
3) Give yourself the opportunity to bond with your baby
This can be difficult for many of us. Be patient with yourself. Remember that you and you alone have made and accepted the choice to nourish and carry your baby. You are part of the ancient and sacred bond between mother and child; that alone is never-ending and limitless. Think of ways to bond that are specific to you. I loved watching my sons create mini tsunamis while I relaxed in the tub. In the early days it was a thrill to find their heartbeats on the home doppler we bought off amazon. Sometimes the best memories are the ones unplanned, so just give yourself the benefit of being open when they present themselves. Baby steps are still steps.
4) Create positive affirmations
Don’t say them to believe them, say them to know them. You can make an affirmation a wallpaper on your phone or put several on sticky notes posted throughout your home. Just make sure your encountering them many times throughout the day. They can be as detailed or simple as you like. Make sure they are specific enough to apply to you. Some examples are: I am choosing to be present in this moment for me and for my baby. I will birth my baby not with pain but with purpose. I am allowing my body to open and my baby to come into the world.
5) Be intentional
Live your pregnancy with purpose. Eat to nourish, sleep to rest and recover. Treat your body with the love that it is worth. Allow yourself to be confidant in your choices and decisions. If you don’t feel comfortable with your care provider, fire them. You deserve to feel confident about your care so be intentional about your choices!
6) Get a NOVA Birth Services doula
We’re doulas! We provide genuine and compassionate care to our families and we know how to support you during this incredible season of life. From pregnancy to birth and postpartum we want you to be present and confidant in your decisions and we will support you ALL along the way. It’s our passion and it’s our purpose.