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A very traumatic birth experience was at the root of this woman

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

When discussing traumatic birth experiences, we usually think of the effect on the child. By contrast, Gillian Wightman from Scotland helps a mother through her many difficulties emanating from this experience.

Hugs, Gary

By Gillian Wightman EFT-ADV


Alison made an appointment with me, as she was interested in trying EFT for physical and mental exhaustion and symptoms which sounded like candida or food intolerance.  She was very open to the idea that even if she did have candida there might be an emotional reason behind it.  However she had no real idea what it could be as she was sure nothing really had happened to her.

On thinking about it she realised that her symptoms started and her confidence waned after her son's very difficult birth (after which the medical people took him away for awhile).  Having had two pretty traumatic deliveries myself I am familiar with the negative effects on a woman's confidence, self-esteem and health.  She said that nearly every woman goes through labour so it’s something she just had to accept and get on with it. 

However she was very distraught at this point so it was clear she had not accepted it even if she believed she should have.  I let her speak at first and we picked up on some things quite quickly.

Even though they took him away from me...

Even though it was so unfair, I wish it had never happened....

She felt calmer but was now worried about the effect on her son. She realised he was also reluctant to leave her and seemed angry.  I suggested she be conscious of her son’s feelings during this process as he could also benefit from the work she did about the circumstances of his birth.

We tapped for her worries about her son and a swirly feeling in her chest calmed down.

Even though it felt so out of control, I just wanted to hold onto him, I didn't want to let him go, evil people took him away, wanted to stick needles into him, I wanted to just cuddle him and feed him, I didn't believe they knew better but still I let them take him away...

The reminder phrase was 'I had no control' but as she tapped it changed to 'I have no control'.

I asked her to gauge how true “I have no control” felt and she gave it a 5 on a scale of 0 to 10, and then said, “In the middle, mediocre, just like me!”  She also realised that she avoided situations where she can't be heard or understood for what she believed in.

I asked her what this reminded her of and she said it was definitely the case at her son's birth.  She had felt so unsafe, unheard and misunderstood.  She had a Doula (independent midwife) and had planned a home birth but her baby was breech and the UK healthcare system was very opposed to the idea.  Everything they wanted was against what she wanted.

At this point her intensity peaked so I asked her what she was feeling and she wanted to shout out, “Let me be me!  Let me do this my way!  Trust me!”  So we tapped on that.

She carried on with the story, in a calm quiet voice.  She gave into the pressure, there was so much and she wanted a water birth.  As that was the only part of her birth plan left to her, because of the pressure she was determined to have it.  Her intensity was rising so I got her to tap telling the story. 

The contractions stopped and the cord had looped which was the worst thing to happen in a birthing pool.  The baby couldn't breathe and the Doula saved the day by getting her out of the water and into a different position which got the contractions going again.  Her baby had an Apgar score of 1 (it should be 10), and appeared lifeless.  Four hours later his breathing failed and she had to hand him over to the doctor for admission to the Sick Kids Unit.  She said she was a failure; she had believed that if she held him close to her and kept him warm he would have been ok and yet she let them take him away.  We tapped:

Even though I was disappointed, I knew what I wanted, nobody around me would give me full support to do what I needed to do.  Not a single midwife would support me...

Even though I gave into their pressure and went to the hospital...

Even though I insisted on a water birth against their advice because I wanted to have one thing that I wanted...

Even though I let him go when I knew if I kept him close to me he would be ok...

I rechecked her statement “I am a failure” and she said this was not true, she knew she had done her best.  However she now had a deep feeling of sadness, which was an 8 on a scale of 0 to 10.

I asked whether she thought she could get over the sadness of this event and she said she didn't believe she should.  Further questioning revealed that she felt afraid to lose “the me that I know, comfortable, familiar, self-doubting me.”

I asked whether this feeling was there before the birth and she realised the sadness was comfortable, and stopped her from making mistakes.  I asked her to remember an earlier time when she had made a mistake.  She had a memory about her dad being really angry with her which felt a level of intensity of 6 out of 10.  

We used the Movie Technique and brought the memory down to 1 out of 10 but it wouldn't budge from there.  She realised she didn't want it to be 0 as she would have nothing to hide behind.  We tapped for I need to hide behind this sadness to stop me making mistakes…  I checked the statement “I might make mistakes,” and she laughed and said, “So what, I'll be ok.”

I checked on the statements “I had no control” and “I had no choice” and they were both ok, possibly 0 out of 10.  However “They took him away” was still a level of intensity of 1 out of 10.  So I asked is this REALLY ok and her anger spiked up.  She was still very angry about the Irish lady doctor who had taken her son away … about her manner and the way she had spoken to and treated Alison.  She felt this anger in her chest.  She enjoyed a good ranting tapping about this doctor, really getting into the feeling.  Her chest felt clear and the anger subsided to a level of intensity of 0 out of 10.

She went still and quiet and I could see she was in tears.  She lifted her head, and said, almost with awe, “I can see my son quite differently now, I sense a much closer bond with my son!”  She realized that the relationship with her son was very challenging, a different one in quality from the one she had with her daughter, and she did feel uncomfortable with him.  She was sure this had changed.  We finished the session on “I choose to feel free and fluid” and she left feeling relaxed and relieved of a burden.

She sent an email the next day to say she felt great and that her son had gone to school happily … there was a definite shift in their relationship … she felt he was less angry and she was much more relaxed. 

She has just phoned for a follow-up appointment as she now realises she does have some issues she would like to work through.  However, her relationship with her son is quite different, relaxed, open and loving.

She also told me that an independent midwife wants to meet me to discuss using EFT to help mothers after childbirth and with feeding issues.  She also said she felt this story was important to other mothers and I would add fathers as well.  Working with my own husband on his feelings about the births and arrivals of our sons (fear, panic, sense of responsibility, helplessness, loss of freedom) has improved the relationships in our family greatly.  Ours may have been a very different story without EFT in our lives, one I don't even want to think about!

Best wishes



Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.