I have had two difficult births. My first was traumatic. I was left with recurring thoughts about the events, guilt, irritability, insomnia, and ultimately postnatal depression. What made it worse was that I had studied hypnobirthing and thought that I was prepared, so when events went completely off-plan, I was shocked to realise how under-prepared I was.
The way I felt after the birth really impacted the way I bonded with my daughter. I coudn't bear people talking about their births, especially if they were positive stories, as I felt so bitter and jealous. I played the events over and over in my mind, wondering if things could have been different. I was really scared to have another baby and when I did get pregnant I was terrified that things would turn out the same as the first birth.
My second birth was still difficult but nowhere near as traumatic as the first. I was more educated, and more aware of the realities and I was proud of the way that I had handled birth. And I thought I had done well with 'getting over' the way the births unfolded. But when I studied for the TBR Three Step Rewind programme I realised that even a few years later I was still carrying emotional baggage from the births.
Birth trauma is not something truly quantifiable. I often hear or read, "my story isn't as bad as others", or "I feel bad as nothing went badly wrong", or other statements along those lines. I read something recently which said "trauma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder", and I think this sums it up perfectly. All that matters is that your brain and body perceived that you and your baby were in danger, and responded accordingly.
The problem is that once our brain has written those neurological pathways responding to the danger (giving us the fight or flight symptoms) it finds it hard to rewire itself. Even when we are out of danger it replays the events and every time it recognises a similar trigger it creates the same emotional response.
The TBR 3 Step Rewind programe is a gentle way of working through traumatic events connected to birth (and they are not always labour and birth, sometimes it can be a traumatic event in pregnancy or postnatally). The programme is non-invasive and relief is usually quick; if you do not feel able to speak about the events you don't need to and most people report a strong improvement within 2-3 sessions.
More details about the programme can be found at
TBR 3 STEP REWIND FOR TRAUMA
Approximately 2-3 sessions of 1-1.5 hours each
For up to 3 sessions.
Sessions usually last 1 - 1.5 hours. Multiple traumatic events (eg, two births, or birth trauma and postnatal) may take longer and need additional sessions. This will be discussed in the first session. Sessions can be held 1:1 or via Skype. Mileage is included upto a maximum of 40 miles total and charged at 50p per mile above that.
BY GLOW BIRTHS
Bespoke hypnobirthing and doula services in West Sussex.
If you are interested in antenatal classes which are completely inclusive and designed for the whole community, with subsidised classes available for those on a low wage, then please take a look at Glow Births CIC www.glowbirthsandbabies.co.uk
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