You have just given birth to your beautiful baby. Now it is time to enjoy the Newborn baby bubble. Those first few weeks of bringing home your baby is pure joy. You cannot stop staring at them, amazed at how wonderful the human body is. In awe of yourself for creating such a perfect little human! You are in complete and total love!
Is that how it went for you?
If not, you are not alone. For many, many women, that is not the reality for them. There are many reasons as to why this might be the case. From the obvious reasons such as sleep deprivation, to a traumatic birth or a difficult postnatal journey.
Jo from “Love parenthood” says-
“Birth doesn’t always go to plan. When we’re traumatised we’re left in a constant state of stress which is draining and damaging. It’s not your fault and you deserve to enjoy parenthood. 3 Step Rewind can help you to feel like yourself again”.
Examples of how birth trauma can look –
- The type of birth you had (if it didn’t go how you planned)
- Things being out of your control
- You felt frightened
- The pandemic
- You felt unsupported
- Baby/parent health
- You were overwhelmed
- Not treated with respected or listened to
These are some examples of what postnatal trauma could look like
- Sleep deprived
- Your health
- Physical healing from birth
- Relationship changes
- Not being listened to
- Returning to hospital
If any of these trauma’s resonate with you, it could be time to consider a birth trauma coach. All too often women who have experienced birth or postnatal trauma have been told “that is just part of it” “Things don’t always go to plan, stop being dramatic” “well I had to go through x, y, z, what are you moaning about?” “what did you expect life with a newborn baby was going to be like?” “at least you have a healthy baby”. You do not have to live with the effects of your trauma because of any of those reasons!
My story – very briefly
I had my daughter 11 years ago. I had the easiest pregnancy and birth. It was when Olivia was 3 weeks old everything went wrong. I was a first time parent with nothing to compare my birth or postnatal journey with. Going through a very difficult break up and completely over whelmed. Looking back, I realised I was suffering with postnatal depression. Although at the time I knew I didn’t feel right and I was finding being a mum extremely difficult, I felt it was my fault. I felt so guilty for not enjoying motherhood. In truth, I don’t remember much of Olivia being a baby. My brain has worked really hard to block it all out. Which I could never understand because I always wanted to be a mum.
I vividly remember standing in my kitchen and phoning the health visitor at breaking point. She answered and I said “I can’t cope”. She asked me what I meant. I told her “I just cannot cope with my baby. She won’t stop crying and I am finding it really hard”. Now, I don’t know what I thought she would do. I don’t know what she could of done. She told me that this sounded like something the doctor would be better helping me with…
I had just used up every ounce of anything I had to phone a “professional” and tell them that I cannot cope with my own baby. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, guilty and scared. There was absolutely no way I was phoning someone else and telling them as well. So I didn’t. And yes, we muddled through. I am here to tell the tale, things got better and Olivia and I have a wonderful relationship. But I cannot help but think perhaps I would of had some more children by now if I had been able to get the support I had needed at the time. During my Newborn photography sessions clients always ask me if I plan to have any more children. I always reply “oh goodness me no, I am still traumatised from the first time”. Those are the exact words I use and this was before I knew birth trauma was a thing!
Birth trauma coaching
This is where a birth trauma coach can really help. Jo from love parenthood has a program called 3 step rewind. During the 3 step rewind program you get the chance to talk to Jo about the journey and the traumas you encountered. She then uses a guided relaxation to play the memories from start to finish from a disassociated place. You repeat this together rewinding to the beginning and slowly coming back into your body. Eventually, you watch the memories from you own body again. Jo recommends 4 sessions during the last one she teaches you how you can build on this and how to maintain your wellbeing day to day.
Jo is so warm and friendly. If there was anyone I would feel happy to talk to about my own traumatic postnatal journey it would be her!
If you feel that you could benefit from the 3 step rewind sessions I highly recommend getting in touch with Jo. You can also take a look at her Instagram (@love_parenthood) where she shares so much valuable information. In her recent blog post Jo says that 200,000 parents a year report that some aspect of their birth was traumatic. You can find out more about her coaching here. That statistic doesn’t even cover the postnatal part of birth trauma! You are not alone and there are people out there who can help! My inbox is open to anyone who wants an impartial person to talk to.
| Olivia Rose Images based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. I specialise in Newborn photography but also photograph Maternity, older babies, children, families and first birthday sessions. I would love to be your photographer! You can view my work here |