I really want to tell you all about this exciting technique I recently discovered for relieving birth trauma, It’s called the MAM 3 Step Rewind Technique and I am just about to finish the training.
When I started working as a Doula I quickly realised that I was working with families who had experienced a traumatic birth experience the first time, and now were seeking the support of a Doula to support them through their second pregnancy and birth. It seemed to me that simply listening to them debrief their story was not enough to release such traumatic experiences, and I felt fearful that I could even re-traumatise them by getting them to relive that experience.
I really felt that I should be able to offer them something more. So I started to research the treatment of birth trauma and discovered this technique. And now I have done a case study I can honestly say I am blown away by the results! It really is so simple and dramatically effective. I could become quite evangelical about it!
It consists of three sessions.
The first is important pre work. We sit and chat and get to know each other, and talk a little about your experience, how you feel, how it effects your life currently and how you would like to be and feel in the future. It’s important to emphasise that you don’t actually have to tell me details of what happened if it is too upsetting for you, but you do need to give me sense of how you feel about it.
The second session is the rewind. We recap on the first session. Then I guide you into a deep relaxation, this is another essential part of the technique, we can even practice this before hand if relaxation doesn’t come easily to you. I then guide you through a visualisation to “rewind” your memory of the event. This has the effect of disentangling your memory with the negative emotions attached to it. You can then in the future remember your birth without feeling the negative emotions.
In the third session we recap and I make sure the technique has worked. It might be that other things have come up and more work needs to be done. But hopefully you will find that you can now remember your birth without the negative emotions.
Many people could benefit!
The great thing about this technique is that is can be adapted for any kind of trauma. It has been used with soldiers, assault survivors and cancer patients. So I am open to working with anyone who feels them could benefit. You do not have to be diagnosed with PTSD in order to benefit. Anyone who has experienced trauma and has had negative emotions or symptoms such as flashbacks, insomnia, night mares or panic attack’s could benefit.
Please contact me if you would like to try this technique. It is possible to do this via Skype if you are not local. I will be offering a 20% discount to the first five people who enquire.
It’s a skill. Honestly. Doula’s are really good at looking like we aren’t doing much, while actually doing a lot.
Us brits love it, it’s an institution and not to be messed with. I’m not really particularly patriotic about most things. But I do love tea. I love builders (hot and dark) in the morning, green at lunchtime and herbal thereafter.
But it’s not about just a drink.
It is therapy.
In tea drinking nations, it’s a cornerstone of hospitality. In Arab countries glasses or sweet minty tea appear as soon as you are greeted, this sweet beverage is brilliant if you are dehydrated. It can literally be lifesaving.
In the UK we are famous for offering tea as a solution to emotional and physical upset.
“Lets sit and have a nice cuppa and you can tell me all about it”.
“You’ll feel better after a brew”
We know it’s not just about the drink. It’s also about companionship and also listening. In a country where we aren’t known for our emotional openness, tea sometimes cracks open that shell. Sharing tea gives us permission to share ourselves.
It puts people at ease.
When I enter a woman’s birthing space, I always offer to make tea for everyone else who is there. It might have been a while since anyone had a drink. By offering I am showing that I am in service, that I am open to building connection with everyone who is sharing this moment with the parents.
It is soothing.
After the birth the new parents are practically required to drink tea and eat toast or biscuits. It helps to bring us all back to earth after the journey. In my own experience of birth I didn’t feel comfortable afterwards, until I had a bath and a cuppa.
It is reassuring.
Lastly I wanted to share this little story, which for me demonstrates the power of simple acts. That being present, and being in service to others, is really all we as Doulas often need to do.
“I remember lying there, coming round and not really wanting to open my eyes because I was really tired and my throat hurt. But I knew I had a baby and there was some concern about him, so I forced my eyes open and looked across the room. It was really hazy, but I saw the medical team, you and my husband drinking tea and I thought ‘well that’s ok then, they wouldn’t be doing that if the baby wasn’t alright.’ And I closed my eyes again.” (Permission to share)
“That’s a very honest answer…. erm what EXACTLY do you deal in?”
“Is that a bit like a hippy midwife?”
“Oh great, I need someone to make me a ring”
All the above are genuine responses to my answer when people ask me what I do. No I’m not a art/drug dealer, or a jeweller (although I used to be) and I’m definitely NOT a midwife!
So what DOES a Doula do?!
A doula is someone who supports a family during the childbearing year. Usually either as a birth companion, or postnatally. Some of the things we do are listed here.
Provide information (Signposting)
Help writing birth plans
Physical touch (massage)
Someone to trust
Support for partner
Practical things (shopping, drive to hospital, child care, cooking.)
Intelligent tea drinking (I think that one deserves a blog post all to itself!)
HOLD THE SPACE!
Not a Midwife.
The roles of Midwife and Doula may on the surface seem similar in some ways, and midwives might do some of the things listed above. But there are very distinct and important differences too.
Here are some things that Midwives do that doula definitely don’t.
Anything medical, whether diagnostic or treatment based.
Give advice or make recommendations.
Why do I need a birth doula?
Well maybe you don’t! Not everybody will feel the need to have a doula. But for some people having a calm and confident person they know at their birth is really what they need.
Continuity of care is another concern for some. Unless you are fortunate enough to have an Independent Midwife, then your NHS midwife will have a shift pattern. No one can guarantee who will be on shift when you go into labour, and the chance are that that shift will end while you are in labour. Hiring a birth doula mean you know that there will be one familiar face regardless.
What about postnatal doulas?
In a ideal world every new parent would get all the help she needs from the people around her. In many cultures it is normal for a mother or mother-in-law to move in with the new family to support them as they begin their new lives together. This isn’t the norm in our culture, and you may not want your mother around so much! A doula can offer the kind of practical support a family need as they adjust. Things that a postnatal doula might offer are.
Nurturing the mother
Taking care of older children
More intelligent tea drinking!
Practical guidance on baby care
I really think we place too much emphasis on “getting back to normal” when a new baby is born. As someone who has just gone through pregnancy and birth, you will go through a massive transformation. This should not be taken lightly. I believe it is important to spend time with your newborn, to bond and establish breastfeeding, to recover from birth. There is no rush! A postnatal doula can offer you the opportunity to take that time. Unlike a maternity nurse or nanny, a doula would not be taking care of your baby for you. But empowering you to do so yourself.
If you are thinking of hiring a doula, then doulaUK is a great place to start.
I have been using a reusable menstrual products for about 10 years. It is really a life changer for those of us who have periods. I love my mooncup!
I have always hated using tampons and pads. They are wasteful both financially and environmentally. Tampons are also a health hazard. The risks of TSS are well documented. A lot of tampons also contain many chemicals. The potential for harm is uncertain. Anecdotally many people who use tampons and then stop, report that their bleeds are less painful and lighter than when using a tampon.
When I first heard of the mooncup I thought it sounded too good to be true, and I was astonished to learn that menstrual cups have been around since the 1930’s. I honestly don’t know why they haven’t caught on before. Well this is one of those times I put on my tin hat. Obviously it’s more financially viable to sell disposable products that make you bleed more, than to sell a reusable product than only needs to be replaced every 10 years or so. The corporations who make disposables have a massive marketing budget. I think also many of us are disconnected from our bodily functions, there is a lot of shame and disgust around menstruation.
Other reusable menstrual products
Since I started using my mooncup there are now many different brands of cups available. I haven’t tried any other although I do have a spare which is a different brand.
There are also other reusable products to consider. I have now also got some CSP (cloth sanitary pads). There I made myself for postpartum use. There are many different brands available. I made my own because it was an extremely easy sewing project. It is also possible to tailor them to my individual requirements. I found them to be so comfortable compared with a disposable pad. The cotton top layer just feels like the fabric of your underwear, so you barely notice you are wearing it.
There are also natural sponges and reusable tampons you can try. A friend of mine swears by her “Jam Sponge”.
Where can I get hold of reusable mestrual products?
If you would like to try a mooncup you can buy one through my affiliate link on the sidebar and I get a little commission! You can buy other cups, pads and sponges online.