We fully appreciate that there are lots of Mums out there who have not been as fortunate as us in having access to a ‘support group counselling’ and ‘medication appropriate to PTSD’. However, we hope that in sharing some of the coping mechanisms we have learnt and used we can offer some help/support.
Making it easy for you…
Besides the following info (further below),
we plan to make some Downloadable Documents available here.
From simple check-lists to habit ideas,
so you may magnetise them to your Fridge
(or place them somewhere prominent)
serving as a reference point to help you on a daily basis.
Acceptance that the event did happen
This may seem like common sense but an acceptance that this did happen, that it was awful, that it has had and will have a huge impact on your life is a first step. By accepting it you recognise that you do need help. In the first 4 months of my daughters life I did not accept how bad it had been(hysterectomy, prem birth, stay in ITU). I thought I should just cope, get on with it, have some anti depressants and all would be fine. However, when I continued to have flashbacks, nightmares, feeling of dread I realised just how awful it had actually been and that I needed help.
Seek Medical Advice and Support
I went back to my consultant and asked for counselling.Yes, I was lucky and was referred to a team secifically set up for trauma. But you can seek help from your G.P., Midwife or Health Visitor.
Explain the symptoms you are experiencing in detail. Ask for counselling and appropriate medication. Refer them to this site as we accept that some medical professionals are still unsure/unaware of PTSD especially related to Birth Trauma.
Counselling/Talking about the event
When I was first referred my consultant psychologist advised me that I needed to ‘habitulaise’ the event… that is, talk about it so much that my brain would become’bored’ of the trauma. We again accept that this is not always easy but it is important to discuss the event with your partner/family/friends/counsellor/G.P. etc.
This is a tricky area as we are by no means health professionals. However, we all take medication appropriate to treat PTSD which helps alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, panic etc. We would again advise that you seek help from your G.P about this.
Talking to fellow Mums
After my Son’s traumatic birth I remember asking my Consultant if I could talk to someone who had been through the same as me. He told me there was no-one as the complications I had were so rare.
I desperately trawled the Internet trying to find someone who could fully understood how it felt… a fellow ‘birth trauma’ Mum. This is why we felt so strongly about setting up this site so that you CAN find women who’ve been through what you have and share experiences and feelings!
In our group we feel it’s the only ‘safe’ place where we can be totally honest about our feelings and not have to explain them… because we all understand how it feels to not have the birth you wanted!
Survival Kit Bag
This was a great ‘tool’ suggested to us by the fab Consultant Psychologist who attends some of our sessions.
Basically, you keep a small bag with you that contains things like a packet of mints, a facial spray, a CD of music… anything appropriate to you that would help you take your mind of the trauma. So that when you do have disturbed thoughts related to what’s happened you can spray your face, suck a strong mint, play some soothing music.
This probably sounds a bit simplistic but it does work. I sometimes keep a hairband on my wrist and flick it when I feel particularly upset… it takes my mind off the difficult thoughts.
Other resources – Shortcuts for you.
Whilst we are not qualified medically, we can signpost you to a few resources that YOU may find helpful or interesting at the least.
Signposting in itself allows us to share resources that we’ve jointly stumbled upon during our mission to heal from Post Traumatic Trauma’s such as Birth Related PTSD etc.
So, in no particular order…
E.F.T. Emotional freedom Techniques (‘Tapping’ being one of the most popular).
As Wikipedia explains:
“a form of counseling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine, including Acupuncture, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Energy Medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. During an EFT session, the client will focus on a specific issue while tapping on so-called “end points of the body’s energy meridians”