Aside from her work as obstetrician, our colleague Marlijn Visser also provides coaching sessions. Marlijn has taken a coaching training, and afterwards she has specialised in guiding women with a traumatic childbirth experience. She received this specialisation training from Diana Koster.
Do you notice that you have negative thoughts and emotions related to your childbirth every day?
Do you notice that you get emotional every time you think about your childbirth?
Do you notice that you find it hard to imagine how things will be after the birth of your baby?
Do you catch yourself brooding constantly?
Are you out of balance after childbirth?
Please send an email to the practice, or bring it up during your consultation, and Marlijn will contact you!
Unfortunately, these sessions are not covered by your insurance provider. The costs are €60 per session.
"Marlijn has really helped me with her coaching. After I had had a miscarriage, followed by 2 ectopic pregnancies, I lost all hope for a while. Taking the step to seek help from a ''counsellor'' was very scary, but as soon as I entered Marlijn’s room, I immediately felt at ease. She listens to your story without judging you. With her, I didn’t feel like I was ''whining'' or ''overreacting'', I felt understood. During the sessions, she always asks the right questions, which gives you a lot of insight. The exercises that I had to do at home also really helped me. She has given me various tools that I can still use. I am very thankful to her for that, and I really recommend her to everyone."
Experiences EMDR after 'traumatic experience'
On 23 August 2011, after a long and difficult labour, our first daughter was born at 13.05 through a vacuum extraction. Of course I was very happy, but mostly relieved that she was healthy, and that the childbirth was over. You always read about ‘the pink cloud’ that you will be floating on. But I didn’t feel like that at all. Because she was born with a vacuum extraction, we had to spend a night at the hospital, which I was thankful for, because that way she would have extra care. Our daughter was really impacted by the birth and she was very nauseous.
During the first week at home I wasn’t able to do a lot, I locked myself in our bedroom, hardly came downstairs, was completely dependent on the help of others, and I realised that the childbirth had been very traumatic for me. I just didn’t dare to say it. After all, you’re supposed to be happy that you have a beautiful and healthy daughter….I never wanted to give birth again.
About four years later, the ‘itch’ came again, and I got pregnant rather quickly. After we had taken the pregnancy test (with a positive result) the panic set in. I had to give birth again after all. During my first appointment with the obstetrician at Praktijk De Luiermand, I immediately said that I wanted a C-section, and asked to put that down in writing. My request was taken seriously, but the obstetrician did want to know why I wanted that. I explained how the experience of my first birth had been for me. She referred me to Marlijn Visser, Women’s coach and experienced in EMDR. This therapy could be helpful for me, she said. Once I was home, I started reading about EMDR. Because I have a very pragmatic disposition, I didn’t agree with the obstetrician. I didn’t believe that this would help me get over my fear. Two weeks later, I had my first appointment with Marlijn. I knew her from my first pregnancy, so it felt like there was already a bond. She gave me some more information about EMDR. Because I did want to believe, I agreed to the therapy. First of all, I had to write down my childbirth experience. That was already a very emotional step, you are practically reliving your childbirth again. My sister in law, a nurse, was present during the labour, and Marlijn advised me to involve her in this therapy. I was told to talk about the childbirth with her as well. Because four years had passed, I was able to think about it more rationally. Before then, I was only emotional about it. I learned that some things actually happened differently, and were less scary than I remembered.
It was time. The evening of the EMDR therapy. I had prepared for it well, but I was still pragmatic about it. Marlijn was very calm and sweet, and explained what she was going to do. She would hold two fingers in front of my face and move them back and forth. While she did this, she asked me questions about my childbirth. The only thing I had to do was follow her fingers, from left to right, and answer her questions. At the end of the session, I was very tired, but I did feel like a heavy load had fallen off my shoulders. During the EMDR, the raw and fearful moments had been rubbed away, and only the beautiful moments remained. The happiness that I had delivered our first daughter safe and sound. I had pushed that moment to the back of my mind, so I couldn’t really enjoy that my daughter had been born safely. It also turned out that my fear had started at the moment when I had to leave home and go to the hospital. At that moment my contractions stopped, so that my childbirth took a very long time. This was all because of fear, fear of the unknown…
In the meantime, my second pregnancy was progressing without complications, and it was time to decide how I wanted to give birth. Because I had discovered that my fear had started when I had to go to the hospital, I made the last-minute decision to give birth at home. I noticed that I made this decision very calmly, and more importantly without fear. I had my self-confidence back.
On 25 August 2016 at 13.05 our second daughter was born, after a successful home birth. This time, I did experience that ‘pink cloud’ feeling. I felt like a queen, with her little princess. Because everything was better and more relaxed this time, I was able to go downstairs that evening, to enjoy our two daughters and the grandparents who came to admire the little one.