Care For Your Emotional Health After Adoption

If you are a birth mother who has recently delivered a baby for another family to adopt, you still have a road of recovery in front of you. After the physical signs of pregnancy pass, you will still need to care for your mental and emotional needs. It's normal to feel a sense of guilt, loss, sadness, or even to have few feelings at all. Here are some things you can do to help protect your emotional health as you go through this difficult time. 

1. Continue with counseling.

You might have begun counseling while you were still pregnant. After your baby is adopted, you should continue with counseling so you have a safe space to talk about your emotions. You can learn about why you are feeling the way you do, and help confront any feelings that might be making a negative impact on your life. Counseling can also help you stay away from unhealthy outlets for emotions, such a relying on alcohol or risky behaviors to escape how you feel. 

2. Create new paths for your own life. 

As soon as you are able, try to pursue new personal goals. Choose something that will fulfill you. This might be getting a new job to save money for college, moving to a new town to start fresh, or learning a new hobby or skill. When you immerse yourself in something you can be proud of, you create space for positive emotions in your life. You also create a life for yourself that helps to reassure you that adoption was good for your baby, but that it was also good for you. 

3. Seek fulfillment in healthy relationships. 

You can rely on others to provide a positive impact on your life. For example, if you have a supportive parent, you might spend more time with them in the months after your baby is adopted, forging a stronger bond. You can also find solace in your relationships with siblings, members of a local church group, birth mother support groups, or friends who were supportive of your choices and who want to see you succeed.

4. Choose the adoption plan that works for your needs. 

Finally, you can choose the type of adoption that is best for you, but if that plan is not working for you, you might look into changing it. For example, if you chose an open adoption but now find that contact with your baby is more painful than you thought, you might opt for less exposure as you heal.

Don't forget that there are many unplanned pregnancy resources available to you throughout this time of your life.