What is Traumatic Birth Recovery? (TBR)

Let's keep it real for a moment. Life with a new baby is Tough. Sleep deprivation. Feeding. Repetition. Isolation. CHANGE. But what if on top of that, you are mentally, emotionally and physically struggling to come to terms with your birth experience.

Some new parents adjust in their own ways and in their own time, and somewhere along the line realise they have moved on with their lives as a new family.

For some, the feelings associated with a birth trauma do not fade. Stress, anxiety, hyper vigilance, flashbacks and nightmares can remain, making it harder to enjoy your new baby, and life as a new parent. If you feel that still, after three months or more since the birth, you or your partner are still experiencing symptoms such as these then you may benefit from some help.

There's a commonly used phrase that goes: 'all that matters is a new healthy baby'. Of course a new healthy baby matters. But guess what. New parents matter to.

YOU. MATTER. TOO.

“All that matters is a healthy baby? This short-sighted attitude not only ignores the importance of the mother's health and wellbeing, it denies the impact this has on the health of the baby... The same baby which is supposedly the top priority."

Amy Meister-Stetson

How does this work ?

Traumatic Birth Recovery is two tiered.

a) Listening service

Are you looking for someone to hold your space while you share your story? To listen with respect, care,  confidentiality and unwavering compassion in a safe and supportive space? Are you looking for someone to go through your maternity notes with to perhaps better understand what happened?

As a birth worker with a Social Work background I will use my listening and counselling skills to offer a non-judgmental opportunity for parents to talk. I do this by inviting parents to talk through as much or as little as they feel comfortable sharing and how it made them feel, while validating their experience. The session will end with some grounding exercises and some ideas for what you want or need at your next birth.

This is a one off session, approximately 2 hours in the comfort of your own home.

b) Traumatic Birth Recovery (TBR), 3 Step Rewind Programme   ***COMING IN 2019***

I am honoured to currently be investing in my own professional development in this field. It is a testimony of how vital I see traumatic birth recovery; for our maternal mental health and our right to enjoy our babies.

I am currently undergoing the training in this brief treatment. Therefore It is not currently available. 

Thinking about, or being reminded of your traumatic birth experience,  even subconsciously, may be enough to put you back there, triggering the same emotional response. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can and does occur after a difficult birth, with debilitating symptoms such as  flashbacks, nightmares, hyper vigilance, difficulty sleeping, irritable, anxiety or avoidance for example. If this is you - simply talking about your experience without effective treatment can do more harm than good, and be detrimental to your recovery.

This is where the 3 Step Rewind Technique comes in.

Some trauma symptoms can be confused with Post Natal Depression (PND).  Anxiety and panic for example are symptoms of both disorders. Trouble sleeping can be present with both trauma and PND. Left untreated it is not uncommon for trauma symptoms to cause depression. Living day to day with trauma symptoms of high anxiety, hyper vigilance, anger, sadness, recurrent thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks can drag a person down into a very low mood and depression.

By treating the trauma symptoms first, a window of opportunity is created to tackle the other symptoms of PND.

 

The TBR treatment occurs in 3 sessions with before and after support:
  1. Preparation. Before meeting on the phone to discuss the 3 Step Rewind technique in more depth. You can then decide if this is something that would help at this time.
  2. Session one. Hearing your story and understanding the changes you would like to experience with the symptoms lifted. There is absolutely no pressure for you to tell your story if it is too painful. I am still able to guide you through the technique so you may begin working on your healing without knowing your story.  After this we will also talk about your feelings. How you feel at the moment and I will help you to consider and create a vision of how want to feel.  I will then guide you through a relaxation, which I will record and send to you to use prior to our next session.
  3. Session two. I will again ask how you are feeling at the moment.  I will guide you through the second part of the technique.  This is the Rewind part. I will guide you to recall and process the event in a way that feels safe. You will be in control at all times. We can stop or pause if you need to.
  4. Session three. I will guide you through visualisation of the future and encourage you to imagine coping in the future and responding differently.
  5. Follow-up. I will give you a call a week or so after session three.  This is simply to check in with you and see how you’re feeling and to hear any changes you have noticed.  Occasionally people do need to have an additional session, and we will arrange this is appropriate.I offer these sessions to both women and men/partners.  It isn’t uncommon for men/partners to experience difficult feelings after witnessing something they perceived to be traumatic.

The benefits of the TBR 3 step rewind program:

  • This therapy is a brief intervention that seeks relief of PTSD symptoms after 2 or 3 sessions. Occasionally the process needs to be repeated but in the majority of cases people report a significant diminishing or complete eradication of symptoms and heavy feelings.
  • If talking about the traumatic birth experience makes you feel uncomfortable there is no need the share what happened to you. You will need to remember it yourself but you can do this without re-telling.
  • I can come to you.
  • This treatment is equally effective 3 months after the event as it is 3 years or even longer after the event. If PTSD symptoms or heavy feelings are still evident then the treatment is useful in eliminating them. Or if you recognise that some of the unhelpful responses that you have day to day, as a result of what happened, then treatment can help.
  • The symptoms of trauma can often be addressed in 2 or 3 sessions. The symptoms and issues around PND can be more established and may require more sessions with a qualified mental health professional,  hypnotherapist or psychotherapist.

If you have questions, please get in touch for your free phone or face to face consultation.