Babies Blog Pre-natal and pregnancy

Being with Pain in Childbirth Part Two : Birth Recovery

When women come to see me post-natally for birth recovery sessions or to settle their baby, they often speak about how they felt out of control. “It all happened so quickly”, “ I felt afraid and had no choice but to do what I was told.” Common stressors include being left alone for periods of time, not knowing what was happening, having to birth without a loved one, being treated dismissively, not being shown how to do something,  not being believed or acknowledged in some way.  

Simply put women may feel that despite their beautiful baby they were cheated of an empowering birth. Many want to move on and not talk about it and it is not until they become pregnant again that they realise their first birth is still impacting them. 

So how did healthy mums end up having such a disempowering experience? Some of this is because we are not birthing in ways that recognize the subtle needs of our nervous system. it is only natural to contract and become overwhelmed as the pain seems to escalate. We just don’t know if we will be able to manage it, if it will ever end or intensify. 

When I speak to mums they often tell me they were feeling ok up to a point and then they lost connection. Perhaps the midwife that they connected with changed shift or their partner became fearful… there was some ripple that disturbed them.  

At every twist and turn if a mum is surrounded by health care workers who feel that pain should be avoided and taken away that will make it a lot harder for a mum to work through the intense moments. At these critical moments of self-doubt,  I believe women don’t necessarily need pain relief; instead they need deep human connection. Mums need to be surrounded by those that believe in them and be reminded  that  her body is designed to birth. Positive human contact helps us stay expansive and connected whilst fearful states makes us contract.  

Moments a mother never forgets.

For those wishing to labour as naturally as possible attention should be given to the support team and make sure that the mum has a birth advocate who is clear on the birth plan. Engaging a Doula, a birth companion to reinforce your choices throughout the process has been shown to give excellent outcomes. From the outset it is helpful to opt for the care provider who is most suited to your desired outcome. In order to limit the impact of  ‘the cascade of intervention’, (see next blog Is our own birth influencing our attitude to pain relief in pregnancy?),  it is worth weighing up all possible scenarios ahead of time and knowing what the options might be. Being well informed about your choices and the impact upon your baby is vital.

Babies Blog

Do babies remember birth and why does it matter?

We are parents from the moment of conception..

The field of pre and perinatal psychology  has been pointing to the  consciousness of babies since 1980’s and before.  APPPAH, (The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal health ) emphasises that when society fully recognizes that babies are capable of feeling, learning, remembering and communicating before, during and after birth, this will dramatically change the ways in which we connect and interact with babies during pregnancy, through the birth process, and throughout infancy.

IN the 1980’s Harvard trained psychiatrist Thomas Verny, who later  founded  APPPAH,  published  the ‘Secret life of the unborn child’.  He pointed to research that proved what parents and babies have instinctively known for generations… pregnant women and their unborn children can sense each other’s thoughts and feelings; 

“ Early experience from  conception on, materially affects the architecture of the brain.   From the journey down the birth canal to afternoons at the park, a child will register every experience in the circuitry of his or her brain.. …     

..” Everything the pregnant mother feels and thinks is communicated through neurohormones to her unborn child…  the nicotine and alcohol…anxiety and depression or maternal stress alters the wiring of the brain and nervous system

Dr Allan Schore, a Senior Neuropsychologist speaking on attachment, states that we literally download our nervous system from our care-givers.  These insights should elevate prenatal care and  the support of pregnant mothers to the highest priority.  Physical and emotional wellbeing of pregnant mothers directly impacts the wellbeing of their babies, protecting this special period for parents is one of the most significant ways we can influence the wellbeing of our society.

Birth is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us and identifying our own Pre and perinatal imprints offers invaluable insights into our ways of being in the world.  Parenting, that starts in the womb,  is a unique opportunity to support the development of a caring and compassionate human being.  A positive womb and birth experience is every baby’s birthright and creating a healthy womb, helps to create a healthy world

 (  For research papers see APPPAH website) ”…

Babies Pages Pre-natal and pregnancy Services

Pre-natal bonding

Numerous research projects, including the virtue baby initiative in India demonstrate that Prenatal Bonding is a two-way connection between mother and the baby before conception that has emotional and  physiological impacts.  Cells are forming 1.8 million connections each second and it is through these connections that the brain of the baby gets hardwired. The growing brain is shaped by whatever experiences and environment the brain is exposed to while developing in the uterus. While practicing Prenatal Bonding, the mother experiences a connection; causing her to release feel-good hormones that reduce anxiety or fear. Mother-baby bonding empowers the mother’s natural capabilities, resulting in greater confidence and safety during childbirth, reduction of preterm birth and Birth trauma . Mother and baby, together as a team, experience less pain and anxiety . Obstetrical interventions go down significantly, resulting in fewer complications, better normal delivery and breastfeeding rates. 

Pre natal bonding takes a few minutes each day and can involve singing, journaling, art, cooking , talking. Listening and finding other ways to creatively acknowledge your little one. 

Dr William Emerson who I studied with for many years makes clear that the sensory interaction of mum and baby produces health-giving hormones and enzymes that promote homeostasis.

i) lower level of adrenaline/higher oxytocin

ii)stable blood pressure

iii) lower heart rate

iv) greater output of growth hormone

v( increased myelination??  Important during pregnancy for brain development

vi)reduced pituitary and adrenal and sym adrenal responses ( Bovard)

Vi stimulation of anabolic processes

Reduces catecholamines levels in labour

Decrease stress response to labour

Shorter labour

Pain decrease..c section decreased

Decreased post partum

Little crying 

GET in touch to book a free call to see how I can help.

I have PDF for parents

PDF on pre natal bonding 

PDF on something else they can sign for

Babies Pages Pre-natal and pregnancy Services

Preconception – fertility support-prenatal bonding

 Birthing babies – Birthing parents. 

 Whether conceiving a baby naturally or with assistance; craniosacral sessions offers insightful  and invaluable support.  It  is essential to  calm the  nervous system  to  optimise your health  to conceive and nurture your baby. 

In a series of sessions couples explore the path to conception with compassion and openness. Clearing the path for a positive pregnancy  takes many forms and the experience of both partners is relevant. There may have been previous pregnancies, miscarriages or  a challenging  labour. Grief or even aspects of  the couple’s  upbringing and birth  can be factors.  Online or in person  sessions for  aspiring and pregnant couples, deepen their connection and understanding.  Parents are born too!

Call for more information 

Babies Pages Pre-natal and pregnancy Services

Birth recovery for parents and babies

 How  we are first welcomed, has  a huge impact on our self-esteem, capacity to learn and build relationships.  Birth interventions, even though necessary and life saving at times, interrupt and  speed up the baby’s innate birth rhythm.  Pain relief, induction,  forceps, vacuum or  a c-section, can all leave a baby with feelings of wanting to complete parts of their birth. The ‘golden hour’ after birth may have been rushed or unavoidable separation may have occurred.  Even the most natural of labours can have its  challenging  moments for the baby or the mother.

Although it is never too late to do restorative work, having some sessions  early in life is such a wonderful gift.  Craniosacral  mother and baby sessions are ideal in the early weeks and at various milestones.  Clingy or challenging behaviour at many stages of childhood can often be traced back to this  formative phase. Craniosacral sessions  are joyful for all concerned; a chance to acknowledge what  has happened and  to deepen your bond.

Babies Blog

Craniosacral therapy for helping baby to sleep

It is a special privilege to offer Craniosacral therapy during pregnancy and to newborns. In a world where speed is often valued, craniosacral sessions support us to slow down and reconnect to ourselves and to our babies. Although we are parents from the moment we conceive, it takes many of us time to adjust to our new roles.  Becoming a parent is a roller coaster which can feel totally joyful, exhausting and overwhelming all at the same time!    

Many a new parent will cry, “Everything would be fine if only he would sleep!” It is so easy to make comparisons and to take it all personally. The more we try to control the situation and see sleep as ‘ a problem to be fixed’, the more elusive the romantic dream of a perfect family will be.

Mother and baby craniosacral treatment for sleep

During a  mother and baby Craniosacral session I always include babies in the conversation; treating them as individuals with the gentleness and respect they deserve.  Although babies don’t come with a magic off switch, getting curious about the stories that they are expressing is incredibly powerful.   Cutting edge neuroscience reveals that babies not only remember birth but their time in utero as well. Birth memories can be one reason why they may be fretful or find it hard to settle.  

To give you an example a young 5-month-old was a fussy feeder by day and hard to settle at night.  Mum was feeling depleted and powerless as her baby dominated the household.  I held mums lower back and asked the baby, who was crying, could I touch her on her lower back too.   We all relaxed and settled together and slowly as mums told me how she was feeling, her breathing deepened and the baby began to visibly melt into her mum. 

We all need support to reconnect with ourselves, to tell our stories and to be deeply heard. Time and time again I see how babies settle when they see that their mums are nourishing themselves as well. 

If you want to read more

Interesting article from The Independent

Article on how to help baby with sleeping


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To book an appointment with Sara call or text 0872350900