Now’s the time, don’t wait

Do babies and toddlers remember their birth and early experiences? Yes absolutely. Your child’s brain is fully equipped to experience life—they have memories and emotions, and they need to process those experiences just like we do.

It’s never too late. But the sooner your child can work through their experiences, the better. Early stress and trauma can change the brain.

In fact, early experiences of any kind–both positive and challenging–set the stage for how the nuances of development will carry out.

Babies’ experiences throughout conception, pregnancy, birth, and immediately after birth begin setting up expectations about the world and how to interact with people. These are called imprints.

When imprints are challenging or stressful and go unresolved, they often turn into habits. These reactions served a survival purpose initially, but as time goes on, they can hinder rather than help.

YOU have the opportunity to provide a way for you and your child to heal. For more on how to tell if your child needs this, read more here >

Critical reasons for helping your child early

There are immense benefits to resolving early stressful or traumatic experiences—for your child and for you.

Resolution, okayness, and a sense of peace

This isn’t woo woo, it’s legit. It’s that feeling something’s not right but you can’t put your finger on exactly what. If you’ve lived with this feeling, it’s maddening. It can affect self-esteem, relationships, and confidence to live a full life.

It can follow us around all our lives like Peter Pan’s shadow, hiding every time we go looking for it. It can feel like something perpetually hanging that you can’t ever remember. Or like an invisible force always preventing success, or as if the world is against you. It can be quite disillusioning.

When something goes amiss in these earliest foundational experiences, we keep looking for resolution until we satisfy it. A part of us “lies in the weeds” waiting to heal the experience, in the words of Tony Madrid, PhD and author in the field of mother-infant bonding.

Babies and children often recapitulate these patterns through relational, behavioral, or life tendencies.

You may not be aware this is even happening in yourself or others. Usually it proceeds subconsciously, yet it plays out in tangible ways our everyday lives.

Bonding and relationship

After experiencing stress or trauma during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, moms often feel that something’s off, or disconnected from their baby, or even resentful as baby becomes a toddler.

The most common feedback I get after working with birth story is that parents feel more connected to their child and/or that their child is somehow “different”—more grounded, bonded, “difficult to put into words.”  That. It’s hard to describe, but it’s not woo woo.

A more settled child

Why is this important? A settled nervous system can mean the difference between lifelong well-being and chronic health issues.

It’s related to ongoing health, the physiological ability to let go of body tension, breathing to their full capacity so their bodies and brains get enough oxygen over the course of their lifetime, relationship patterns and family dynamics, the ability to succeed versus feeling stuck, and so much more.

Oh… and sleep. Sleep is a biggie.

Decreased resentment

Let’s talk openly about feeling resentful of your child. You’re not a bad mom for feeling this way. There are reasons why this happens.

Both your own soul and your child want to heal this, but your child needs you to be open about it, not hide it as society would have us do.

Babies don’t hold grudges. But they do have big feelings they need to get out, and they need to understand what happened.

Unhealed stress/trauma can hurt other people too eventually

In addition to the impacts on our own lives, we also tend to carry out our unhealed hurts on others unconsciously. It’s because we’ve learned to treat people a certain way, which was never resolved or separated from those early imprints.

Unhealed stress gets passed on when we hasn’t had a chance to work through it. 

I’ve seen this play out in so many ways in personal relationships, program leaders, teachers, and community leaders. It can even spread through a community when other people take on that unhealed pattern.

Most likely you’ve experienced this too, whether or not its roots have been acknowledged. The dismissive attitude about processing early experiences unfortunately helps these patterns spread in society.

Now’s the time!

I assure you, you’ll face viewpoints that will toss this aside. I bring you both affirmation and ‘advance notice’:

  • You’re not crazy. Pay attention to this stuff even when others tell you it’s unimportant. It’s such a big deal that it’s central to how we live our lives.
  • The more it slips away unaddressed as time goes by, the more it recedes into the subconscious and can affect our perception, relationships, and potentially even resentments between you and your child.

You have the power to change this and help your child heal. You can do this on your own and/or by working with a professional who understands these dynamics. Your child is ready, no matter how young, and is already trying to communicate. Be curious, invite, and listen!

More resources

I have more articles and presentations on this topic here >

For full information on Aware Parenting and healing stress/trauma, read Aletha Solter’s book here > (don’t be deterred by the word ‘trauma’—the same goes for any type of stress)

APPPAH is a great resource too. “Birth Psychology is a field of study that explores the lifelong impact of our earliest experiences during pregnancy, birth and attachment.”