Birth Reflection Service

Introduction

The experience or perception of birth is a unique, natural and personal journey. It is not defined by style or type of birth.

Some women (or partners) may require a reflective discussion of events surrounding labour and birth which can help bring some clarity, understanding and hopefully resolve any unanswered questions.

Symptoms which may suggest that the birth reflection service might help:

Reliving aspects of the birth
• Flashbacks around birth experience
• Intrusive thoughts or images
• Nightmares
• Feeling anxious or panicky when you think of the birth
• An increase in physical symptoms like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and migraines

Avoiding feelings or memories
• Avoiding thinking of the birth because it is too distressing
• Avoiding activities, places or people that remind you of the birth
• If you find it difficult to remember important aspects of the birth
• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Disconnection from family and friends
• Unable to express loving feelings towards your child, family or friends
• No hopes or positive thoughts about the future

Alertness or feeling on edge
• Difficulty falling and staying asleep
• Feeling irritable and experiencing anger outbursts
• Finding it difficult to concentrate
• Constantly watching for danger
• Constantly feeling jumpy
• Self-destructive behaviour or recklessness

At Russells Hall Hospital Maternity Unit, we hold a birth reflection clinic for antenatal and postnatal women who are currently dealing with these symptoms.

Our specifically training midwife will:
• Listen to your unique birth experience in a sympathetic and non-judgemental way
• Teach you breathing techniques to help you relax and reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic
• Offer you a personalised guided visualisation/relaxation download to listen to after the session
• Dissolve the strong negative emotions attached to the memory of your birth, so that you can remember your birth without experiencing feelings of anxiety and panic
• Help build your confidence after the trauma
• Help you rebuild relationships and get your life back on track

If you or another professional feel you require birth reflection, please telephone 01384 244358 and request a birth reflection appointment.

The birth reflection midwife will return your call and discuss whether the service will be suitable for you.

We recommend that this appointment is at least four weeks post birth, or any time in the antenatal period of a following pregnancy.