I completed a workshop in Matrix Birth Reimprinting with Sharon King in October 2010 in Cork, Ireland. How we develop in utero and beyond matters. Our developing brains form and grow through our relationship with others and our environment, so the healthier they are, the better for us. Matrix uses EFT to resolve trauma relating to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. How a woman is looked after and respected during pregnancy, birth and afterwards, or not as the case may be, has a huge impact on her and her baby.
I am passionate about the subject of trauma, and birth trauma in particular has come to mean a lot to me since I had my son in 2012 by emergency caesarean. I was also bullied and coerced by some staff towards the end of my pregnancy, which was extremely traumatic. This treatment was allowed because of the 8th amendment which denied pregnant women agency over their own body. But it is also because there is an endemic culture of bullying and a ‘put up and shut up’ atttitude here in Ireland. If you speak up, you are punished. Thankfully the 8th amendment is now gone from the Irish constitution as of May 2018.
Trauma repeats on an individual, collective and intergenerational level when it is unresolved; what Freud called ‘repetition compulsion’. As psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk says, trauma is one of the biggest public health issues in the world (if not the biggest), but not everyone is treating it as such. Trauma is not always recognised as trauma, so it goes untreated and unhealed. We see the effects of unresolved trauma in wars, violence, addiction, chronic health issues and so on.
There is a saying that time heals all wounds, but if that were the case: all our wounds would heal with time, and the fact is they do not or we would all be happy and living well. The issue of time passing with nothing changing is often used to shame people. The old attitude of “Are you not over it yet?” is still very prevalent. Unresolved trauma stays in our nervous system for a lifetime, and the next lifetime, causing havoc, until we learn to heal it.
What I do know is that birth practices need to change the world over. Too many health care providers are flying in the face of best practice and research by abusing, bullying, coercing and forcing women into interventions during pregnancy and birth. We can do so much better than what is currently accepted as adequate.