Did you have a traumatic birth? Does it still affect you? Sometimes birth can be a negative, unexpected and shocking experience. This can be because labour was long, there was lots of medical intervention or that you feared for the safety of your baby, or that you just struggled through. Trauma can affect people differently, some of the things that come up can include flashbacks, hot and cold sweats, nightmares, a fear of something going wrong, not being able to control worrying, feeling down, depressed, tearful, tired, confused, scared, isolated or lonely. These can sometimes be symptoms of a trauma. Birth Healing is not just for mums. Mothers, partners, and/or fathers who have experienced a birth trauma at any time can come for these sessions.
I work with both women and partners around:
- Fears during pregnancy
- Difficult first births
- Planning for a second baby
- Experiences of a traumatic birth and wanting to heal
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Post Natal Depression
- Sign Posting
Birth Trauma 3 Step REWIND Technique
When you think about your birth, do you try to avoid reminders but are not able to? Sometimes when others talk openly about the birth they had you may feel lonely, scared and isolated? Some are able to live through their experiences and move on and sometimes we can get stuck in the trauma, which is when recurrent thoughts, feelings and other symptoms present. This can be known as PTSD.
PTSD is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and PND is Post Natal Depression. Symptoms in both often overlap; so PND can be confused with PTSD. Anxiety, panic, fear, worry and trouble sleeping can be symptoms of both PTSD and PND. Sometimes PND can be triggered by PTSD with the symptoms merging. Both can cause low moods. This 3 Step REWIND technique is used to treat PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD are usually easily addressed in 2 or 3 sessions. By treating the PTSD first there is a huge opportunity to address other symptoms of PND. The symptoms and issues around PND can be more established and may require more sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist or psychotherapist.
When a person is free from PTSD symptoms, feelings of positivity and happiness can return, which can allow you to finally start enjoying parenthood and your new baby. Often people don’t talk about their birth; either you a re busy with your baby, or don’t know who to talk to, or that not many people actually talk about the birth you had. People tend to focus on how healthy your baby is and there is sometimes an unspoken sense of expectation that you just get on with being a mother.
Understanding PTSD from a Neurological perspective; When symptoms of PTSD occur the rational part of our brain can go into fight or flight mode; flight or fight response is a primitive survival system. This means that the trauma we experienced, is causing us to feel threatened and we either want to run away or fight. There is a part of your brain called the Pre Frontal Cortex which is the rational part of our brain; which tries to reassure us that nothing is wrong, and that everything is fine. But when PTSD symptoms are occurring, we cannot connect to that part of our brain. When this happens even with the most reassuring and encouraging words of comfort, we find it difficult to move on, and shake off our symptoms of fear and panic, they become impossible to escape from, which are biologically linked to the memory of the event.
The 3 Step REWIND Technique
There are 3 stages to the treatment
– Deep Relaxation using Hypnosis
– Recalling the event in a specific way whilst feeling safe and secure
– Imagining coping in the future and responding differently
I offer a simple but effective 3 step process that neutralizes the toxic feelings and lifts the symptoms of PTSD. I will use deep relaxation with you to help activate the memory of the trauma, in a safe and trusting place with me. Together we can then use your memory to start the healing process and your natural ability to move on from the trauma.
You will have 2 sessions with me 7 – 10 days apart. I provide a safe space where you can speak candidly and confidentially, and connect with the support you need to ease your emotional burden. I provide a safe place where you can express yourself and feel heard and respected without judgement. The first session you can talk about what happened and understand your experience, then looking at how to move forward from the unwanted stuck feelings. We will then do the REWIND Technique together using deep relaxation with hypnosis; to start neurtuarlising the feelings of the trauma. The memory of what happened will always remain but the feelings associated with the memory will no longer be evoked; reframing the event. The 2nd session will be a follow up to debrief the first session and how you things have progressed for you.
The benefits of the REWIND technique
The technique that I use releases the feelings associated with the birth so when you do look back and think about your birth you can experience a neutral feelings, so the birth doesn’t arouse anxiety anymore, freeing you of symptoms such as traumatic reoccurring thoughts, nightmares, panic and fear.
This is a brief Intervention treatment. After 2 sessions, you should feel relief from the symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes the process needs to be repeated; but in the majority of cases people report a major reduction or complete eradication of PTSD symptoms. The 3 Step REWIND Technique is as effective 3 years after the event as it is 3 months; if your PTSD symptoms are still present this treatment can be used at anytime.
I offer all my services in Hindi and Punjabi as well as English. I have a clinic in Rainham. However if this is not convenient for you I am happy to come to you home. I cover the whole of East London, Thurrock, Redbridge and Essex. If you live surrounding this area, and are not sure if I will come to you, please call me.
After I gave birth to my daughter, who is now 4 years old, it never occurred to me that my birth was traumatic and that I may even be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I didn’t give myself permission to have all these crazy and intense feelings. Something didn’t feel right and when I looked back I realised just how out of control everything felt, how I had just handed my body over to a group of people, to do whatever they wished, with little consent, lots of intrusive medical interventions and told you need to lie down on your back, not move and do what we tell you, no questions, no communication, no explanations and actually in hindsight; lots of buzz and panic in the room with so many different faces in and out. I suffered from guilt, constantly thinking about the birth, not knowing if it was normal, feeling anxious and scared, alone and then blocking my thoughts, trying to ignore them and hoping that they will just go away! I knew I still had this birth going around in my mind and that it was still affecting me.
Using the Birth Trauma 3 Step REWIND Technique; I have had the privilege to have worked with Alex Heath; who also trained me in this method; to work through my own trauma. We started off by talking things through, and Alex reminded me that I can say as little or as much about the actual birth itself, then we did some deep relaxation and the actual REWIND technique with a briefing after. I found the whole experience profound and want to share with you the benefits; the things that came up for me during the sessions and what I am left with;
- A realisation of how much anger and upset I was holding inside, that the way I was treated was unacceptable and the steps I can take in future to have a better birth
- A deeper acceptance of what happened and some new information on why things went the way they did, the panic that was instilled in me by the medical system, and that I had actually lost my voice and confidence during the whole experience
- Understanding that an epidural or C Section is OK!
- That I didn’t actually want my baby taken away and given to somebody else to feed her while I was stitched up
- An acknowledgement of my husband who also suffered the trauma, watching me go through what I did and feeling completely helpless. Some practical advice on how my husband can be more prepared for our next birth
- Being able to let go and put this memory behind me, with no more heavy feelings, no more anxiety, dread or fear. These feelings have been replaced with excitement, hope and positivity. I was blown away by how these feelings vanished instantly and I can honestly say this technique has changed me
- A longing for my daughter to be part of my next birth and a deeper connection with her as a mother after I had the treatment
- A new found confidence of wanting to own my next birth, being so so much more vocal, saying no to something that I don’t want rather then just thinking the medical system knows best and how I would like things to be different the next time I give birth
The biggest thing I came away with was that I had no more feelings attached at all what so ever to the whole experience. It just became a memory in my mind, an experience that I have now let go of.