Mum matters, why a healthy baby isn't the most important thing

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by Persephone Moir

15-03-2017

Why baby being ok isn’t all that matters


There is a statement that I hear a lot that really makes me sad. Often in birth forums and mums groups. A new mum announces the birth of her baby. Upon admitting that birth wasn’t all that she expected, that in fact it became a pretty terrifying and traumatic experience, she then feels the need to ‘make right’ by saying


“But baby is here safe, sound and healthy, and that is all that matters”


And then everyone else comments, and in a show of support echo her words


“As long as baby is healthy, that’s the most important thing”


I disagree. Don’t misunderstand, a healthy baby is hugely important, and god forbid anything traumatic did happen to a baby during birth. But the mental and physical wellbeing of that healthy baby’s carer is of huge importance. By echoing these words of a mum who has suffered a traumatic birth we are potentially, without meaning to cementing the negative impact of her traumatic experience. We may be reinforcing her own statement of belief that she is not important, and that the wellbeing of her baby in no way ties in with her own wellbeing. As well-meaning as these statements may be, they may also be amplifying some of the harmful responses mum is experiencing due to her traumatic birth.


Traumatic birth is unfortunately becoming more common. As modern day women our experience of birth is becoming more medicalised, women talk to me of very poor experiences, be it through a lack of understanding and education, or poor treatment within the setting where they are birthing. Language used, feelings of fear, lack of support, lack of respect, fear of death, unmanageable pain, feeling being done to, not being heard to name but a few.


And yes, often the one good thing that comes out of this experience is a beautiful and healthy baby, and it is great to hold onto that thought. But mum matters. Her experience matters.


A traumatic birth experience can for some leave some long lasting emotional scars, PTSD and PND are 2 major symptoms of traumatic birth.


Most hospitals offer a ‘de-briefing’ service, which can be helpful in understanding what happened and why from a medical perspective. For some people this understanding is enough to help then move on from their experience. But for others it runs deeper than just what happened. For some the memory of their birth leaves them anxious. The strong emotions that they felt trips off a primal response in their brain that they can’t escape from. This primal part of their brain goes into a sort of overdrive. This can leave them feeling on hyper alert, hyper vigilant at all times around their baby. Unable to sleep, eat, care for themselves properly. This lack of self-care can then play into feelings of low mood, even depression. Feeling fearful and tearful at all times is exhausting, but an inability to rest and recover due to the hyper vigilance makes this worse.


This strange behaviour can be difficult to understand to outsiders, worrying and confusing. It may seem unreasonable and/or extreme. Offers of help are refused, none of the ‘normal’ things seem to help. But that primal brain is turned on and over working, and a nice warm bath, a bunch of flowers and a good night’s sleep just isn’t going to cut it. The memory of the traumatic experience has its hooks firmly into the brain now, and it can take a bit more help than just simple rest and relaxation to unhook these feelings and responses.


REWIND is a technique that combines hypnosis and NLP to gently unhook the hold that these memories have on your primal brain, and allow the body to let go of the hyper responses, to gently come back into a natural balanced state. It is a simple and powerful technique that in as little as one session can greatly reduce your feelings of anxiety, sadness and fear. To be free of the weight of the negative feelings associated with your birth experience can free you to truly enjoy and share this amazing time, to be proud of yourself, your achievements, to be able to function normally, rest, laugh and re connect.


So remember. Mum does matter, a healthy baby is not all that matters. Traumatic experience comes in all different forms and the effects can be huge and potentially harmful.


If you have experienced a traumatic birth, or feel somebody you know may be suffering then the REWIND technique may be the therapy that can help you or them feel better, happier and free from the feelings associated with traumatic birth.


For more information about the technique please call or email me.


info@joyfulbirth.co.uk


07941 511 819


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