Getting Support during the Holidays as a Birth Mother
The holidays are fast approaching, and with them comes a lot of stress and anxiety under the tree. If you’re experiencing your first holiday season as a birth mother, you may have many concerns and questions. You’re probably dealing with many entirely new emotions, and piling that on top of the usual holiday stress can make it difficult to navigate.
Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you when you need us most. You might be worried that you won’t be able to get the support you need over the holidays. Luckily, we’re open 24/7, even through the holidays. Grandma’s sugar cookies can only go so far in suppressing low spirits during Christmas.
Why might I Need Support as a Birth Mother?
The holidays are an especially hard time for a lot of people. There are a lot of reasons you may need support during the holidays as a birth mother. Two big reasons are precisely that: it’s the holidays, and you’re a birth mother. Maybe it’s your first Christmas as a birth mother and you’re not sure where to turn to.
Some other reasons may be:
- Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression is feelings of depression after giving birth. As a birth mother, you’re probably feeling some sort of postpartum. This is a prevalent condition among mothers. Roughly 10-20% of women report clinical Postpartum Depression, and 70-80% report some post-baby blues level. Finding support during the holidays as a birth mother is extremely important. If left untreated, Postpartum Depression can lead to Major Depressive Disorder.
- First Holiday Away from Your Baby. You may have been pregnant last Christmas, and this is your first holiday away from your baby. Feeling a lot of sadness because your baby isn’t with you is an entirely natural feeling. A lot of women in your position go through those same emotions after placing their baby for adoption. It’s easy to feel alone and isolated during the holidays, and if your adoption agreement doesn’t allow for direct contact, this becomes even harder.
- Recent Post Placement. If you’re still dealing with post-placement emotions, the holidays can be even more challenging if you’re still having feelings of grief.
- No Support System at Home. Not everyone has a supportive family or partner to confide in. The holidays can be filled with turmoil for many families, and now might not be a good time to seek support from them. Additionally, family, friends, and loved ones may not have agreed with your adoption decision, and they aren’t an option as someone to turn to right now.
Places to Get Support as a Birth Mother
It’s important that you have someone to talk to about all of these emotions. Just having someone willing to listen can be monumental in hard times. There are resources out there for birth mothers, and you probably don’t even have to leave the couch.
A few placed to seek support are:
- Family, Friends, or a Partner or Spouse. Even if they don’t know exactly what you’re going through, having someone you love there to listen to you can help a lot. Just being heard is so important.
- Online Support Groups for Birth Mothers. Of course, there are support groups out there for birth mothers, and specific groups start to pop up around the holidays for birth mothers dealing with trying to survive the holidays.
- Therapists or Counselors. You can always contact our counselors, but there are also online resources for counseling and therapy. If you’re lucky enough to have a regular therapist, they can be an excellent tool for you.
- The Adoptive Family. Talking with the adoptive family about your feelings and concerns may actually help you more than you know. They might be able to ease some anxieties about your first holiday away from your baby.
Self-Care for Birth Mothers
You might be surprised to know that you can be your own greatest support system. Taking care of yourself and listening to what your mind and body are telling you is important. Grieving alone might be an excellent way to sort out your emotions. Taking a hot bath, buying yourself a nice dinner, or watching your favorite movie with your favorite snacks are some great self-care ideas.
Getting Support During the Holidays as a Birth Mother
Birth mothers experience a unique type of loss. The person you’re grieving over losing is still here. You may not be able to spend the holidays with them, and even if you can, you may still be feeling a great deal of sadness. No one can tell you how you should be feeling, and you should take the time to recognize and consider every emotion. You don’t have to deal with this alone, and we want you to know someone is always here for you.
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years’ experience as a freelance writer, and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”