Birth Trauma Recovery
Infants “Remember” and “Forget” Birth Trauma; they store experience not only in the brain but the cells. It can show up in movement or behavior patterns. A friend kept wondering if his toddler was doing non stop spinning whenever he got stressed out. Turns out, through sessions, we discovered it was related to anesthesia his mom received at birth.
Infants can adapt to birth trauma but also live with internalized fear. This shows up as a fussiness, or disconnection, maybe even a “zoning out” if mom had anesthesia. Unfortunately birth trauma follows infants into children into adulthood. They become adults with that trauma locked inside which can show up when enough stress lands on their plate. Birth Trauma gets locked into the primitive brain stem and tissues as a cellular memory.
Good news about Birth Trauma
You can help your baby get out of emotional “loops” related to imprints.
read more here:
3 steps to help birth trauma recovery
- Finish your own trauma from the birth. Tell the story to a friend, breath through and allow emotions, and clear the memory. Get professional help if you need it!
- Bring up the story with the baby, such as “oh, you were really stuck and we used vacuum suction,” or “it was scary and I went away. You couldn’t find me when I took pain medicine,” or ” that pitosin interrupted our connection. It became mechanical and I couldn’t listen to you in the way I usually did before birth.”
- Bring dad into the recovery as well, his story is important too and will help baby settle.
Children (or adults) who struggle may have a hidden disability deep in the brain stem that is trauma. The brain becomes vigilant and robs energy from everywhere else. The primitive primary job of the brain is safety. Bad experiences (even prenatal or difficult birth) use up brain power and make learning or social connections difficult.
Good news is infant movement helps recovery with birth trauma. New information into the brain, using touch, and emotional presence and support, can help your baby.
Have you noticed any movements they avoid, or exaggerate or struggle with. Here touch is useful. See our earlier blogs for more ideas!
Is your baby Zoning Out due to birth trauma?
Dissociation means we are not in our body, or have compartmentalized bad experiences because we were not able to integrate them. Trauma is a bodymind event that lives in the tissue. The nervous system records events and adapts and one form is known in psychology as “Dissociative Disorder.” However, much of this label can be eliminated or recovered early on…
A story of birth trauma recovery
I treated a 6 month old who would not look at her mom. She was precocious, curious, but not really letting mom in. Turns out she was still mad at mom. We did a 20 minute session where I coached Mom to listen to her infant, with Dad’s support. She was able to say,”yes, I did go away, and you were mad!” Baby went through being mad, then sad, then scared, and then completely forgiving her mom. They settled into each other’s arms once the story was told
Pacing is key to birth trauma recovery. Slower than you think, about 6 to ten times slower than adult brain processing. Tell the story, and watch the baby. Follow their emotions.
Primitive reflexes can bring connected movement back into the nervous system.
Know the Baby Movements
This helps with recovery since development is a body mind experience.
Digesting Trauma Takes Time and Skilled Guidance
Somatic Attachment and Psychotherapy methods help heal the earliest difficulties. Body based therapies can disrupt healthy protective mechanisms unless the therapist really knows what they are doing. The Brook Institute offers such skills.
The video link below shows an adults journey to recover from extreme childhood experience. See this generous and skillful video about Dissociative Disorder created by clinician Emily Snow. In it Dr. Annie Brook, Dr. Bob Scaer, Dr. Arielle Schwartz, and others address early trauma repair. http://vimeo.com/72778673
Annie Brook is a psychotherapist, an infant developmental movement specialist, and a registered movement educator (ISMETA). She and her team of therapists help people repair trauma through bodymind re-patterning. The Brook Institute invites child and adult clients to explore the developmental brain and bring new life into the bodymind to remind us that we are alive and well. See Dr. Brook’s book Birth’s Hidden Legacy, as well as her earlier book, From Conception to Crawling, a foundation for Developmental Movement Re-Patterning.