How can I help my baby recover from a difficult birth experience?
The good news is that there are things you can do for yourselves and your baby to recover from the experience. First, it's important for you and your partner to share your feelings about the birth with a supportive and trusting person who can listen with empathy and compassion. You need to become well so you can help your baby to the best of your ability.
Second, realize that your baby came into the world with a physiological expectation of being on your body and close to your heart after the birth. When babies are able to be physically close with their mothers after birth, their nervous systems settle, and they have an easier time feeling safe in the world outside of mom's body. Because you were separated, your baby may be more anxious and sensitive to stimulation. Be aware of this, and offer your baby a "non-anxious mirroring presence": Be calm and let your baby know that you understand what she is experiencing, whether it is fear, anger, sadness, etc.
It's important to understand that your baby may need a little more holding, patience and skin-to-skin contact in the first few months after birth. Helping your baby feel safe in the world is your first priority during this time.