How babies experience birth
It all starts here, we are led to believe that babies only have physical needs and babies who have emotional needs or require comfort and attention are ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’.
For some babies the transition from womb to world can be quite distressing, all they have ever known is the safety and confinement of the womb where the temperature was constant, there was no hunger or thirst, no smell, no bright lights and any noises were muffled.
If you take a moment and imagine……..
You’re in a bed, the mattress moulds to your body perfectly and the sheets feel like silk. Everything feels familiar and safe, the temperature is just to your liking, you are peaceful and content, having a lovely relaxing dream and there is no where you would rather be.
Suddenly you are woken up abruptly, there are bright lights, lots of unfamiliar voices, you feel really disorientated and you don’t know where you are. Next you’re dragged out of bed, it’s cold, you’re naked and suddenly you are being rubbed down with a towel that feels like sandpaper. You can’t focus on anything, there are all these unfamiliar sounds and smells, next you are cold again and feel another strange texture against your skin as you are placed on the scales, its hard and cold. Then you feel a sharp prick as you are given an injection, you open your mouth and this noise comes out, you’ve never experienced this before, you’re searching something familiar, something to reassure you that everything is okay, then finally you are placed in the arms of your mother, you recognise the heartbeat and begin to feel safe again.
Welcome to the world!
This is what a straight forward birth might look like, so imagine how a baby may feel if there are complications or interventions? It’s a sensitive subject that is rarely talked about for fear of upsetting mums, trust me that’s the last thing I want to do, however, if it’s not discussed parents aren’t aware that some babies find birth traumatic and it is very difficult to know which babies are effected. When I met the authors of ‘Therapy with infants, Treating a traumatised child’ I asked the question ‘can two babies have the same or similar birth experience, one be traumatised and one not?’ the answer was ‘Yes’, some babies are genetically predisposed to find some experiences more distressing than others so it’s may be something to consider if you think your baby may have been affected by their birth.