Moving forward from a difficult Birth/Postnatal experience

When birth and the postnatal time is difficult or not as we expected 

The word perinatal means ‘around birth’. I use it here to refer to anytime from planning a pregnancy up to the months after a baby is born. This includes experiences of miscarriage and baby loss.

Sometimes ain the perinatal time, we might find that we hold difficult feelings about our experience, or that the memories don’t sit easily in our mind

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This can be because

  • birth unfolded in a way that was not expected,
  • we experienced poor care,
  • something that happened  that evoked such strong feelings that the brain is struggling to ‘process’ those emotions so we can reach a sense of closure and acceptance.
  • you experienced a birth related injury or have a complicated healing pathway
  • you had a long or intense hospital stay
  • you had a miscarriage, termination, a stillborn baby or other experience of loss
  • there was difficulty with your baby feeding/gaining weight
  • you had to be separated from your baby/babies in the early days/weeks
  • Sometimes we don’t even know why we don’t feel ok about the experience.

These feelings may be present straight after the events or they may arise months later, or even in a subsequent pregnancy. It can be the birthing woman or person who is affected or their birthing partner.

You could have some of the following feelings

  • feeling unable to talk about the perinatal time, or alternatively feeling like you can’t stop talking about it
  • feeling teary or emotional whenever you think about it
  • feeling anxious or panicked when you think about it
  • noticing that you’re avoiding thinking about the birth as it is too upsetting
  • nightmares or flashbacks
  • difficultly feeling confident in your parenting
  • physical sensations when you think about the birth/postnatal time, 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 events,  eg  revisiting the place where the events happened  or every time you feed your baby or hear about a birth
  • feeling fearful of having another baby

When it comes to this kind of experience, it could be clear what happened that was challenging or traumatic, or it could be confusing as to why those memories feel so difficult. It really doesn’t matter how the experience looked to an observer, what matters is how we feel about it in the here and now.

If you are struggling with difficult feelings from the perinatal time, even if it’s years later, you may be pleased to know that there are things you can do to help shift these feelings and integrate the memories to sit more easily.

I offer short term counselling and debriefing sessions where we can safely talk over your experience so you can find peace with the events you experienced and how you feel about them now. The chance to talk over your experiences  with an experienced professional in a compassionate and unbiased space can be invaluable.

Alongside using counselling , people sometimes find it helpful to use other techniques, such as

  • narrative debriefing ( a creative mapping exercise)
  • journaling
  • hypnosis to release any trauma symptoms (this technique is especially helpful if it feels too much to talk in depth about your experience)
  • reconnecting with your body

As an experienced perinatal yoga teacher, ex doula and qualified counsellor, I understand the landscape of birth and am experienced in supporting women, birthing people and their partners through the emotions that birth and the postnatal time can evoke.

What do the sessions entail?

Usually 3-6 sessions depending on what feels right for you
Single sessions can be available if you prefer.
(if you wish to have hypnosis for trauma release there is a minimum of 3 sessions)

Sessions can be online or in your home (central Cambridge only)

Cost

3 x 1 hr sessions – £210
50% non refundable deposit made upon booking. Balance due by first session.

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.

Contact

Email- bryony@bryonyvickers.co.uk
Phone- 07988758544.

Please note I am often in session/class 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 working together. All phone calls and correspondence are treated in the strictest confidence.

To learn more about the Rewind Hypnosis Technique, or for further resources on Birth Trauma, visit www.traumaticbirthrecovery.com

Recommendations from past clients

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.

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.

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.