RECOVERY

After you get home from the hospital, it is important to let yourself heal physically and emotionally. You will experience highs and lows as your body recovers and you adjust to life. Knowing what to expect can help you feel less stressed about the changes you’ll experience and better able to focus on your recovery.
recovery

PHYSICAL CHANGES

  • Bleeding - Postpartum bleeding lasts up to 2 weeks.
  • Soreness - Vaginal discomfort may be worse if you’ve had an episiotomy or perineal tear. If you’ve had a cesarean section, you will experience abdominal pain around your incision.
  • Lactation - Your body will begin to produce breast milk. If you are not pumping, your milk will dry up within 10 days.
  • Round Belly - Your abdomen is still swollen and will take a few weeks for your uterus to return to its original size and shape.
  • Hormonal Changes - You may feel weepy, develop acne, lose hair, or experience night sweats as hormones return to normala
Give yourself time to heal. Ease back into your routine slowly. It takes 6 weeks to recover from a vaginal delivery and 12 weeks if you’ve had a cesarean section.

GRIEF

Even though you know you’ve made the right decision, be prepared to grieve. Grief is a natural reaction following placement. The grief experienced by a Birth mother is Complicated. Not only are you mourning the physical separation from your child, but also the loss of the parent/child relationship you might have had. The physical vacancy of the baby after delivery is a reminder that there is also a vacancy in your heart. Grief may be expressed as denial, sorrow, depression, anger, and guilt. Acceptance of the loss usually follows grief. This doesn’t mean you will forget your child or never feel sad again. You will think about your child often. Triggers like holidays, milestones, a mother with a newborn baby, or a picture, may cause grief to resurface or intensify. Acceptance means integrating the loss into your life.

COUNSELING

Central to healing is to seek counseling following placement. Your Adoption Advisor can help you get the counseling you need. Adoption counselors are equipped to handle unresolved feelings of grief that can follow placement.
Do not be afraid of the stigma of counseling. It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to get help and to talk to someone. After all, what you have experienced is a traumatic event. Counselors are trained to listen objectively and help you work through your concerns in a safe, non- judgemental environment.
It is vital to find a professional that you are comfortable with. A counselor’s credentials mean nothing if you don’t feel you can be open and honest with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a consult with a couple of different therapists before you decide to commit to a therapeutic relationship.
It is vital to find a professional that you are comfortable with. A counselor’s credentials mean nothing if you don’t feel you can be open and honest with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a consult with a couple of different therapists before you decide to commit to a therapeutic relationship.

SUPPORT

An understanding support system is also important as you adapt to your new life as a Birth Mother. Remember that you are not alone.
Support groups - Validation from other women who have placed a child for adoption can make all the difference. Experienced members of a support group can offer a struggling Birth Parent suggestions for resources such as counselors and books. Search the internet for online support groups. Ask your adoption professional for a referral to local support groups. Know you can participate at whatever level you need and are most comfortable with.
Mentors - Some women also rely on Birth Mother mentors for help. Your mentor knows what you’re feeling and can provide support in ways your family and friends can’t. Mentors can connect you with support groups and other Birth Mothers who can help.
There are many ways to deal with loss and grief. Keeping a journal is a great outlet for expressing emotions and help you remember details as memories fade. Exercise can release endorphins and clear your head. You may find comfort spending time with trusted family and friends.
Remember to be kind to yourself. You did everything you could to ensure your child has a bright future.

Integrating the adoption experience into your life takes time.

*This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Seek answers from a medical provider.