Was your birth difficult? Or perhaps traumatic?

And even though it occurred in the past do you feel that it is still very present in your mind and is still affecting you?

It’s not unusual after any traumatic event for a person to feel out of sorts and in a state of shock.

Reoccurring, unwanted thoughts about the birth that run on a constant replay in the mind can be exhausting and produce anxiety.  Stress, anxiety, hyper vigilance, flashbacks and nightmares can remain, making it harder to enjoy your new baby, and life as a new parent. You may feel that you wish to move on but inexplicably you are unable to put it behind you.

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? YOU. MATTER. TOO.

Or perhaps you have experienced a traumatic event in pregnancy, or during the postnatal period?

Baby loss and miscarriage are unfortunately common perinatal traumas. Did you know that one in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 14 babies die every day before, during or in the weeks after birth?

Perinatal grief and trauma can heavily impact on parents mental and emotional health and without proper support their ability to cope too.

Whilst grief is a natural expression after this kind of devastating loss the trauma experienced can be more lasting and can make grief complicated long term.

Those experiencing early or recurrent miscarriage may struggle to find professional, emotional support.

And for those experiencing baby loss, although there are good peer support groups established through charities like SANDS, we lack NZ wide availability of specialist, perinatal grief and trauma therapy.

“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

For too long we have underestimated the impact that difficult and traumatic events happening during the perinatal stage have on the emotional health and wellbeing of parents. The cost to parents and their families is HUGE.

What begins as a natural response to trauma can easily develop into more entrenched mental health problems which are often more difficult to treat than the initial trauma symptoms.

This is why I have chosen to join a quiet revolution in perinatal mental health by investing in specialise training with Traumatic Birth Recovery, College of Perinatal Emotional Health. I am the first Accredited 3 Step Rewind Practitioner in NZ, and am currently undergoing additonal training in Supporting Baby Loss, and miscarriage.

With these therapeutic skills and techniques, I aim to appropriately and effectively support parents who have experienced birth trauma and/or baby loss or miscarriage, with a service that acknowledges and prioritises their needs safely and gently.