Prenatal EFT Improves Hemoglobin Count
Eileen Sullivan, EFT-CertI, MCHD, CBE
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I was a doula (professional birth and postpartum assistant) and childbirth educator for over 20 years, before retiring and becoming an EFT practitioner. One of my best friends, "Jean", is a midwife who attends home births. I've helped her integrate EFT into her midwifery practice and we recently worked with a pregnant woman named Chelle.
Chelle was already familiar with EFT. She and I had worked together during her previous pregnancy, and Jean then used surrogate EFT on Chelle during her labor and birth. When Chelle arrived for her prenatal visit with Jean this time, she was having some symptoms of anemia which had so far not been alleviated by the herbal iron supplement she was taking. In addition, it was clear that Chelle was concerned about postpartum hemorrhage.
This was to be Chelle's first home birth, and her second VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). In all of her previous births except one, she had always hemorrhaged. One such incident was so severe that Chelle collapsed and lost consciousness, awaking later to find that she had required surgery to stop the bleeding.
A history of postpartum hemorrhage increases the risk for subsequent hemorrhages after childbirth, as does anemia. Also, this would be Chelle's seventh baby. Women who have had four or more children are called "grand multiparas" in obstetric terminology, and being a grand multipara is yet another risk factor for postpartum hemorrhage.
Chelle gave permission for her prenatal to be videotaped, so I set up the camcorder and started recording. While Chelle talked to Jean about her previous hemorrhages and her concern about bleeding too much after this birth, Jean tested Chelle's hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin is a substance in red blood
cells that contains iron, and transports oxygen. In pregnant women, normal levels are from 11 to 12 g/dl.
Using a hand-held device called a hemoglobinometer, Jean determined that Chelle's level was below 10. We took a still image of the gauge on the side of the device, to record Chelle's starting level.
Jean and Chelle decided to continue with the rest of the prenatal at that point, and then tap together on Chelle's anemia. None of us had ever tried such a thing, but we agreed that it couldn't hurt to try. Chelle was willing to allow Jean to take another blood sample and test her hemoglobin again right after EFT, so
that we could test our results.
As Jean packed away her equipment and I continued to man the video camera, Chelle spoke to us both about her fear of hemorrhage. I noticed many signs of an emotional charge on the subject, including her quietly emphatic, repeated statement, "I'm a bleeder. I know I am. It happens every time." I was very glad that Chelle had agreed to tap on this issue with Jean.
Even though I have this fear of hemorrhage...
Even though I'm a bleeder and it happens every time...
Then, intuitively, Jean asked Chelle the million dollar question: "If there were an emotional reason for your low hemoglobin level, what might it be?"
Chelle's near-immediate response was, "My fear of hemorrhage." The circular nature of this problem was apparent to all of us! The more fear Chelle felt, the lower her hemoglobin level might go, which would put
her that much more at risk of a postpartum hemorrhage. Jean switched tack now, having Chelle tap on:
Even though my hemoglobin level is low because I'm afraid I may bleed too much...
At that point, Jean's phone rang. When she excused herself to answer a call from an overdue client, I asked Chelle if we could continue to work together while Jean was busy, to keep up the good momentum.
I remembered that, at the beginning of the prenatal when she was telling us about her previous hemorrhages, Chelle had mentioned that she did not bleed abnormally after one birth. After that baby was born, she said, everyone had left her alone and just waited for the placenta to come on its own. All of her other hemorrhages seem to have been precipitated by someone doing something that they shouldn't-- like pulling on the umbilical cord (in an attempt to hurry things along), pulling on the placenta as it was slowly being delivered (ditto), massaging her abdomen (and through it, her uterus, again in an effort to speed the process), etc. So I tried something a little different.
Even though I only bleed when stupid people are around. stupid people that are in a hurry and do dumb things to me, to try to speed things up so they can go home...
Chelle's expression went from one of uncertainty to startled amusement. She confirmed that, yes, that could indeed be the problem. Jean returned to find us both chuckling over "stupid people," and once we
caught her up on what she had missed, she took over again.
Jean and Chelle continued to tap on "stupid people" and their contributions to her births (and hemorrhages). As they did, Chelle became more and more positive that she was NOT a bleeder. Stupid people caused her to bleed!
Once she was quite certain of this, Jean tested her results by asking Chelle if she was still afraid of bleeding too much. Chelle responded that she had no fear at all; in fact, she was excited about the birth and knew she would bleed the perfect amount and no more.
Still testing, Jean asked Chelle to tell her about the worst hemorrhage she had experienced. While before, Chelle had felt dizzy and faint and hot all over when thinking about it, she was 100% fine now. And one
more test: Jean asked Chelle to say with conviction, "I'm a bleeder." Chelle laughed and shook her head. "Do I have to?" she asked. "It's not true. Stupid people made me bleed."
Jean took that as a sign and prepared to take Chelle's hemoglobin level again. In the meantime, I kept the video camera running but also did a last little bit of EFT with Chelle.
"If we're going to poke your finger again," I explained, "let's do all we can to insure that there's a noticeable difference." We hadn't directly addressed her hemoglobin level at all, so just to be complete and tap on all sides of the issue, Chelle and I did so now.
Even though my hemoglobin was low before, that was fear-related ... that was my fear of hemorrhage, and I'm free of that now.
Even though my hemoglobin was low before, that was then. My body already has made changes, now that the fear has been released.
Even though my hemoglobin was low before, I can feel it improving now. I can already feel the difference.
When Jean checked Chelle's hemoglobin level again, there was an unusual result. There were two separate "patches" in the sample, indicating two levels. The lowest of the two was just above 10 g/dl. Jean said that was half a point higher than the initial reading.
The highest of the two patches was 12 g/dl. That indicated a rise of two full points. Jean and I were amazed because it typically takes 2 to 3 weeks of supplements and other consistent efforts to even begin to see a change in hemoglobin levels. We had done EFT for perhaps a half hour.
Resolving Chelle's fear of hemorrhage actually improved her hemoglobin level. And we caught it all on videotape! The results held, too. Weeks later, when Chelle went into labor, Jean checked her hemoglobin level again. It was 11 g/dl.
Other than continuing to take the herbal iron supplement that Jean had recommended she start the month before, Chelle did nothing different after her EFT prenatal. She never tapped on her fear of hemorrhage again, because there was no need to do so. The fear was gone.
Chelle's first home birth went very smoothly, and her daughter was born in a birthing pool set up in their living room. Thanks to EFT, Chelle bled the perfect amount and no more.
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Eileen Sullivan is a Certified EFT Practitioner (EFT-CertI) and an ordained interfaith minister. She has worked with expectant and new mothers and families since 1987 as a childbirth and lactation educator, midwife's assistant, VBAC educator, and holistic birth and postpartum doula. Eileen is also a birth activist; a mentor to new and aspiring doulas, CBEs and midwives; and a holistic doula trainer.
Eileen discovered EFT in 2002, and it became a primary modality for her in 2004. She is now retired from doula work and specializes in EFT for the childbearing year, including fertility challenges, preparing for labor and birth, VBAC,
breastfeeding issues, and trauma / PTSD after traumatic birth experience. She has an international EFT practice via phone and Skype
sessions, teleclasses and webinars.
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