Trends and Influences Part 4

Slide 28: Here is a list of actions or events that are considered truly overwhelming for a baby; and the list of remedies that help create protective factors and a sense of resiliency. Just notice your body as I read this list. 

•     Being unwanted? Abortion ideation or attempt?

•     Conceived via ART?

•     Survivor of twin or other multiples loss?

•     Was mother depressed or anxious?

•     Cigarettes or alcohol consumer?

•     Domestic violence?

•     Loss during pregnancy?

•     Traumatic birth or NICU experience?

•     Separation from mom, surgeries, circumcision, hospitalization?

and now notice your body when I read this list

•     Someone wanted me, welcomed me

•     Seen, heard

•     Sense of belonging

•     Safe, secure

•     Protection

•     Understood, someone gets me

•     Loved

•     Curious, engaged

•     Support, purpose, gratitude

•     Home

•     Coherent story

Slide 29: Here is a summary about trauma informed care:

•     Toxic stress in childhood overloads the nervous system

•     The brain is particularly responsive to experiences and environments during early development. 

•     Early experiences have lifelong implications

•     Buffering protection helps with adversity

Slide 30: Trauma Informed Care:

•     Realizes widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery.

•     Recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved.

•     Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices.

•     Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization

This list comes from the National Trauma Informed Care Center, part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Trauma Informed Care is part of our federal and state legislative work; it has become an international movement to create safer environments for children and families. 

Slide 31: A trauma informed practice states: Don’t ask, “What is wrong with you?” ask, “what happened to you?” For healing, we ask “how have you made sense of it.” This leads to the creation of what we call a coherent narrative, or a way that we tell the story of our self to our self and others so that our past is truly in the past and does not bleed into the present.

Slide 32: Healing Centered Engagement is another approach developed by Shawn Ginwright, an expert on black youth activism, professor of African American studies and author, which asks, “what is right with you?,” and is a cultural, political, community based approach. It is strength based. It arose out of youth pointing out that we are not our trauma, there is more here. In fact healing traditions have looked for the health in people for a long time. 

Slide 33: Like Post Traumatic Growth, Healing Centered Engagement and therapies that support the health in our system are part of another trend that seeks to integrate trauma so that we understand how it makes us stronger, more resilient, with a greater appreciation of life and what is possible.

Slide 34: Latest psychotherapeutic trends also focus on the positive aspects in people’s lives, like their strengths and their character, and their capacity for happiness.

Slide 35: How does this apply to being with a baby?

First get it in your body what was overwhelming for the baby. Remember that some babies feel amazing being born so not every baby will have a traumatic feeling. But it is hard work and transformational. Be with the baby and yourself. 

Then listen with all of you, your body, your heart, the part inside of you that knows this was hard. The baby will feel that.

Then here are some things you can say:

Slide 36: Many different disciplines come together to provide therapeutic and prevention approaches in prenatal and perinatal health and healing. There have been many historical, official, and legitimizing influences on our field. These approaches integrate the work of many disciplines, listed here. 

37:  Here are possible future trends, the most important of which is the first one (animated for emphasis)

38. There is still work to be done in our field to improve outcomes for babies, families and birthing staff. We are starting here with you!

39. Thank you for joining our program, and a movement toward a healthier world. Womb Ecology becomes World Ecology.

40. Thank you!