More Than a Healthy Baby: How to Cope with Birth Trauma
- 4 hours on-demand video
- 5 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Coping with Birth trauma
- EFT (tapping) for birth trauma
- Breathing techniques for stress
- Mindset work (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- Guided meditation
- Affirmations and coping statements
- Why does birth trauma happen?
- Why birth trauma is not your fault
- How the brain and nervous system process trauma
- Pros and cons of different treatment approaches
- How to find further support for trauma
- How to write a birth timelime
- Post traumatic growth and strength finding
- Re-writing your story and meaning making
- How to use movement and the body to shift stress
- Have experienced a traumatic birth or supporting someone who has
- Understand that this course is not therapy or a replacement for therapy
Have you had an overwhelming, scary, and confusing birth experience? You are not alone. 1 in 3 people will experience a traumatic birth.
Wondering what on earth just happened to you and where to even start? Not sure what you need, or if you’re even ready to talk to someone? Does the idea of being handed a pamphlet with a lotus flower and being told that "all that matters is a healthy baby" make you want to puke?
Want to have a little stalk into what a Psychologist might offer? Want to know what tools I used to cope with my own two traumatic births? Want to know what tools other parents have used to find strength and growth?
This course is not therapy. It’s not a replacement for being responsible for your own healing and trauma work. This is not the course for you if you are looking for the words ‘healed’, ‘recovered’, or (ick) ‘cured’. What I’m offering you is something other than pity, clichés and blaming.
In Section 1, I give you (and your partner and/or family) education and information about what birth trauma is, why did it happen, and what you need to know about trauma being your biggest teacher for growth.
In Section 2, I teach you practical, life-long strategies for coping. I know that they work because I've been teaching them as a psychologist for 10+ years experience. These are also things that I use myself. We cover strategies from CBT, Mindfulness and Meditation, ACT, Guided Imagery, DBT, Positive Psychology, embodiment practices and more.
In Section 3, I'll give you the pros and cons of different treatment approaches, tips and advice for further support options. How to find support, and what questions to ask.
It’s beautiful, hopeful, bright and bold. I swear, I laugh. I teach you that doing work on your trauma doesn’t have to be heavy. You can do it while sitting on your couch in your pjs. I would love to show you that you're not broken. That the strongest, most beautifully resilient version of yourself is yet to come.
- birthing people
- partners of birthing people
An introduction to me, why I do this work and how the course is structured. There are 3 sections - you can take them in any order, depending on your energy for the day and how much time you have.
I give you an overview of my own traumatic births to give you an idea of where I've come from. You may wish to skip this part or come back to it later if you are feeling vulnerable.
Please note a few things when you are watching:
(1) What you see is a well rehearsed practice effect from over two years of sharing these stories. I'm not always this composed when speaking about my births. I'm by no means emotionless or completely stress free about it, and this is not what I expect anyone else to aim for either. It simply wouldn't be effective teaching if I fell apart every time.
(2) Remember to stay in your own body. It's easy to over-identify with someone else' story and feel distressed by the details. Pay attention to your breath, how your own body feels in the chair, and use present-centring statements if you need to: "I'm in my own body, I'm safe".
(3) There is a huge variety when it comes to details that people find traumatic. Be mindful of the very human tendency to compare or try to grade experiences. What's traumatic for one person, may not be for another. It's not about who had it worse or better than you. Trauma is in the eye of the beholder. My stories are simply an example, and are my experience. What's most important as you navigate this course is how YOU feel and think, and how YOU are coping with your experience.
The first session is where you get some introductory information and education about birth trauma. You can sit back, see what resonates, and show it to people in your life who are maybe struggling to understand what you’re going through.
In this segment, you will learn :
How trauma is a nervous system event, not a personal failing
How trauma as a protective response to threat
How trauma links with the the fight or flight response, memory, learning and the five senses
Why the brain and body tend to ‘hang on’ to trauma
Why your brain doesn’t know what’s ‘real’, what’s imagined and what’s a memory, AND how you can use this to your advantage to start working towards strength and growth.
In this segment you will:
Understand the difference between resilience and post traumatic growth
Begin to see how the experience of a traumatic birth can lead you to discovering strength and growth within yourself that you never knew you had
Understand how to do Human 101 and why you must have a safe, supportive ecosystem BEFORE you attempt any significant trauma work
Understand the difference between macro and micro self-care. How you can either stick with bubble baths and green smoothies or learn to dive deep and grow from your discomfort
Begin to see that self-improvement and success doesn't happen in isolation
This tool comes from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and a few other approaches that use distress tolerance skills and the concept of loving what is.
Using this strategy, you will learn a little about Ironic Process Theory, 'urge surfing' and why "don't worry, don't think about it" type statements have the OPPOSITE effect of what you're aiming for.
Your breath is your constant companion when it's coping to coping and changing your mindset and physiology, so it's worth getting it right! I'll teach you the basics of how to take deep, effective breaths. I'll also teach you a postural technique to increase your confidence, and a tool for releasing rage and pent up stress.
I'll take you through a demonstration of using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping) for birth trauma. EFT is like psychological acupressure - using your hands to tap on meridian points to release stuck emotions, and coping statement (or affirmations) to change your neural pathways.
We go through 4 quick example rounds. There are time stamps for each round, should you want to keep repeating and use this to refer back to your practice.
I give you a brief overview of how to write a birth timeline. In this exercise, you are looking for "hot spots" so those particularly annoying, troublesome or intrusive thoughts, images and memories. By working out the stuck points, you'll then have a starting place to work from with your practice.
I talk through some of the details of my first birth in this example. Heads up, I do talk about pain, fear of dying and haemorrhage. Be mindful to stay in your own body as you watch this if you're feeling vulnerable.
You also have a worksheet as a reference where I go into more detail (see resources). I use this in my Birth Trauma Training for Birth Workers course. Writing a birth time line can be a handy resource if you are seeking support from a health professional, or preparing for another birth.
For the lovers of logical! I take you through a tried and tested method from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy to re-work and re-examine some of your stuck points. We use probability and logic to re-work some of your ineffective thoughts, beliefs and statements. Otherwise known to my clients as "do you want to be right, or do you want to feel better?"
I'll give you an overview of the pros and cons of some of the most common, evidence-based approaches for treating and supporting trauma. I also cover a brief overview of some holistic support options to incorporate a mind-body approach to trauma.
I'll also give you some suggestions for how to find the right support, questions to ask your provider and some other tips to support you beyond this course.
Note that I'm based in Australia, so there will be variations from country to country in terms of healthcare systems, availability and options.