Submitted to naturalmommy by Nicola Hogg, psychotherapist and mommy who has made it her life’s work to empower other moms. Nicola specializes in working with mothers antenatally and postnatally. She lives and works in Ireland. Her web-site can be found [here].
I remember how hard it can be to even contemplate leaving the house in the early days of having a newborn baby!
So here are some things you can do to gently heal yourself without going for counselling in the early days following a traumatic or difficult birth experience.
1. Feel: Remember it is OK to feel overwhelmed/sad/disappointed/confused about the birth. Most often our difficulties with feelings are about our battle with them. Try to go with them….if you feel sad, allow the tears without holding back. Trust that they will end eventually….as long as you express them. If you feel angry, find a safe way to express it…hitting a ball with a racket off the side of the house, ripping up pages of a phone book, any other inventive ways you can think of to get your anger out.
2. Write your story: OK this one can bring up a lot but it can be really helpful & healing to write the story of the birth and as you do, allow yourself to express the feelings that come up (this is the important bit). Afterwards, you may like to burn the story, keep it in a special box, bury it, ask your birth partner to add to it (often there are gaps that you may need filled in)…..do whatever feels right for you.
3. Talk to your baby: Again, this one can bring up a LOT but its very worthwhile and healing. Tell your baby how you wanted his/her birth to be. If you feel you need to say sorry to your baby about the birth experience, allow yourself to do this. Remind your baby as you talk to him/her that they do not need to worry about your feelings, you just need to share how you are feeling. (Remember that although we don’t usually talk to babies in this way, your baby will already have been picking up your feelings/your energy since birth and sometimes it is good to just voice the feelings and be clear about how you are feeling.
4. Take a lavender bath (3 drops of lavender oil in the bath): Take a relaxing bath and ask yourself….what is the physical part of me that feels most hurt, most disappointed with how the birth went (trust your instinct, follow your feelings). Now picture this part of you as being separate to you (e.g. in a corner of the bath) and imagine what this part of yourself would say if it had a voice. Then allow yourself to speak back to this part of yourself with the intention of healing this part of yourself. Big feelings will probably come up for you as you do this but this is good and is part of your healing journey.
5. Time: Remember it takes time to heal…be patient with yourself. If you can, a session of craniosacral therapy can be hugely beneficial.
You can subscribe to Nicola’s e-mail list and receive more tips and updates from her as well as info on her ebook about how to heal your birth trauma by visiting her website.
Image by Canadian photographer, Jessie Bonisteel. This picture is of our Editor Siobhan and her son Liam just a few weeks after birth.