In my practice I work with individuals and couples at all stages of parenthood. Bringing awareness and intention to conception is sometimes overlooked… unless there is difficulty in conceiving. All new babies coming in benefit from being welcomed before conception, during the pregnancy and during the birth and after. Many traditional cultures have ceremonies and protocols for welcoming new life; through my sessions with families I help them find their own way to create that welcoming space. It is delightful and surprising when couples are successful in conceiving after they have worked out unresolved mis-attunement and disharmony with each other, job stresses and other mental and emotional challenges to create a space for a baby to come into
Babies coming into life can relax and settle into love and safety if they can feel their parents working together in mutual support and cooperation. When there is a strong “village” supporting the parents, first the parents and then the baby can relax even more. Pre-conception is a great time for parents to understand, integrate and transform some of their own wounds and survival strategies no longer needed — to learn how to give their children the connection and safety they may have not received themselves. Pre-conception and pregnancy are a great time to find motivation for transformation.
My work is based in the recognition that infants and children are fully sentient beings expressing preferences, wants and needs and are storing memories somatically from even before conception. The sperm, the egg and the DNA contained in them store the memory of experiences of the ancestors and parents. Parents’ attitudes and experiences in the months leading into conception are formative for the baby.
Many of us were not welcomed and planned and are conceived into anger, grief, overwhelm and adversity. Making repair in family relationships is important for a felt sense of connection and safety but this understanding is often not extended to the pre-born and infants. I work with parents at all stages, through conception to birth and after, to make repair with each other and their little one. Adversity, mis-attunement and ruptures are a normal part of the human experience. A loving protective parent who knows how to regulate and make repair can become a healthy buffer for the child to build resilience for the challenges they will experience in life. In my work with families I have been pleased to help parents “listen” to the stories of their babies and children and their emotions about those experiences.
In the time of pre-conception/conception the following are some adverse/challenging experiences the effects of which can follow us into adulthood, in relationships, in our capacity to learn, in self-regulation and physical and emotional health (or lack of health):
Unresolved feelings of parents from a previous pregnancy loss
Anxiety, grief and loss from the death or serious injury of a family member or close friend
Anger fear and ambivalence of one or both parents upon discovery of the pregnancy
Ongoing overwhelm, anger, anxiety and depression of one or both parents
Discord and abuse in the relationship of the parents
Difficult medical procedures, particularly for the mother
No parent is perfect and no humans experience a life without adversity but we can have an intention to be a “good enough parent” through self reflection, understanding our own trauma and triggers and seeking help in transforming our own parenting. Each family establishes their own choices and values — my work is to support connection and safety.
Through private sessions, Womb Surround group workshops and classes with individuals, couples and families, my intention is to create a safe non-judgmental space where adults and children can feel the “welcome” they want and deserve. Together we help transform challenges to more connection and mutual support and cooperation.