You and your partner head to the hospital in anticipation of delivering the healthy baby you have been waiting for. The nursery is ready, you’ve read all the books about infant development, and your freezer is stocked with meals to make the first few months of parenting a newborn a bit easier. Your life with your new baby is about to begin, and you can’t wait for this change.
Unfortunately, a birth injury can quickly derail your plans for a “typical” newborn phase. Birth injuries are unexpected and shocking, leaving the baby with physical or cognitive trauma that can last for their entire life. If your family has endured a birth injury, it can be difficult to keep everyone healthy and cared for over the first few months after the trauma. Here are a few steps to caring for your family after a birth injury.
Tell a Trusted Group of People
Everyone in your office and personal circle knows you are going to have a baby. However, no one expects you to have a traumatic birth. Tell a trusted group of people, like your parents or other family members, about the birth experience and injury. Then, let them disseminate that information to your work colleagues, friends, and neighbors. This way, you won’t have to relive the trauma every time you have to tell someone about it.
Get Follow Up Plans
Your newborn will likely have plenty of follow up appointments after their birth injury. Do your best to keep each appointment, bringing a notebook with you when you go to take down notes and keep your thoughts straight.
Get Information But Stay Away From Google
Internet searching is not always the most comforting way to get information, and you are more likely to encounter false information there. Instead, get information about your child’s injury from trusted professionals. Remember, it is always wise to get a second opinion as well.
Enjoy Your Time Together
As much as you can, enjoy your time together as a family during the first few months of parenthood. It may not be the newborn experience you expected, but it is yours. Get to know your new addition and slowly acclimate to life as a new parent.
Ask for Help
Finally, be honest with the help you need to feel your best. Ask for meals to be dropped off or for grandparents to come and sit with the baby while you catch up on sleep. While you are at it, ask for help from an experienced attorney. You are likely eligible for compensation to help.