What is rebirthing?
Rebirthing is a special bath you take with your baby to recreate the moment of birth. This is often done after a difficult or traumatic birth, or even a birth that just didn't go as planned. Perhaps you planned a water birth and ended up with a caesasean; a home birth that ended up in hospital; had a rushed birth; or your baby was whisked away and you didn't have that time of meeting your baby, of skin to skin. Midwives and doulas call that moment the 'birth pause', when the baby is born and the mother takes a breath to recover and then looks at her baby. (Women don't always pick their babies up immediately.)
It is normal to grieve for the birth that you had planned but didn't happen; to feel sad if your baby's first moments on this earth weren't as calm and close as you had imagined. Rebirthing gives you a chance to replay this moment, to have some healing.
It triggers newborn feeding reflexes
Rebirthing started out as a way to help breastfeeding as it can be useful if breastfeeding isn't going well. Bathing with your baby triggers the newborn reflexes. This can really help a baby who is having difficultly latching. Babies having a rebirthing bath are known to do the 'breast crawl', and move themselves over to the breast and latch on. Rebirthing in this way is often recommended by breastfeeding counsellors and health professionals, especially if the baby didn't get skin to skin at birth or if baby doesn't seem interested in latching.
Rebirthing can be done in your bath or in a birth pool. If you have a birth pool that you didn't get to use then you can use that for the rebirthing. You could have soft lighting, calm music, candles and aromatherapy of your choosing.
Rebirthing can be done just with you and your partner, or with a doula. I offer it as an extention of my doula practice. Or you may like to have your mum or sister help out. It can start with massage of your hands, feet, face and then read a relaxation script. If you did hypno birthing you can use one of those scripts, read by your partner or on MP3. Your partner can rub/stroke your back, or just hold you, or your baby. When you are ready you would get in the water. Your partner or doula could pour water on your back/shoulders and read another relaxation script. (I have some specially prepared for this.) There would be an emphasis of acceptance of the birth that happened,of grieving for the birth that didn't happen.
When you are ready your partner would place the baby in the water between your legs, holding it their head out of the water. You would reach over and take your baby and greet it. Sitting back with your baby on your chest. You would stay there for a while, enjoying the skin to skin, splashing water on the baby's back. You can watch and wait for the breast crawl if you like, or feed your baby, breast or bottle.
After the rebirthing you and your baby and partner would get tucked up in bed with some yummy treats. It is recommended that you stay in bed for the rest of the day, skin to skin, enjoying your baby. Rebirthing can be emotional and tiring.
If you have done rebirthing I would love to hear your experiences.
If you'd like to know more aobut my rebirthing service, please check out my website or send me a message.