When birth is difficult…
Sometimes after birth there can be deeply held negative feelings about our experiences of birth. These can be due to birth unfolding in a way that was not expected, from poor care, or from something that happened during birth that evoked such strong feelings that the brain is struggling to ‘process’ those emotions so we can reach a sense of closure and acceptance.
These feelings may be present straight after birth, or they may arise in a subsequent pregnancy. It can be the birthing woman who is affected or her birthing partner.
You could have some of the following feelings
- feeling unable to talk about the birth, or alternatively feeling like you can’t stop talking about it
- feeling teary or emotional whenever you think about it
- feeling fearful or panicked when you think about it
- noticing that you’re avoiding thinking about the birth as it is too upsetting
- nightmares or flashbacks
- physical sensations when you think about the birth, such as a hot flush, or a twisting in your belly, a tight feeling in the throat, sweaty palms etc
- experiencing unpleasant memories when you are reminded of the event, such as revisiting the place where your birth happened.
Before- I felt anxious, scared, upset. The thought of the event made me sweat, feel sick, tingle, tearful. I found it very difficult to talk about it and avoided any conversations about the birth.
After-I now feel acceptance and a sense of closure. Thinking about the birth no longer brings intense emotion. I understand it can’t be changed and it wasn’t a pleasant time but I am now able to recall the event and focus on the positive feelings that happened after.
When it comes to this kind of experience, it could be clear what happened that was traumatic, or it could seem like a perfectly acceptable birth. It really doesn’t matter how the birth looked to an observer, what matters is how we feel about it in the here and now.
I find that now when I think about the birth I can think of the good parts, like seeing my baby for the first time, and feel happy about these memories, rather than just focusing on what went wrong. Thank you …I genuinely felt so much better after having done this.
If you are struggling with difficult feelings after a birth, even if it’s years later, you may be pleased to know that there is help available. The ability to talk over your experiences in a compassionate and unbiased space can be invaluable.
Alongside a supportive listening session, I use a technique called The 3 Step Rewind Process which was developed to deal with releasing fear and trauma from single event trauma. It is quick, usually 2 or 3 sessions, effective, and has a very high success rate. One of the benefits of this technique is that you have the opportunity to talk about the birth if that feels helpful, but if you feel you don’t want to, there’s no need to talk it through for this technique to help.
As a perinatal yoga teacher and doula, I understand the landscape of birth and am experienced in supporting women and men through the emotions that birth can evoke. I am a trained Rewind practitioner.
What do the sessions entail?
2/3 sessions, held in the comfort of your own home, with email support if needed throughout.
- The first session we would discuss what we were going to do, check that the technique is suitable for your particular difficulties and work on relaxation skills (I leave a relaxation recording for you to listen to throughout the week). We can talk through your birth and explore what happened and how you are feeling now.
- The second session we would do the technique for releasing the stuck emotions linked to your past birth experience. This feels very similar to a led relaxation or meditation.
- The third session would be a ‘check in’ to see how you are feeling. This is usually conducted via a video/phone call
If you need a payment plan to spread the cost out, please get in contact to discuss. Discounts are available for families whose gross income is below £30,000. If you have booked private hypnobirthing sessions with me then we can add single session onto your existing package for a cost of £80. We do this first to clear negative feelings about your previous birth and then go onto hypnobirthing to prepare for the birth ahead. Many families find this a very effective way to prepare for a new different birth experience if a previous birth has been difficult.
All sessions take place in the comfort of your own home. Evening and weekend slots available. For bookings North of the A14, East of the M11 or South of Great Shelford/ Fulbourn, mileage is charge at 45p per mile past the first 5 miles.
Please note I am often teaching and can not answer the phone. If you leave me a message or email we can arrange a time to have a quick chat about the possibility of working together. All phone calls and correspondence are treated in the strictest confidence.
To learn more about the Rewind Technique, or for further resources on Birth Trauma, visit www.traumaticbirthrecovery.com
Recommendations from past clients
You were so calm and kind, you made the whole process seem relaxing and not stressful, even when thinking about the difficult emotions.
Bryony was incredibly supportive and sensitive to my needs offering advice on relaxation strategies and sign posting me to other professionals that I have been meaning to make contact with. I felt a strong sense of understanding from Bryony. I was able to be completely honest about my life and crisis.
Bryony was supportive and professional in the way she managed the Rewind process; I don’t think she could have improved in any way. Her empathy and warmth were genuine, her desire to help and her certainty that we should and could resolve these issues were critical: I felt like she drew out the confidence I didn’t feel to begin with.
Bryony was very kind and explained the process very well. Also, she also reminded me that I was always in control.