How do you stand by a friend going through a difficult time? What steps can you take to ease their struggles? We all ask these questions when a friend loses a job or goes through a breakup, but there are other events that people need to be supported through, too, like a traumatic birth. Birth trauma isn't something openly discussed on a regular basis, but it happens. When it happens to our loved ones, it’s up to us to be help them through it. So what are some things to say to someone who experienced birth trauma?
How you choose your words matters significantly, especially when it comes to birth trauma. If, for example, the mom in question is non-religious, you might want to avoid using religious connotations as a source of comfort, as they won't actually provide the type of support the mom really needs. If you’ve never experienced a traumatic birth yourself, you’ll want to avoid comparing her trauma to a trauma you’ve experienced that is completely unrelated. That sort of comparison honestly helps no one. If you’re not too close to the person, you might want to keep your condolences short, sweet, and far from personal.
As someone who’s been through this sort of trauma, I know I wouldn’t have wanted strangers asking me questions about my experience, but I did welcome friends who made an effort to check in on me. I also realized that, because birth trauma is rarely discussed, very few people know how to support a mom through it. So, if you are looking to help a new mom in your life, here are just a few acceptable things you can say: