Meeting Trauma in Mothers
This course teaches the essential knowledge, processes, and techniques that I use in my consultations with mothers. These methods are derived from what is called “generative trance,” which includes full-body listening, mindfulness, embodied experience, somatics, and the cultivation of the therapeutic presence.
Each day that a new mother spends trapped in emotional pain is a day that is lost or reduced for that mother and baby. These unresolved emotions put both parents at risk for postpartum depression, with enduring consequences for the family.
We know that trauma does not resolve with talk-therapy alone. It needs to be released from the muscles and nervous system. This can be done using light trance, resonant communication, and somatic experiencing. It can be done so gently and respectfully that a mother does not feel “treated.”
The trauma expert Peter Levine describes light trance-based processes that are similar to those that I use. Levine explains that trauma is not a psychological problem, but a physical problem: it is locked into the body, the muscles, and nervous system. These processes allow mothers to transition out of their negative emotional states (overwhelm, breastfeeding grief, birth trauma, baby in NICU), and facilitate their reconnecting with positive states and with renewed confidence for mothering.
It sounds too good to be true, but mothers typically come to me in tears, desolate and hopeless, and 90 minutes later they are a vibrant, hopeful person.
Postpartum nurses, doctors, lactation specialists, doulas and midwives can use these same techniques to reduce, soothe or prevent the development of enduring negative states in parents. They can reduce the development of depression. And they can do this during their interactions in hospital, in their private practices, and, if they lead groups, by incorporating these exercises into the group.
At the same time, these methods and insights enhance your own self-care and well-being.
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
I am currently educating small classes of IBCLCs and postpartum health professionals in these practices. While in class, my “students” are able to brainstorm new ways to be effective in their personal and professional lives. They “generate” new ideas for their work with mothers while relaxed in a light calm trance, and in conversation with one another. From class to class, they share how our classwork is influencing and improving their work with mothers.
It is good when we learn from and with each other, isn’t it.
I am now in my mid-sixties. I hope to teach this material for years to come. But if you would like to be sure to work with me, register for a class soon.
3 Classes, 90 minutes each, once a week.
One bonus “make-up” class – for when personal and professional life prevent attendance.
One “catch-up” class 3 – 4 weeks out, to discuss where we are, how we are using what we learned.
Class Materials: Copy of the Healing Breastfeeding Grief; Coursework for Healthcare Professionals; Selected Videos
Goals – at the end of this course you will be able to:
1) Shift quickly into your physical and mental calm center.
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 “resonant language.”
4) Understand how “resonant language” taps into past stress or trauma, and how to use that in your interactions.
5) Practice language that fully supports the person’s emerging identity and strengths in her new role.
6) You will gain foundational skills in embodied experiencing, so that any further practice, be it relaxation, somatics, meditation, contemplation or self-hypnosis, will be much easier to follow through on.
7) As well, your ability to get into a “state of flow” with enhanced creativity and focus is much increased.
DATES: March 11, 18, 25
TIMES: 4 pm PST, or 7 pm PST.
PLACE: Hilary’s Zoom
Each class is limited to 4 persons.
The classes are NOT recorded – these are confidential discussions, not to be recorded or otherwise shared.
THIS TICKET IS FOR THE CLASS FROM 4pm – 5:30pm PST.
THIS TICKET IS FOR THE CLASS FROM 7:00pm – 8:80pm PST.
If the spaces are filled, click on “continue shopping” and you will be directed to a page to sign onto a waiting list, and to receive early updates about future classes.
As soon as the class fills, I’ll send you a link to the zoom classes.
Please note, this is a national class. If you live on the West Coast and if you can possibly join the later hour and leave spots available in the earlier hour to those on the East Coast, your consideration is appreciated. However–if the earlier hour is the only possible time for you, please do join us then.
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