For many women, motherhood can be both positive and negative due to the impact of adverse childhood experiences.
On the positive side, there’s a new capacity for love, a new found sense of purpose and fulfilment. It’s a chance to create a nurturing and supportive environment for the child, which can counteract some feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt.
But motherhood can be especially difficult if you had a difficult childhood. The intense emotional demands of caring for a child reactivate old traumas, causing feelings of overwhelm and distress.
Furthermore, the physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth are difficult because they evoke memories of past traumas and cause anxiety. And the sense of loss and grief can send you spiralling into the past, causing confusion and guilt.
However you choose to navigate your motherhood journey, it is important to make space for these experiences and feelings in the way that is most appropriate for you and your needs. Whether it’s asking a loved one for help, talking to a therapist, or meeting with other healthcare providers.
Here is a short list of organisations that can help