Support groups are important for many elements of trauma and recovery. Some support groups are intended for patients who suffer from certain ailments. Other support groups are intended for the families of the patients. For families, the suffering is a little different, but their trauma is no less important or severe than what the patient experiences.
In some cases, support groups can help the parents of children who suffer from birth injuries heal from the stress and anxiety they have experienced because of the birth injury. For some parents, a support group or counseling can allow them to move on and focus on the future.
If you are a parent and your child is suffering from a birth injury like cerebral palsy or infant brain damage, there are a number of helpful and interesting support groups. These groups could be beneficial for moving your child through this period in his or her life – and be beneficial for you own healing, as well.
How Can Support Groups Help Parents?
When your child suffers from a birth injury, it may be because of a difficult delivery, a complication or the actions of a negligent healthcare provider. Many women report being traumatized from such a birthing experience, feeling that their child’s injury was their fault somehow. A birth injury is never the mother’s fault, but that sentiment alone may not wipe away the pain you are suffering.
Support groups can help mothers and their partners deal with these tough emotions. Support groups can help women realize that what their child is going through is not their fault. Professionals generally guide the group, allowing each woman to express herself. Then, together and individually, the professionals guide each woman toward healing.
How Can Support Groups Help Children?
Parents who attend support groups may also find help for their child through their experience. While support groups for mothers deal with personal trauma, there is no doubt that the conversation will lead to their children. Discussions between parents experiencing a similar situation may open doors to opportunities and advice, such as:
- Exercises or therapies
- Interesting and helpful tips
- Experiences with local doctors
- Experiences with assistive devices
Often, people who attend support groups are in different places in their birth injury journey. Sharing their own experiences with people who haven’t yet reached that stage in their own journey can be immensely helpful.
Where Do I Find Out About Support Groups?
Support groups are generally hosted by hospitals or other medical centers. Sometimes libraries or adult care centers also host groups or events. If you are looking for a support group for parents or children impacted by a specific birth injury, ask your physician for a recommendation. If your physician doesn’t know of anyone, you can try reaching out to your local hospital.
You can also find out more information about support groups by contacting individual organizations, such as:
- Nemours Children’s Health System
- Shriners Hospitals for Children
- The Mayo Clinic
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- United Cerebral Palsy
- United Brachial Plexus Network
- March of Dimes
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Association of Parents with Children in Special Educatoin
- Federation for Children with Special Needs
- Autism Speaks
Additionally, you can also find information about support groups in your area on social media. You may be able to join groups and network with other parents and families and find access to more information and resources.