• Lactation Cymru

Trauma in the eye of the beholder Birth Trauma 3 step Rewind:can't stop thinking about the birth...

Updated: May 19, 2021

Are you having flashbacks, replaying events, or avoiding the memory of your birth? Does the memory of your birth trigger anxiety, anger, heavy feelings and put you into that fight, flight freeze mode?

You may be showing symptoms of PTSD. When your primitive mind perceives you are faced with a life-threatening or traumatic event your primitive survival mechanism is to protect you. However, when danger is no longer present your mind relives the experience and evokes negative and heavy feelings.

Experiences such as:

  • the babies heartrate dropping

  • blood loss

  • not being heard or listened to by health professionals

  • the feeling of not being looked after or being lied to you

  • or your labour just not being what you wanted or expected,

are all reasons birthing parents give for feeling traumatised.

Many feel triggered by TV programmes, other pregnant people, or you may not want to go back to the place you gave birth. You may find listening to other peoples stories triggering, upsetting, resentful or just not feel like yourself.

You might find that talking therapy, which makes you relive events further triggering and upsetting.

When we find events triggering, upsetting and traumatic, it's almost got stuck in the short-term memory and unable to be processed and moved to long-term memory.

The three-step rewind consists of three stages:

  • Hearing your story if you wish to tell me, this step can be bypassed, as only you need to know the ins and outs of the event.

  • Deep relaxation and remembering the event in a specific way

  • Imagining coping in the future and responding differently.

Most people find relief after these three steps, and major significant reduction or even eradication of the symptoms and feelings. However, in some cases you may find you need to repeat the process.

It is common for one to find you are confused and unable to find the memory after the rewind process. This is due to your expectation of having the same reaction as you did to the event prior to going through the process.

"After the process it felt like someone was closing the door on my experience"

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