Mental Health for the Unborn
Childbirth and labour - it’s a much over-looked area when it comes to mental health. And most of us aren’t aware that the experiences in and out of the womb are the very first step in creating strong emotional resilience in life.
Childbirth in the western world is often traumatic - experienced as a long process, with noise, bright lights, pain, fear, screaming. When a baby is in the womb or being born, they are completely tuned into their mother’s emotions. In fact, they don’t have the ability to see themselves as a separate being until they are 7 months' old. During this period, the mother’s feelings are their feelings and this can often include the impact of post-natal depression.
A baby is an energetic being - completely feelings based. Your experiences are their experiences, and your thoughts and emotions dictate their "Feelings Blueprint" - which is what they automatically and unconsciously refer to and act upon as they go through life.
We all have basic needs and for a baby, they must feel connected and attuned to their parents in order to have a secure feeling of love and know they will survive. However, when their first experience on this planet is from a traumatic birth, they may interpret the following imprints:
- I cause pain, therefore I’m not good enough or lovable enough.
- I don’t feel welcome in this world, I hurt those who love me.
- People felt fear because of me; I’m not worthy.
- I wasn’t held and I didn't bond with anyone, nobody loves me.
- I caused pain and chaos; everyone hates me.
- I created problems when I arrived into the world; I don’t fit in.
So, What Happens?
As we know, these sorts of issues lead to addictions, emotional issues, an inability to be alone or depression, to name a few.
Babies sense everything and, at this stage of life, they are unable to interpret events for what they are and therefore take on the energy that it’s their fault. As energetic beings, they absorb everything around them and download those experiences into their hard wiring. They can completely sense the energy of all the conversations around them and can take that information and turn it on themselves.
- If you’ve given birth and feel lonely, you’re teaching them to be lonely.
- If your childbirth is painful, you’re teaching them that it’s painful too and that they are faulty, somehow.
- If a family member makes a comment about how your child looks, they sense if it’s positive or not.
- If you are too tired to hold and bond with your baby, you’re teaching them that they don’t matter and therefore they don’t feel lovable.
It’s essential that we reframe childbirth so that we can meet a child’s essential primitive needs - setting them up with the right foundation in life. Feeling loved, welcomed and safe is absolutely vital. Because, how can you expect your baby to be truly welcomed into the world and receive their first and most important bonding experience when you’re knackered, exhausted and just want to sleep?
Why is Safety So Important?
Often, we feel like now the baby is here, your job is done. But the baby is next to you in their hospital cot, remaining separate from you and not bonded to you because the umbilical cord was cut straight away. Primitively, we would have let the umbilical cord naturally fall away so that the baby feels connected and safe enough to integrate with its new world. The absence of the cord reduces the baby's ability to feel grounded and safe. Again, we are removing a vital, stabilising and safety-based primitive need.
What we do is take those babies away and hand them to doctors and nurses, and then they can’t identify with who they are and miss the bonding experience needed with their primary care giver. The mother-child bond CANNOT be replaced and its absence can lead to behavioural issues as the child develops. And we wonder why the child is like that.
These experiences can compromise your baby’s nervous system and trigger the fight or flight response. Then, we have children stuck in ‘freeze’ mode who may cry a lot, not sleep or have developmental delay. On the other hand, a child in flight mode might become anxious, depressed, nervous, shy or hyperactive. We all know adults who display these symptoms, often going down a chemical drugs-based route to assist them in fixing whatever their problem is, which only masks the emotional and physiological issues.
What Can You Do About It?
If we flip it around...what if you knew that we are only taught that childbirth is a painful, long and arduous experience? What if you realised that you didn't have to believe what others believe in, and that you can have a completely natural birth? Because, these incorrect ‘teachings’ from generations before us and society at large cause us to rely on non-natural interventions to deliver a baby. Yet no other being on earth requires this level of support for a natural experience. We’ve simply lost our way by teaching an incorrect programme that childbirth has to be painful. It doesn't! We’ve simply over-complicated and "lost" the natural intelligence of the body.
Reclaim your inner ‘knowing’ and reactivate the natural ability of your body to give birth with beauty, peace and ease. What a perfect gift to give your child and save them all that suffering later on in life.