A Call for Compassionate and Safe Maternity Care

birth trauma fear hypnobirthing rewind May 24, 2024
Concerned pregnant woman

The recent Birth Trauma Inquiry, shows that a significant overhaul is urgently needed in the UK's maternity and postnatal care system. The inquiry, which gathered harrowing testimonies from over 1,300 women, highlighted a disturbing pattern of poor care being accepted as normal. This cannot continue.

The Inquiry Findings: A National Wake-Up Call

The inquiry revealed distressing stories of women being left in blood-soaked sheets, experiencing medical negligence, and enduring physical and mental traumas. Women reported not being listened to, mocked, or denied basic needs such as pain relief during their most vulnerable moments. Such experiences are not isolated incidents but reflect systemic issues in our maternity care. 

The inquiry's recommendations, including appointing a maternity commissioner and ensuring safe staffing levels, are crucial steps towards change. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins and NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard have both acknowledged the need for substantial improvements, with Pritchard stating that the current state of care is "simply not good enough."

The Impact of Birth Trauma

It is estimated that 30,000 women in the UK suffer negative birth experiences annually, with one in 20 developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychological and physical toll of these experiences cannot be understated. Women from marginalised groups, particularly ethnic minorities, face additional challenges, including direct and indirect racism, further compounding their trauma. 

As someone who has dedicated over 15 years to hypnotherapy and mindfulness in childbirth, and having experienced trauma for my first birth,  I understand the profound impact that a traumatic birth can have on a woman's life. Birth trauma not only affects the mother but also ripples through families and communities, leaving lasting scars.

Supporting Pregnant Women Triggered by the Report

I understand that reading about the Birth Trauma Inquiry may be triggering for many pregnant women and birthing people, heightening fears and anxieties about childbirth. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, know that support is available. Mindful Hypnobirthing is a highly effective programme designed to address these fears and anxieties, helping you feel more in control and reducing the risk of interventions during childbirth.

Did you know that evidence shows actively preparing for your birth leads to better birth experiences than if you "go with the flow" or are feeling anxious?

A good hypnobirthing course isn't just about relaxation and positive imagery, creating a spa like space and stringing up some fairy lights.  It should teach you incredible mindset tools that help you reduce fear and anxiety which in turn help manage pain. Perhaps more importantly it helps you and your partner to robustly advocate for you and your baby with a clear head. We should be able to put our trust in the system, in those that are caring for us, but this is not always the case. And this needs to change. 

We know that asking questions leads to better health outcomes and I want to see more women equipped with the skills to ask confidently whether the interventions they are offered are appropriate for their situation.  

A Path to Healing: The Rewind Technique

If you have experienced birth trauma, know that you are not alone and that healing is possible. The evidence-based Rewind Technique offers a gentle yet effective approach to processing and alleviating the distress associated with traumatic memories. This technique involves deep relaxation and guided imagery to help reframe and reduce the emotional impact of traumatic experiences.

Through my practice, I have seen women regain their sense of self and recover positive memories of their birth which were previously lost within the trauma. My approach is grounded in compassion, evidence-based techniques, and a deep commitment to supporting women's mental and emotional well-being.

Take the First Step Towards Healing

I urge anyone who has suffered from birth trauma to reach out. Whether you need to talk, seek therapy, or explore techniques like the Rewind Technique, support is available. Let's work together to transform pain into empowerment and create a future where compassionate, respectful maternity care is the norm, not the exception.

Visit my website to book a clarity call and learn more about how I can support you.


Further information:

Inquiry into Traumatic Childbirths: Findings and Recommendations. 

BBC News Coverage on the Birth Trauma Inquiry.

How Rewind Therapy can help people with PTSD


If you are interested in the audio tracks check them out here

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