Pregnancy and birth can be a particularly evocative time, where we re-examine our relationships with ourselves and those around us. Perhaps we had a difficult time growing up, and wish to avoid the mistakes of our caregivers, or perhaps we are struggling with the changes taking place in our bodies. Perhaps we are not sure why we are uneasy, but would like to talk it through nonetheless.
Planning for birth can be both exciting and anxiety producing as you envision your labour. It can be useful to talk your birth plan through with a skilled professional, particularly if you are have had a traumatic birth previously or other traumas that you fear might impact how you respond to the process of giving birth.
After the birth, there will often be a real sense of upheaval as the constellation of both your immediate and wider family shifts to include this tiny, new being. Expectations of all those involved, particularly when combined with intense sleep deprivation for the parents and the intensity of caring for a newborn, can feel very difficult to manage.
It may be that you would like to come and see me for one, two or three sessions to speak through your immediate feeling about labour and birth, or you would prefer to come and speak to someone on a slightly longer term basis for support throughout.
Either is fine; I am happy to talk you through your feelings, and together hopefully we can process and work through whatever you are dealing with in relation to your pregnancy and birth.
Services for sexual assault survivors
Pregnancy and birth can be a particularly tricky time for sexual assault survivors. The changes happening in your body during pregnancy can make you feel quite out of control, and you might also worry about how you will respond to the experience of giving birth.
You are very welcome to come and see me for one or two sessions to talk through your fears and feelings around the birth (although obviously we can extend if you are finding the sessions valuable). Often just talking about them diminishes their power, but we can also plan for ways to increase your sense of autonomy and control and how you might respond if trauma is triggered during the process of birthing your baby.
For more information and other organisations, please see the below links:
(Before you click, please note that some of the material might be triggering and difficult to read. Do take care of yourself, and if you feel like you need to talk to someone you can call Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm every day of the year)
The My Body Back Project: they run a variety of services for sexual assault survivors, one of which is a maternity clinic for victims of sexual assault.
The AnyBody Motherhood blog: three women’s stories about the process of pregnancy and birth in relation to their bodies, the second two of the three stories are written by survivors of sexual assault.