How to support a healing birth after a traumatic one

better birth birth trauma birth trauma recovery tbr 3 step rewind traumatic birth Sep 21, 2022

Being pregnant again after a traumatic birth is for many parents an anxious time.

It might also be the first time that they have experienced trauma symptoms, even though their birth may have been years ago.

Often parents recover well after a difficult or traumatic birth experience, busy themselves with caring for a newborn, bond and grow with their babies and with that the memory of their ‘bad birth’ fades.

When pregnant again many parents are surprised to discover a rising anxiety that builds steadily with each day of pregnancy. Growing in irritability around their partner and children, feeling overwhelmed, avoiding conversations about birth, feeling panicked at antenatal appointments, constantly ruminating about their last birth and having nightmares about the last time are all common trauma symptoms that are inflicted on parents facing birth again after a traumatic experience.

Eventually, and usually between weeks 30 and week 39, these trauma symptoms become intolerable and this is usually when parents get in touch with a TBR Practitioner for support.

TBR 3 Step Rewind is a great tool to have in these situations because:

  • It’s quick (which is essential at week 39 of pregnancy)
  • It’s gentle (clients aren’t required to sit with painful emotions for lengthy periods)
  • It’s effective (which is why it is always increasing in popularity)

The best thing is that TBR 3 Step Rewind creates space for new thoughts, feelings and responses to be experienced and this is particularly important when planning for a better birth experience next time.

This newly created space can then be filled with parents desired, healing birth. The new feelings, thoughts and behaviours that support this can pour into this space creating a future blueprint for their success.

Without this space making process the brain is hardwired to experience birth as another fearful event and the chances are very high that it will be.

However, creating space is just the first part of the process. Really for a healing second birth to happen parents need the full and cooperative support of their care providers.

It is only HCP who can sign off personalised birth plans that avoid an individual’s personal triggers being ignited a second time. It’s only HCP who can make sure sensitive, trauma informed care is provided to parents.

The support of a birth doula can be invaluable in the quest for a healing, better birth experience. Doulas can provide comfort (both emotional and physical), advocate, protect the birth space with a calm and confident energy and help parents feel safe and secure.

This is why I am so passionate about HCP and doulas working together to support parents who have been traumatised.

If you haven’t yet signed up for next week’s Masterclass: How to safely support traumatised parents in your care, there is still time.

Happening on Tuesday 27th September at 7pm BST, this 90 minutes masterclass will be covering:

  • The 5 easy steps that ensure you can listen safely and effectively to traumatised parents stories. 
  • How avoid re- traumatising parents in your care.
  • The one thing you can do now to make any perinatal service trauma informed and safe.

All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance on request.

All attendees will receive a pdf download of the '5 steps to listen safely'.

I hope to see you there! Alex.