Meeting Trauma in Yourself and in the Families your Serve
Your Shift from Anxiety to Calm
Mothers who experience a difficult pregnancy, birth, or launch of breastfeeding are at risk for emotional scars and post-trauma symptoms.
Talk therapy, anti-depressants, and professionally guided support groups can help. But can we do more?
Trauma is a physical problem. Events that shock, overwhelm, or terrify us imprint onto the nervous system. If a mother cannot return to a state of calm, she is likely to get "stuck" in the traumatic imprint. She can have negative thoughts, feel hopeless, and feel as though she is standing outside of herself, unable to connect with her baby or with the people in her life.
Trauma therapies release this imprint and restore the nervous system to the state of “rest and restoration,” (the parasympathetic nervous system). Trauma therapies use methods that activate the senses and guide the person to connect with their body, their emotions, with themselves.
These methods include relaxation, visualization, somatics, breathing, language keys, movement, and trance.
You might think, “That’s too much for me to learn! Especially in just a few class sessions!”
And that’s true. Except that these abilities are innate. We are not learning new skills, but remembering and reactivating skills we already have.
If it sounds like hard work–it’s not. These skills already belong to you. Once you have guided to explore them, you can’t un-know them.
These classes will naturally and easily bring you into a state that combines focused alertness and mental relaxation (you get to enter that delicious rest and restore state yourself).
Every hour that we spend in class together becomes an opportunity for you to relax, rest and restore--so needed in these times especially. It’s as if you get a dose of the therapy yourself.
DATES: April 8, 15, 22
TIMES: 4 pm PST
PLACE: Hilary’s Zoom
The classes are NOT recorded – these are confidential discussions.
This is a small class of up to FIVE STUDENTS.
Hilary Jacobson’s “Mother Food” was one of my first and still one of my favorite books as a lactation consultant in private practice. When I was part of her “Healing Breastfeeding Grief” group in February 2021 I felt “covered in a warm blanket.” This is how Hilary believes all mothers should feel, and as a nurse/lactation consultant working with new mothers, this is how we should be guided to help mothers feel. Her voice is wonderfully soothing, her ability to reflect back on what you are expressing to her and her ability to help you learn techniques for self-soothing and healing are incomparable. We must remember that our actions and words influence parents when they are at their most vulnerable and we must have the tools to be calm, thoughtful and respectful of every parent’s journey. Truth, honesty, sincerity, wisdom. This is Hilary. I highly recommend enrolling in her course, you will feel her love of caregiving the caregiver from the moment the class begins.
Debra Brender, RN, IBCLC
Anyone who works with mothers should enroll in Hilary’s courses; her books are library essentials. After the first online session, I had a different approach in my interactions with moms. When beginning a lactation conversation, first taking time to practice relaxation as a professional – and then leading the mother to calm—provided a deeper understanding of the situation at hand. Embracing the importance of touch for moms and babies together, I now mindfully approach mothers in the hospital or group setting to encourage connection at the heart. Nurturing ourselves and our babies is so important, and Hilary gently demonstrates how to help a mom in need transform her experiences to healing places. Such important work.
Kristi Davis, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Goals – at the end of this course you will be able to:
1) Shift quickly from anxiety into a calmer state.
2) Interact with mothers in subtle ways that facilitate their ability to relax, to connect with their baby, to feel comfortable
3) Practice “full-body listening” and identify the mother’s “language-keys.”
6) You will gain foundational skills in "re-wiring" the brain and body.
What I found most valuable was the meditation. It reminds me to sit with my emotions and thoughts. I can also use this technique with my moms who are really struggling.
Ashli Burney, Community-Based Doula
Hilary’s class was life-changing for me. As an IBCLC, I am now able to guide mothers through a therapeutic lens. I am better able to step back and truly be present with a mother, to hear her on another level, and know her experience is a sacred one.
Amanda Howell, IBCLC