Birth Debriefing

Giving birth can be a wonderful, empowering experience. But the reality is that some of us are left disappointed, distressed or even traumatised after having a baby.

Pregnancy complications, emergency interventions in labour, and/or spending time in Special Care will all take their toll on parents. It can be distressing when birth plans change or if we don’t get the support and care that we need in labour. Negative feelings can be exacerbated by the demands of feeding and caring for a new baby, especially following a Caesarean, or if there are other health problems to contend with. At the same time, those around us may not provide the understanding we need at this time. Mums may feel guilty about their negative feelings, when others constantly stress that at least their baby has survived, or is healthy. Of course, we all of us value our babies’ health, but for some of us, having a new baby may not be enough to banish negative emotions overnight.

Talking about our experiences and feelings with somebody who can listen and empathise is an important step towards starting to deal with how we feel. Some of us may feel ready to do that straight away, for others it may take longer.

What I offer is to talk through your experiences with you, and to listen with empathy and with the benefit of my Doula’s knowledge of birth, and of medical routines and procedures. Sometimes it can be easier to talk to somebody who isn’t emotionally close to you and who is separate from your own family. I am not here to tell you what to do or how to feel, and nor will I try to minimise your feelings or excuse any negative treatment you may have experienced during your pregnancy and birth.

Some mums decide to seek help soon after a difficult birth experience, others may not talk about it until years later. It is very common for another pregnancy to bring back feelings of anxiety or distress about a previous traumatic birth. If you are already pregnant or planning another birth, I can support you to make plans for a more positive experience than your last one.

My counselling experience combined with my doula/antenatal training, means that I can offer birth debriefing sessions which are flexible to meet your individual needs to talk things through, and to make sense of what happened.

Not all mums having a subsequent baby will opt for debriefing, of course, but those who do, I recommend spending at least 2 sessions on this, and depending on your situation and your plans, these sessions may lead into birth preparation sessions.

Please feel free to contact me for a chat about your situation, so that you can find out more and decide whether birth debriefing sessions might help you at this time.

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