Imagine being the unborn baby floating comfortably in the warm, soft, dark, fluid space of your mother's womb, drifting in and out of sleep, surrounded by muffled sounds and heartbeats.
Then imagine the sudden shock of being awakened suddenly, and pushed and squeezed into the harsh, stark, and noisy outside world, amid your mother's pained shrieks, racing heart, and adrenalin charged system! Add to that the strain of an unusually long labour, painful forced delivery, or a life-threatening situation. Then add the inevitable distress of the mother, to whom the baby is psychologically and energetically linked, and you have birth trauma. Now try to imagine, on top of all that, the added distress on the newborn infant of being removed from the mother for emergency treatment without the all important skin to skin contact or the initial bonding between mum and baby. What an incredibly cruel, loveless, unpredictable and scary place the world would seem to the distressed newborn. That is the experience and sensation that is imprinted onto the traumatised baby’s untainted mind. A newborn's immature nervous system is purely unconscious mind, combined with life or death driven emotion, so it does not have the cognitive capacity to be able to sort experiences and make sense of the world in a logical, conscious way. Its mind is like a blank sheet on which is printed the fi rst experiences. And this imprint becomes a vital part of the child's life and future experiences. What are the long-term psychological effects for children who have had traumatic births and are they more likely to be anxious or aggressive than their easy-birth counterparts? Of course genetics and many other factors come into the equation too, but, if all else was equal, the child who was traumatised at birth would be more vulnerable to psychological problems. Separation from the mother at birth, as well as the mother's own post-trauma stress response, can affect the early bonding between the mother and child, which is another major factor in the child's psychological development. As a HypnoBirthing practitioner and doula, whenever I am presented with a highly anxious, angry, or oppositional child, I always ask the parents about the child's trauma history, including their birth experience. Actually I do this with my HypnoBirthing couples too. And very often the links are obvious. I have two very different children. My first birth was very traumatic resulting in an assisted delivery with baby needing to spend the fi rst week of his life in the special care baby unit. For my second birth I had found HypnoBirthing and how lucky did I feel. What a beautiful, amazing birth experience I had.There is a definite difference in the nature of my two children and I put this down to their birth imprint. My first birth resolved in a baby with sleep problems,colic and learning diffi culties.Ten years on I can say that my child can be extremely anxious, lacks confi dence and shows obsessive behavour. My daughter on the otherhand is balanced, calm, relaxed and happy and has always been that way since her gentle natural, drug-free HypnoBirth. The way we birth our babies matters! I run coffee mornings with my HypnoBirthing couples and sometimes there are fifteen babies in the room at a time. They are calm, chilled and relaxed and I am sure this is because they have been bought into the world in the best possible way using HypnoBirthing. There really is no better gift to give your baby than a traumafree birth and do everything in our power as parents to prevent any physical and psychological damage right from the very start.
Birtheasy teaches Hypnobirthing in Herts, Essex and London.
Please contact www.birtheasy.co.uk or phone 07951102213 for details of your nearest HypnoBirthing course.