‘Birth Trauma: A Cultural Blind Spot’ by Matthew Appleton

Needs crying is when a baby is expressing a present moment need, such as being hungry, uncomfortable, over-stimulated, under-stimulated or tired. These are basic needs and when they are met the crying stops. Memory crying is when the baby is experiencing sensations and images that relate to an earlier experience, such as a moment in the birth that was overwhelming. This type of crying is associated with repetitive body movements, such as frantically pushing or ‘paddling’ with the legs or swiping an area of the head or pulling an ear again and again. These movements are sometimes expressing an impulse that got blocked, such as the attempt to push through the birth canal that became overwhelmed by anaesthetic coming through the umbilical cord. It may indicate a place where the cranium became compressed by a pelvic bone or the baby became disoriented and lost. There are times in the birth process where babies do not know if they are going to survive. They are being crushed under intense pressure, flooded by stress hormones or drugs through the umbilical cord or deprived of oxygen as the cord gets compressed during the contractions. Babies express the powerful emotions that any of us would associate with such intense experiences; rage, panic, sadness, disorientation.”

With craniosacral therapy we hold the space for babies to express their birth memories and be heard. It is the listening to and acknowledging of the pain that  allows the baby to let go of it.

Read more: Birth Trauma: A Cultural Blind Spot.