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Celebrating your child’s 1st birthday after birth trauma

Marking your baby’s 1st birthday might feel daunting. For me, that feeling was brought on by thoughts of the planning, organising, preparing and cleaning after the party. Especially with it being right before Christmas. But I knew it was important to me as I wanted to celebrate him and me. I’d kept this amazing, thriving person alive for a whole year and I’d done a pretty good job. And he’s awesome.

Because I really wanted to mark this occasion, I chose to focus on my joy rather than the worry I felt about planning his birthday party. And I planned a no pressure party that was supportive and fun for me too.

At the same time, I was faced with some of the upsetting memories of my maternity care. I was fortunate to have mostly healed from these distressing elements of my journey to becoming a parent. And because of the work I’d done using the TBR 3 Step Rewind technique and transformational coaching, I was able to meet these memories that were triggered by his first birthday calmly and from a place of reflection (despite shedding a few tears).

And I am grateful for having a great time celebrating his birth.

Sadly, I recognise that some parents face their baby’s first birthday with feelings of terror, grief or anger. They may dread their baby’s birthday or wish to ignore it all together. While there is no right way to mark a first birthday, how we react to our baby’s upcoming first birthday may be an indicator of how we’re feeling about what happened to us when they were born.

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, be kind to yourself. Show compassion to yourself as you experience all of the feelings and reactions that your baby’s first birthday can bring up. I focused on self love and compassion in last month’s newsletter if you want more information.

Ask for the support that you need. This might be talking to a trusted friend or family member. Or you may want to speak to a professional about how you are feeling. You can contact me to discuss the support that I can offer.

Do something nice for yourself.

And choose to mark the day in a way that feels supportive to you. It is okay to set boundaries and say no if you are feeling pressured by yourself or others to throw a big party. I talk more about about letting go of the pressure on ourselves here and in this post about boundaries.

I also offer coaching packages and one off coaching sessions if you want to really get clear about what feels right for you and what you need at this time. Your child’s first birthday is a big day for you too. Get in touch with me at to book a session!


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