Seema Barua PG Dip MBACP

​Person Centred, CBT and Psychodynamic Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Registered Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

07581 410 015

After I gave birth to my daughter, who is now 2 and a half years old, it never occurred to me that my birth was traumatic and that I may even be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that I was allowed to have all these crazy and intense feelings about it, that so many other women felt like I did and that talking about it was OK! Before and after becoming a mum, I just didn’t come across a lot of women that actually talked about labour. I couldn’t understand why this is. Now I wonder if its because they had similar feelings and thoughts as me, guilt that I should just be focusing on the baby and that millions of other women had also given birth and nobody complained, that I was weak and should just get on with it. People wanted to know how the baby was, if she is healthy, if she is feeding, if she is sleeping. Which is all really great stuff, but what about how I WAS FEELING?!

Something didn’t feel right and when I looked back I realised just how out of control everything felt, how I had just handed my body over to a group of people, to do whatever they wished, with little consent, lots of intrusive medical interventions and told you need to lie down on your back, not move and do what we tell you, no questions, no communication, no explanations and actually in hindsight; lots of buzz and panic in the room with so many different faces in and out. These are all the realisations I had during the REWIND therapy with Alex.
When I begun talking to my mother in law about this she reminded me of how important old age traditions were; post natal care. She told me that with both her births baby was looked after by herself and a whole big heart community, and the same community pampered her; my mother in law had lots of sleep, belly binding, massage, good food, rest and lots of love. She said nowadays that’s missing.

This made me think even more about how many women are carrying birth trauma around with them and then expected to silently just get on with looking after their baby, is there room for us to talk about our feelings, share our thoughts, get some love and understanding about just how much we struggled when we gave birth?

I have wanted to work through my first trauma, because the thought of giving birth again absolutely terrified me! Despite being a therapist and doula, I am human, and have had all these emotions and feelings of hot sweats, anxiety, my body clamming up, my heart racing, the memory of the birth constantly playing over in my mind and thinking gosh when I have another baby how on earth am I going to get the baby out! Then blocking my thoughts, trying to ignore them and hoping that they will just go away! I knew I still had this birth going around in my mind and that it was still affecting me.

I have had the privilege to have worked with Alex Heath; who also trained me in this method; to work through my own trauma. We started off by talking things through, and Alex reminded me that I can say as little or as much about the actual birth itself, then we did some deep relaxation and the actual REWIND technique with a briefing after.

I found the whole experience profound and want to share with you the benefits; the things that came up for me during the sessions and what I am left with;

- A realisation of how much anger and upset I was holding inside, that the way I was treated was unacceptable and the steps I can take in future to have a better birth
- A deeper acceptance of what happened and some new information on why things went the way they did, the panic that was instilled in me by the medical system, and that I had actually lost my voice and confidence during the whole experience
- That I had given my body over to other people to do what they thought was best and this wasn’t good enough for me
- Understanding that an epidural or C Section is OK!
- That I didn’t actually want my baby taken away and given to somebody else to feed her while I was stitched up
- An acknowledgement of my husband who also suffered the trauma, watching me go through what I did and feeling completely helpless. Some practical advice on how my husband can be more prepared for our next birth
- Some how I don’t know how this came up for me, but a change of mind about breastfeeding my second; I had decided to formula feed, but since having this treatment I just feel more swayed to breastfeed
- Being able to let go and put this memory behind me, with no more heavy feelings, no more anxiety, dread or fear. These feelings have been replaced with excitement, hope and positivity. I was blown away by how these feelings vanished instantly and I can honestly say this technique has changed me
- A longing for my daughter to be part of my next birth and a deeper connection with her as a mother after I had the treatment
- A new found confidence of wanting to own my next birth, being so so much more vocal, saying no to something that I don’t want rather then just thinking the medical system knows best and how I would like things to be different the next time I give birth

The biggest thing I came away with was that I had no more feelings attached at all what so ever to the whole experience. It just became a memory in my mind, an experience that I have now let go of.

Below I have added some links that maybe useful; I requested the cutting of the cord to be delayed and after I had delivered the placenta if possible, this was ignored and the cord was cut straight away, where I had lost my voice, I just sat back and watched everything happening but was faintly aware that this is not want I wanted. I was told I couldn’t move and that I had to be constantly monitored. Now I know, next time, things can be different.

What is Birth Trauma?

Sometimes birth can be a negative, unexpected and shocking experience. As much as we try to prepare ourselves for our ideal birth experience, when birth throws an unexpected curve ball it can leave us with a difficult story. This can be because labour was long, there was lots of medical intervention or that you feared for the safety of your baby, or that you just struggled through. Birth Healing is not just for mums. Mothers, partners, and/or fathers who have experienced a birth trauma at any time can come for these sessions.

Did you have a traumatic birth? Does it still affect you and is it still present with you? It is very common to feel the effects of a trauma after it has happened. Especially if you haven’t had time to think, feel and process what you have just been through. Thoughts can often reoccur, causing anxiety and stress. When life becomes so busy it can be harder to put your experience behind you. Maybe you are a new parent or already have children, either way you may want to put the feelings associated with the trauma behind you, yet not know how to.

It can be confusing if you have had a traumatic birth and are experiencing certain feelings; feeling down, depressed, tearful, tired, confused, scared, isolated or lonely. These can sometimes be symptoms of a trauma, or they may not be. It can sound scary, but it can also mean that you finally get to understand what you are going through, and that’s the first step to working through it. Nowadays there are so many diagnosis, and when you have a new baby, you may not have time to talk, think or find out what it is that you are exactly left with.

Trauma can affect people differently, some of the things that come up can be flashbacks, hot and cold sweats, nightmares, a fear of something going wrong, not being able to control worrying. Other feelings such as not wanting to leave your baby with anybody or not wanting to put your baby down can contribute to the feeling of the trauma.

I am a qualified Birth Trauma Specialist as well as an Antenatal, Birth and Post Natal Doula. I am also a qualified Person Centred and Psychodynamic Counsellor. These are not only for mums; but for fathers too. My passion for working with pregnant and postnatal women as a doula has further developed my interest in working with new mums. If you’ve had a traumatic birth, I’ll help you to reframe and find the positive in your birth story and also offer guidance and support if you’re suffering from postnatal depression. I’m a highly trained professional in Pregnancy, Birth and Post Natal Counselling.

I work with both women and partners around;

Fears during pregnancy
Difficult first births
Planning for a second baby
Experiences of a traumatic birth and wanting to heal
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Natal Depression
Sign Posting

I am offering 3 different Birth Trauma Healing Services:

- 2 – 3 Birth Trauma sessions using a Hypnosis/Relaxation 3 Step REWIND Technique for those experiencing deeper rooted symptoms of trauma.
£60 per session. We can combine the first two sessions which will be £100.

- One off 2 hour private and confidential Birth Trauma workshop to debrief and work through your birth story.
£70 in Rainham and £80 if you would like me to come to you

-One to One Birth Trauma counselling; you decide how often and how long you would like to come
£40 at Rainham and £50 in South Woodford. Am happy to negotiate the fee at my Rainham clinic.

I offer all my services in Hindi and Punjabi as well as English. I hold a Diploma in Community Interpreting; If English is not your first language, I am more than happy to provide all my services in these languages.


Trauma can affect people differently, some of the things that come up can be flashbacks, hot and cold sweats, nightmares, a fear of something going wrong, not being able to control worrying. Other feelings such as not wanting to leave your baby with anybody or not wanting to put your baby down can contribute to the feeling of the trauma.

When you think about your birth, do you try to avoid reminders but are not able to? Sometimes when others talk openly about the birth they had you may feel lonely, scared and isolated? Some are able to live through their experiences and move on and sometimes we can get stuck in the trauma, which is when recurrent thoughts, feelings and other symptoms present. This can be known as PTSD.

Understanding PTSD:

PTSD is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and PND is Post Natal Depression. Symptoms in both often overlap; so PND can be confused with PTSD. Anxiety, panic, fear, worry and trouble sleeping can be symptoms of both PTSD and PND. Sometimes PND can be triggered by PTSD with the symptoms merging. Both can cause low moods. This 3 Step REWIND technique is used to treat PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD are usually easily addressed in 2 or 3 sessions. By treating the PTSD first there is a huge opportunity to address other symptoms of PND. The symptoms and issues around PND can be more established and may require more sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist or psychotherapist.­

When a person is free from PTSD symptoms, feelings of positivity and happiness can return, which can allow you to finally start enjoying parenthood and your new baby. Often people don’t talk about their birth; either you a re busy with your baby, or don’t know who to talk to, or that not many people actually talk about the birth you had. People tend to focus on how healthy your baby is and there is sometimes an unspoken sense of expectation that you just get on with being a mother.

Understanding PTSD from a Neurological perspective; When symptoms of PTSD occur the rational part of our brain can go into fight or flight mode; flight or fight response is a primitive survival system. This means that the trauma we experienced, is causing us to feel threatened and we either want to run away or fight. There is a part of your brain called the Pre Frontal Cortex which is the rational part of our brain; which tries to reassure us that nothing is wrong, and that everything is fine. But when PTSD symptoms are occurring, we cannot connect to that part of our brain. When this happens even with the most reassuring and encouraging words of comfort, we find it difficult to move on, and shake off our symptoms of fear and panic, they become impossible to escape from, which are biologically linked to the memory of the event.


There are 3 stages to the treatment

- Deep Relaxation using Hypnosis
- Recalling the event in a specific way whilst feeling safe and secure
- Imagining coping in the future and responding differently

If you have been feeling this way for more then 3 months, or your partner has, this treatment maybe beneficial to you. I offer a simple but effective 3 step process that neutralizes the toxic feelings and lifts the symptoms of PTSD. We can work over 2 or 3 sessions. I will use deep relaxation with you to help activate the memory of the trauma, in a safe and trusting place with me. Together we can then use your memory to start the healing process and your natural ability to move on from the trauma.

Opening yourself up to someone outside of your family and social network can be hard, I provide a safe space where you can speak candidly and confidentially, and connect with the support you need to ease your emotional burden. I provide a safe place where you can express yourself and feel heard and respected without judgement. The first session you can talk about what happened and understand your experience, then looking at how to move forward from the unwanted stuck feelings.

In the second and third session we will do the REWIND Technique together using deep relaxation with hypnosis; to start neurtuarlising the feelings of the trauma. The memory of what happened will always remain but the feelings associated with the memory will no longer be evoked; reframing the event.

The benefits of the REWIND technique

The technique that I use releases the feelings associated with the birth so when you do look back and think about your birth you can experience a neutral feelings, so the birth doesn’t arouse anxiety anymore, freeing you of symptoms such as traumatic reoccurring thoughts, nightmares, panic and fear.

This is a brief Intervention treatment. After 2 -3 sessions, you should feel relief from the symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes the process needs to be repeated; but in the majority of cases people report a major reduction or complete eradication of PTSD symptoms. The 3 Step REWIND Technique is as effective 3 years after the event as it is 3 months; if your PTSD symptoms are still present this treatment can be used at anytime.


This is a workshop for either yourself or you and your partner. In the privacy of your own home or you are welcome to come to mine! I truly believe that a woman’s birth story stays with her for life, sometimes buried deep inside her, making it difficult to process, talk about and let go of.

It is one of the biggest things we face in life and yet we are so habitual in keeping this part to ourselves when it goes wrong because we are simply told ‘all that matters is a healthy baby.’ As a highly experienced counsellor and a mother myself, I understand what a traumatic birth feels like and what it looks like and would love to support you.

I offer private one to one Birth Trauma workshops and some of the topics I cover include:

Your birth story
Debrief, process and explore your birth together face to face
Impact on physical and emotional self
Birth blue prints and messages of birthing
Postpartum Depression,
Signposting and identifying Psychosis and Mental Health issues
Sacred space for closure
Fears, hopes, reservations, expectations of present/future pregnancies
Sharing of useful information
How to access further support

If you would like to know more feel free to give me a call on 07581410015.


Opening up to somebody outside of your family and social network can be hard, I provide a safe space where you can speak candidly and confidentially, and connect with the support you need to ease your emotional burden.

For many people, especially new mums, their counselling sessions are the one time where the world ‘stops’ for a moment, and you finally have the opportunity to focus on the most important thing – yourself. You’re unique, wonderful and deserving of happiness. My natural ability to build strong, genuine relationships nurtures an environment of trust, where you feel truly supported and able to explore your thoughts, fears and feelings in a positive and effective way. I’ll help you to connect with your own needs, recognise your strengths and value, and find a path through your hurts, worries and fears. it would be a real honour to help you.

A safe space and a trusted confidante

I don’t just help new mums – I can also offer counselling to partners who may be struggling to adjust to the big changes in their lives, or anyone who just needs someone to talk to and some constructive guidance.

My counselling services are available to clients across East London and Essex. I’m happy to visit new mums who need some postnatal counselling in their own home, along with baby if need be – if you have any questions, or would like to have a friendly chat to see if we connect, please call me on 07581 410 015.


”I can’t thank seema through my tears. I pray that her family’s wishes are fulfilled and she did for me what my own mother was unable to do”. K. Zam

”Seema had all the qualities I required. Her website was inspiring. Her ethnicity meant she would understand my cultural background. Additionally I felt her work as a counsellor may be useful in helping to overcome my previous traumatic experience. Both my husband and I found the antenatal sessions incredibly useful. They were well structured and allowed us to focus on what went wrong the first time and how we could do things differently this time around. Seema provided lots of very useful resources for us to read and summarised our sessions succinctly and promptly following each session. This exceeded our expectations. Seema attended promptly after we asked her to come in the latent phase. She provided physical and emotional support to both my husband and I. She focused on things she knew were important to me such as maintaining adequate hydration. She talked me through each contraction and used massage when I requested it. Her presence made it easier for my husband to get on and do the practical things such as loading the car without having to leave me on my own. Seema was very helpful following the birth without being intrusive. She paid attention to things such as keeping me and baby warm and took some lovely photos of those precious early moments. These were things I hadn’t anticipated in advance but were really welcome additions. Seema has a very personable character and is very easy to talk to. She has a good knowledge of the things that are important to labour well and she was very respectful of our wishes. She is much more balanced in her views than some doulas I have come across in the past and in my view is a credit to the doula community” Jyoti

I am also a birth and post natal doula working in East London and Essex. A doula is somebody who simply Mothers the mother whens she goes into labour, a woman who assists a woman and her partner in the process of becoming a parent. Doulas provide emotional, mental, and physical support before, during, and after labor and delivery. I offer antenatal support in pregnancy, Birth trauma workshops to process previous births, birth support when you go into labour and post natal support after! It’s a true honour to accompany and support women on their birth journey.

My birth philosophy is that women and their body’s natural ability to nurture and birth a child should be celebrated – and every woman should be given the support, information and care to embrace the changes they’re going through and thrive in their new role. I’ve been lucky enough to train with Samara Tanner and Kate Woods from Conscious Birthing.

I’m a mother myself, so I completely understand how pregnancy starts to shape your hopes, fears and expectations of the birth and beyond, and how important it is to get all the information and support you need. As a trained birth doula, my job is to help you explore all of your pain relief, environmental, delivery , bonding and postnatal options – when we work together, you’ll have unlimited access to my support, knowledge and friendship, with all the encouragement, reassurance and help you need to give your birth story the happiest ending possible. This ‘holistic’ approach to birth and the subsequent support that you may be unable to find elsewhere has been proven to calm birthing mothers and help mum, baby and the rest of the family settle into their new life and routine much more quickly.