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  • Writer's pictureLisa Thompson

Birth Trauma

There's a lot in the news about birth trauma this week and it's true that too many women and families are being affected by trauma from their maternity experiences. This isn't because birth is terribly dangerous or that women aren't good at birth (they are) but often, I think, because they aren't listened to during their birth or they are 'done to' instead of being considered an active participant in the decision making process.

Huffington Post article In my KG Hypnobirthing classes I do suggest that women avoid 'negative' birth stories in pregnancy so that they can avoid unnecessary anxiety that leads to high levels of adrenaline - but that doesn't mean that 1) women who have experienced trauma should stop talking about it, or 2) we are going to gloss over the 'what ifs' during the class. A large part of the course is dedicated to navigating the maternity system, working with caregivers to achieve the right birth for each family and building confidence that if medical help is required the family will have the techniques and tools to help make the right decisions for them. Another service that I offer is Three Step Rewind for birth trauma. It's a very gentle therapy to help women, or their partners, release the ongoing emotions and behaviours that can remain after a difficult birth event. I really wish we didn't need ths therapy but I'm always amazed at how much of a difference it makes.

More info about Three Step Rewind I'm happy to talk on the phone if you're trying to decide whether Rewind is something that can help you. You might also decide to access a birth review through your Trust and, if you are able to, give feedback via PALS as that is often a way to highlight where care could have been better. If you have been affected by birth trauma please don't ever feel you have to suck up your experience and keep quiet, if the systems are going to change it will be because of people (brave people), both within the maternity systems and in the wider community, speaking up and demanding better.

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