By Sharon King
Simon had not wanted to be held or touched by his parents since birth. Talking about his birth history, his mother, Sarah, mentioned that she wasn’t aware that his collarbone had been broken at the time of his birth furthering the already painful experience of the forceps delivery during the birthing process. When Simon was an infant and Sarah tried to hold him, to feed him, he screamed. She had to prop him up in a chair to bottle-feed him. It wasn’t until three months later that the doctors finally discovered he had a broken collarbone. By that time Simon had already made the decision that ‘touch was painful’ and you ‘can’t trust others to keep you safe’. At age 14, he still objected to being held. They came to me for help.
How we come into the world really matters. Perhaps one of the most impacting traumas a baby can experience is birth. It’s not that birth itself has to be a traumatic experience. It’s that our western birthing process has become highly mechanical. We’ve lost touch with one of our most important rituals—the ritual of birth. When I say the word ritual in conjunction with birth or add in the word holistic, people often picture candles and soft music, perhaps even a birthing pool with a doula or midwife involved. And while creating what some may consider as ideal circumstances for birth is important, I believe a new paradigm in birthing is greatly needed. This new paradigm starts with one vital understanding that has been overlooked in our western birthing model—babies are conscious beings. Our culture does not fully understand the concept that babies are conscious beings and all that comes with being a sentient being. With the misunderstanding that babies can’t feel or remember anything, they are often brought into the world in barbaric ways with forceps, needles and rough handling, as well as overlooking the vital opportunity they need to bond with their mother as nature intended. The minute babies experience this kind of treatment they make decisions about the world they live in. Decisions that are often carried for the rest of its life.
In fact, their consciousness begins in the womb, even at the time of conception. If this is the first time you have heard this information you may want to take a moment to digest what it means because mostly we have been taught that babies are unconscious and unfeeling, and we have built our western maternity concept on this false belief.
Even before they are born, babies are receiving information about the world around them and forming beliefs based on what they receive. Every stress, every trauma that the mother experiences is perceived and understood by the unborn baby. The baby is recording this information and using it to gather data about whether the world that it comes into is safe or dangerous, loving or hostile.
For the past decade I have been exploring the impact that this new understanding has on us as individuals. What I have come to understand is that the implications are far reaching into our adult lives. If our mother is traumatized while we are in the womb, we don’t just experience that trauma at the time. If you think about the impact that trauma has on us as adults you will probably be aware that it can still ricochet into all corners of our life long after the event is over. Similarly, babies who experience trauma through their mother in the womb can be deeply impacted by what they went through, long into their adult life. It shapes their brain, which in turn affects how they show up in the world as adults.
When I talk about trauma, I’m not simply referring to what are classically considered the ‘Big-T’ traumas, such as car crashes or disasters. I am also referring to the family and life traumas that occur as part of our day-to-day living. Even the sense that a baby is not wanted can be experienced as a trauma, shaping the identity of the child to believe that it doesn’t belong and is not wanted in this world.
Although I may have painted a bleak picture of our current situation, there is also hope. Because it is actually possible to rewrite our experiences from the womb and birth, which changes how we experience and perceive life as an adult. The technique that I created to rewrite birth trauma is called Matrix Birth Reimprinting. You may already familiar with the technique that it evolved from, called Matrix Reimprinting, which uses
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
EFT is known as a ‘tapping technique’, and a whole plethora of these techniques have emerged over the last few decades. They involve tapping on meridian points on the body whilst simultaneously engaging the mind on a particular issue or problem that you are experiencing. The problem can be from the present or the past. When you tap on these points in this way (which are similar to the points used in acupuncture) and focus on a particular issue that you are experience, you can release the problem from your mind and body simultaneously.
Matrix Reimprinting, created by Karl Dawson, enables us to rewrite our memories. With EFT, we take the emotional charge out of traumatic life events but the memory stays the same. With Matrix Reimprinting we actually go back into the memory, not only clearing the charge of what happened, but also finding out what we learned about life on that day, and imprinting new beliefs.
This has a profound effect on how we show up in the present day. We hold our memories from the past on an unconscious level, and tune into them, particularly when something in our external environment reminds us of what went before. We often experience this as triggers, and end up riding an emotional roller coaster, that is our life. If we go in and change the memories they no longer have the same power over us. But more importantly, when we change what we learned about life the day that they happened and install new and supportive beliefs, the way that we see the world changes on a core level. The exciting part of using these techniques is that is also works on a surrogate level not only releasing the trauma for the person you are working with but also for those connected to the event.
I used Matrix Birth Reimprinting, Sarah and I went back to the time of Simon’s birth. She apologized to him for not realizing he was in so much pain. We tapped on him for his pain and for his frustration at not being understood. We then guided him back through a healthy birth and bonding experience and reimprinted him happily breastfeeding in her arms.
The evening of the session he came into the kitchen with a friend whilst Sarah was washing up. He said, “Mum, I’ve hurt my back playing football, can you rub it for me?” After she had done so, he thanked her and gave her a huge hug. This was very atypical behaviour for him. In fact, this was the first time in his life that he had initiated contact with her.
It sometimes comes as a surprise to mothers that their young children can recount their birth experience.
At Julian’s birth, Lesley was excruciating pain, especially in her back. She described her labour as back-breaking. The labour was not progressing so she was given an epidural; unfortunately, they gave her an overdose that paralyzed the whole of her body right up to her neck. She couldn’t move her arms and was struggling to maintain her breathing, which was making her panic. Eventually, they ended up giving her a C-section. This is the story her son Julian shared with her as she was preparing for his third birthday party:
“Do you remember being born, Julian?” Lesley had asked him.
Julian went quiet and replied, “Yes.” He paused and then said, “I remember I tried to go in there and it was too tight so I came back and I waited. Then I went and got a ladder, I climbed up to where the light was, and then your back wasn’t broken any more.” This was just as Lesley had described the pain in her back during the labour.
He then went on to say, “I remember I was so sad because you didn’t pick me up.”
She explained to him that the doctors had given her too much medicine so she couldn’t move. The medicine made her so scared; she wasn’t able to hold him. “I’m sorry but I wasn’t able to move,” she said.
So he repeated that he had waited and gone and got the ladder to get out himself so it was okay. We later did a Matrix Birth Reimprinting on the birth and gave her the experience of giving birth naturally and being able to hold her son.
I started to work with expectant mothers who had had previously traumatic births (either when they were born themselves or when they had given birth previously) and experienced profound results. The first was Caroline who was pregnant with her third child when we worked together. Her first two children had been born under highly traumatic circumstances and when I came to work with her it turned out that her own birth had been traumatic, too. We rewrote all these experiences and created a future imprint of the birth of her unborn child. Her third child was born exactly as we had imprinted, and there were many positive side effects for her existing children once the trauma of the birth had been cleared.
Since then, I have reimprinted the births of literally thousands of people around the world. Sometimes, core-beliefs that have been held for six decades, dissolve during one session. In the case of people who weren’t wanted while in the womb, for example, they may enter the world with the core belief that they don’t want to be here. When we go back to the root of where that belief was formed, and heal it, a new perception of the world is formed.
Perhaps one of the most surprising revelations for me has come from the fact that rewriting a birth of a child who is still an infant can have an affect on their own health and well-being. I worked with Jake’s mum when he was still a small child. He had experienced a highly traumatic time in the womb and at birth and has had epilepsy since birth. I worked with his mother over three sessions, and remarkably, Jake’s fits went from occurring daily to something like once every 3 or 4 months after we had cleared his prenatal and birth trauma. And the important thing to note in Jake’s case is that I didn’t work with him directly. I only worked with his mother. When we understand that we are all connected by a unified energy field then this kind of surrogate work seems less remarkable. Yet it still has far reaching implications for the health and well being of our children, particularly if their birth or time in the womb was traumatic.
The one key thing that I can say about my work is that we have all been born! And most of us experienced some kind of trauma, either when we were in the womb or during the birthing process. It is my understanding that we can all benefit from Reimprinting our birth. We don’t even need to know the circumstances of our birth to do so, because once we start the process, the tapping brings memories to the surface, so that we can understand why we see life a certain way and install a belief that is more supportive. As I said earlier, the way we come into the world really does matter. But we can also change the way we came into the world too. Our past is rewritable. And when we rewrite it, it can lead to a more positive and fulfilling future.
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Sharon King is the creator of Matrix Birth Reimprinting and the author of Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life: Tools to Transform Your Birth Experience and Create a Magical New Beginning. She teaches practitioners worldwide in her process, and is available for private consultation and speaking engagements globally.
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