Living with the devastating effects of perinatal trauma, Tokophobia or traumatic grief can be unbearable. Flashbacks, hypervigilience, anxiety, nightmares, anger, guilt are just a few symptoms and trauma & PTSD that often go un-recognised, undiagnosed or wrongly treated. This is why I set up Birth Trauma Scotland.
As a midwife and therapist I have seen, worked with and supported many mother’s, birth partners and health care professional who have experienced perinatal trauma. Sadly this experience is all to common, under recognised and the effects often devastating. I am truly passionate about raising awareness and treating birth and perinatal trauma.
If you have been through or witnessed a traumatic birth or perinatal event and do not know where to turn, please get in touch as I offer a fast, effective and safe solution to birth trauma.
Sadly around 7% of women are diagnosed with PTSD after childbirth. However, it is believed that a further 20 – 25% of women have symptoms that go undiagnosed, particularly if they don’t meet the full criteria for PTSD and women are mistakenly diagnosed as having Postnatal depression. Birth trauma can not only cause Postnatal depression, it can effect bonding with your baby, your relationships with your family members and cause anxiety. Father’s, birth partners and health care professionals including midwives and Obstetricians can experience birth trauma too after witnessing a traumatic birth. Whilst this is less common the effects are the same.
‘For the two years after Odhran’s birth, the trauma was so consuming, and I looking back it took over more than I realised at the time.
Those few one-to-one sessions with you helped me find me again and allowed me to live. It allowed me to get some distance between his birth and, for the first time, allowed me to enjoy him and being his mum. Being booked in for an elective, I made the mistake of completely focusing on this and never even contemplated going into labour. So when the signs of labour started at 33+5 I was terrified! However, we were both able to use many of the tools we had learnt from you, and this ultimately meant I pushed my own baby out! Something I thought I would never do. We spent 2 weeks in SCBU, which felt like a lifetime when we were in the middle of it but I certainly learnt a lot. I know that this journey would have
been very different and a lot more difficult without the support and tools from you.
For the first time in a long while I feel happy and looking forward to the future…a million miles away from where I was this time last year. I will forever be thankful to you for pulling me out that dark hole ♥️
Love, Ashleigh xxx
If you feel you have perinatal trauma, Tokophobia or traumatic grief please
I combine my training as a ‘Birth Trauma Resolution Therapist & Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with years of experience as a NLP practitioner, Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner and midwife to offer an effective, and fast therapy which aims to set women, birth partners and midwives free of birth trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). My specialist training is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives and Human Givens Institute of psychotherapy. An average of 3 sessions is normally all that is needed to easily release the trauma so you can move on with your life free from trauma. This process activates the natural ability of a persons brain to heal by using deep relaxation, guided use of their memory and of their imagination.
In my career as a midwife I have worked with people who have suffered trauma and PTSD from other associated events such as fertility treatment, miscarriage, traumatic scans during pregnancy, having a baby with reflux or the postnatal experience of repeated sleep deprivation. I also have a lot of experience of working with people with Tokophobia, Vaginismus, as well as supporting families who have tragically lost a baby.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BIRTH TRAUMA AND PTSD (MIND.ORG.UK)
|Re-living aspects of the trauma||
|Alertness or feeling on edge||
|Avoiding feelings or memories||
“I am feeling fab. Thank you so much. James commented how I even look different…like all the tension has gone.
I went to toddler group on Thursday and people were chatting about their births and I just sat and listened and didn’t actually have a desire to share my experience because it’s not really part of me anymore. Does that make sense? I didn’t feel a need to go in to it and everyone was happy to just chat about themselves so it probably went unnoticed. And for the first time , I noticed, there’s other people who just sit and calmly listen too.
I also feel so excited about this upcoming birth.
I really can’t quite believe how one session has done what it has. I had high hopes but you have more than exceeded them! Thank you so much.
I feel like I’ve been freed of all the torture of Alex’s birth (and the run up to the day).
I am not sure if I’m reading too much into it … but … I just feel calmer. Quietly happier (and more confident). It’s a great thing you are doing.”
During the months after the birth of my second son I started suffering terrible mental and physical anxiety. My doctor prescribed me antidepressants but I wanted to get to the root of it and was looking for a long term solution. Initially I didn’t think my anxiety was related to my births but as soon as I spoke to Gemma I realised it was all very much connected. Gemma was very good at helping me clarify what my real issues were.
The day of my session I felt a bit nervous as I wasn’t sure what to expect but Gemma immediately made me feel calm and in a safe environment; she is incredibly friendly and professional. As we started to explore my births and current health I felt at ease and ended up unravelling other past times that have been a cause of my anxiety. We went through a lovely relaxation hypnosis exercise and I could really feel my body starting to let go and relax. When working through some of the more difficult issues I felt very emotional but always comfortable and in control. At the end of the session I felt a great sense of calm and relief.
Gemma gave me lots of helpful tools to use so I am more confident coping with some of life’s more testing times. A real weight has been lifted. I saw and felt improvements quickly. It has helped me reach a more balanced state of mind definitely, and an amazing mind, body and soul awareness. I can’t thank Gemma enough, I highly recommend her for anyone. It really reached into all areas.”
The sessions were hugely beneficial to my emotional health and wellbeing. Gemma really helped me to understand the symptoms and reasons for my PTSD. She helped me feel relaxed and comfortable to share my experience. I could not believe the difference I felt after 2 sessions. Prior to this I could not think ahead to a positive birthing experience with my baby as I would get stuck reliving my past experience. Just a huge thank you! I thought this was something I would have to manage and get used to. I didn’t even realise the extent to which my PTSD had filtered into parts of my life. I cannot believe the difference and I feel so grateful that I will approach my second birth in a much calmer, more positive frame of mind, which would not have been possible otherwise. This will not only help me but also my baby, at a very special time. Thank you! I really hope you are able to expand and help many more women.
“I can’t quite believe how different I felt after just one session. Prior to speaking to Gemma I felt sad, teary and even a bit angry when I thought about what happened during the birth, it felt incredibly unfair that I had such a tough birth experience and I couldn’t talk or think about it without getting extremely upset. I was also terrified even thinking about the possibility of having another baby way down the line, but I hadn’t realised just how anxious I had been constantly feeling until after my session. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted, I feel back to my normal self and can look back on the birth without any real negative emotions, instead I can just think about it as the day I got to meet my wonderful little baby. I can acknowledge that it was tough and completely rubbish that it went the way it did, but those feelings of anger and sadness no longer tarnish the memory of the birth of my wee girl. What’s more I no longer feel scared about maybe having to go through another birth, instead I feel like I can look back and use the experience to help me be prepared in the future. It seems almost miraculous that just one session can help so much!
Gemma was brilliant, she scheduled a follow-up session to check how it had helped so I really felt looked after. The whole experience has been amazing, such a feeling of relief!”
I loved that I felt I could be completely honest about my thoughts and feelings and get a straight, unbiased yet compassionate and honest response back. We would like to say thank you for giving us the chance to meet with you again as it helped us both greatly in grieving for Lola’s death. It’s hard to put down in words at how lucky and grateful we are to have taken part in your workshop as we have no doubt that it has influenced our ability to grieve for Lola and allowed us to express the joy she has given us in both past, present and future.