By Dr. Patricia Carrrington
Barbara Heffel is a registered nurse working in a birthing center within a hospital. She is an experienced EFT practitioner who has earned the Advanced EFT Certificate of Completion, indicating her thorough knowledge of Gary Craig's Basic "EFT Course" and his "Steps Toward Becoming the Ultimate Therapist". As a reader of our newsletter, she reports a fascinating use of EFT with newborn infants, an area that has hardly ever been reported on before, but which holds great promise. She tells of two times she has used EFT for newborn infants:
On the first occasion she was working in the newborn nursery where one of the babies had had a horribly traumatic delivery. He had descended in what is known as a "brow" position", so his little face was swollen and distorted. Toward the end of the birth process he had managed to turn around, but had needed several "vacuum assists" in order to be delivered and had more than the usual "caput" (collection of fluid under the skin from the trauma) and molding (shaping of the head bones), creating the exaggerated "cone head" appearance. Because of this and his swollen, traumatized facial features, even the doctor was afraid there was malformation when he looked at the newborn, and the parents could hardly look at him because he was so distorted.
Barbara first saw him the day after his delivery. At that time he was still traumatized. He had a constant frown and a frequent cry which was not calmed by holding or feeding. The night shift had finally given up on comforting him, and since the mother did not want him in the room, he lay in his crib fussy and miserable, until Barbara picked him up and took him over to a corner of the nursery and started talking to him and gently tapping.
Here is what she said as she commenced EFT:
"Even though birth was very hard, and my family was not able to comfort me when I came out, I DID make it, and I am a strong and healthy Being here on Earth now."
She then tapped for him on a number of different issues — "distorted", "family trauma" (his mother had yet to look at him), "being scared and scaring others", "knowing I can make it", "being loved and loving", "feeling secure and happy and cared for now" etc.
When she had finished tapping, the baby calmed down and looked her straight in the eye. Amazingly, his frowned eased up. Then he fell into a peaceful sleep.
When he awoke, he seemed interested in his surroundings, and when Barbara took him out to his mother (who still resisted looking at him), his aunt took him and they had great interactions. In writing about this Barbara comments that she surely wishes she could have found a way to do EFT on his mother!
When we were discussing this, I asked her whether she had thought of doing surrogate EFT with the mother at that time and she said actually she had not, but might very well use this method if needed in the future. She had been so totally focused on the baby that she could think of nothing else at the time, she said she was totally absorbed in his world.
(NOTE: When tapping on infants, Barbara uses the EFT tapping points on the face commencing with the inner eyebrow, and also the collarbone spot. She taps very gently).
Her second experience using EFT on a newborn was when she was the receiving baby nurse for an emergency Cesarean section where the baby was five weeks early, and had potential lung problems due to his premature birth. A pediatric specialist also attended the birth. The infant came out looking quite good, and although the team provided “blow-by” oxygen (a process whereby oxygen from a tube is allowed to blow by the baby’s face), he did not require intubation (a process in which a tube is put down the trachea into the lungs). The medical staff was feeling optimistic, when suddenly the infant started to decompensate. He began to manifest labored breathing with some grunting and “retractions” (severely effortful breathing where one can see the sternum tucked in sharply with each breath).
The doctor, who is very experienced, shook his head and said, "Get on the phone and begin the transfer process.” By this, he meant the baby was to be transferred to a higher level facility since the present one didn't keep incubated infants. Barbara immediately placed the call, and the nurses out on the floor began the process. They were still in the operating room when the doctor went over to talk with the mother (who had been given the spinal anesthesia, so she was awake) to tell her of the transfer. While the doctor talked with the mother, Barbara took this time to bend close to the baby and start lightly tapping on him:
“You have done a marvelous job with your birth….. Now your lungs just need to work easily and properly….. Breathing without effort….. Adjusting to life outside the womb….. You are welcome, and we will give you whatever you need….. "
When the doctor came back to see him, the baby was breathing normally. They took him to the Level 2 Nursery anyway, for close observation, but he did not require ANY further oxygen at all. The transfer was canceled. He never showed any further breathing difficulty. They kept him at their facility, with his parents, and he went into the normal newborn nursery the next morning.
Barbara comments that although these cases could be argued as “coincidental” in timing (anything can be argued as coincidental of course) she is trusting her own experience of “the miraculous in the moment” – of that “feeling inside of connecting with something not usually touched… of a respect for that "something larger" that is available, and of the unique sensations that come when the connection is made.” She feels that a “new door (marked "EFT") has appeared in her life, and the opening of it “has blessed me deeply.”
The use of EFT for newborns that Barbara describes is not only inspiring but potentially important from a medical point of view, and I hope that those in the position to do so in hospitals, or other places of birth will soon recognize the wonderful possibilities inherent in this kind of intervention.
Pat Carrington, EFT Master
Barbara Heffel can be contacted at Barbarah@gvtc.com