Perinatal health: The one thing we should all knowJun 06, 2020
If there is one thing we should all know about perinatal mental health, it’s this:
I consider myself to be very lucky. I love working with parents because I know first hand how unhelpful perinatal anxiety is to the bonding process.
I know how damaging everyday anxiety is to our sense of self, our confidence and self worth. So I feel blessed to offer these services because I know how debilitating anxiety is, and how much easier and enjoyable parenting, and life, is without it.
I also feel very lucky because I love working with birth professionals too. I love the way midwives, doulas, antenatal teachers, yoga teachers, baby massage therapists, reflexologists, massage therapists and osteopaths et el, so often have a natural leaning towards learning. They are often found expanding and growing their knowledge base.
I marvel not only at the clinical knowledge of many midwives but also their desire to also use alternative therapies to enhance the birth experience of the parents that they work with. Or all of the doulas that I know who continue to invest in their development to bring more comfort to their birthing clients. I am always impressed at the way this industry is always enhancing, evolving and improving and that this is driven by our collective desire for parents to have the best experience possible.
When I began sharing what I know about birth trauma with other birth professionals and HCPs I hadn’t expected TBR 3 Step Rewind to be so popular and sought after. My original intention was that birth professionals use it with each other, to gain knowledge and prevent trauma, to rinse off fear and work cleanly with parents. That hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked but there is no doubt that hundreds of parents have been supported towards emotional wellness and relief from trauma symptoms using TBR 3 Step Rewind. This as a result of so many birth professionals making the commitment to learn, practice and hone these skills.
I am glad they we have now moved on into a new age of understanding about of emotional wellness. It is becoming more accepted that it is no longer an issue that only effects ‘other people’. We can all realise and appreciate that we all have an emotional and inner experience of life that can move up and down on the scale of healthy and unhealthy. The heavy emotions that are a natural result of a difficult or traumatic perinatal event are completely normal. However, left untreated, they can really drag a person down, causing them to maladapt with unhelpful behaviours. Leading to more entrenched mental health difficulties such as PND, addictions or OCD.
Perinatal trauma effects so many parents at very different parts of their perinatal journey, that is why I believe it is every birth professional’s responsibility to know, at the very least, the basics of trauma. We should all know; what perinatal trauma is from a neurobiological and an experiential perspective, what trauma symptoms are and finally but most importantly how to hear and contain a person’s birth story so it can trigger their own natural ability to heal and not re-traumatise them (sadly often the case with many debriefing or listening services).
Perinatal mental health is every birth professionals business. Join this quiet revolution in emotional wellbeing.