EFT is a wonderful tool to use during pregnancy. A pregnant woman can use EFT to neutralize any negative emotions or fears she may have about pregnancy or labor, and if EFT is thoroughly applied, enjoy relief from physical discomforts as well.
Let’s look at a pregnant woman, we’ll call her Laura, who called for an EFT session to help her deal with a very persistent pregnancy discomfort--- sore breasts. Since most physical issues have an emotional component, it often works well to tap on the emotional pieces of a physical problem to see what kind of results you get. I decided to “be a detective” with Laura before we started any tapping. I started with a very general question, with the intention of using her answers in our Set-Up Phrase: “If there were an emotional contributor to this issue, what might that be?”
Laura explained that she was an advocate of attachment parenting, child-led weaning in particular. This meant that she had planned on letting her daughter nurse until her daughter “grew out of it” on her own. She had planned on nursing her daughter until about age two. Well, her daughter was almost three years old and was still nursing. Laura explained that her daughter only nursed when she needed help falling to sleep --- nap time, bedtime, during the night if she woke up for any reason, and early in the morning. The pain of letting her daughter nurse had been bothering her during her entire pregnancy but by the time we had our EFT session together Laura was 32 weeks pregnant and felt the discomfort was at an unbearable level. Laura felt frustrated because she had wanted her daughter to be able to decide when to wean on her own, but she was also very uncomfortable, to the point of bursting into tears if her daughter nursed for more than a few minutes.
Laura was already familiar with EFT and had tried tapping while her daughter nursed but said she got no relief from the physical discomfort and also reported feeling “even more frustrated with the whole situation, as if the tapping was causing the issue to rise to surface.” Laura said that continuing to tap helped calm her down a bit but more often than not she ended up begging her daughter to stop, explaining that “it hurt mommy.”
When she visualized herself nursing her daughter she felt frustrated at about 7. So we began to address her feelings as we tapped:
Karate Chop Point: Even though I am frustrated because it really hurts when my daughter nurses, I accept and love myself
Top of Head: I get mad at my daughter when she wants to nurse; even though it’s not her fault my nipples are sore
Eyebrow (E): I feel guilty for getting mad
Side of Eye (SE): I feel like a horrible mom when I get mad at her for nursing
Under the Eye (UE): This frustration
Under the Nose (UN): This anger
Chin (Ch): Angry at myself for getting angry with her
Collarbone (Cb): Frustrated with my body
Under Arm (A): Blaming her for the pain, it’s not her fault it hurts, I know that.
At this point Laura reported her frustration was down to about a 1, but a new aspect had popped up; she felt afraid that the pain would come back if her daughter decided to nurse. She knew that it would hurt and was fearful at about a 9 level. I asked her, “What does the discomfort really feel like? Describe it to me as well as you can. Is it sharp, nagging, etc.?” Laura replied: “Like a little hamster is nibbling at my nipples.” We began tapping again:
Karate Chop Point: “Even though it feels like a little hamster is nibbling at my nipples when my daughter nurses, I deeply and completely accept myself, my situation, and my daughter”
Top of the Head (TH): “I forgive myself for getting frustrated --- no wonder I feel frustrated! Anyone would feel frustrated if a hamster were at their nipples!”
We shared a laugh at this point and she reported her SUDS had fallen to a 6 or 7. We continued tapping:
Karate Chop Point: It’s always painful, but I accept myself anyway.
Top of Head (TH): I’m open to the possibility that maybe it won’t be.
E: I feel conflicted---should I wean her.
SE: Can I handle this?
UE: This is overwhelming.
UN: I hate this!
Ch: Every time I tell her she can’t nurse she has a temper tantrum!
Cb: Nothing I’ve done has worked!
A: This is hopeless!
Laura let out a big sigh of relief ---a telltale sign of energy shifting.
TH: This won’t last forever.
E: She won’t nurse forever.
SE: I choose to be comfortable while I nurse.
UE: I choose to be comfortable while I nurse.
UN: I choose to be comfortable while I nurse.
At this point Laura said she was feeling good about the whole situation and she thought maybe she would find some reading material having to do with attachment parents who are ready to wean. She said she felt in control and was no longer dreading the next nursing session. A few weeks later Laura reported that she had decided to allow her daughter to nurse for a while longer, and she said that the discomfort was at about a 4-5 instead of a 10. She said she liked to use tapping while she nursed and that it helped her ease the feelings of agitation and restlessness. She even tried tapping on her daughter and found that it made her giggle with delight!
Using EFT does not guarantee that your pregnancy discomforts will disappear as quickly or easily as they did in Laura’s case, but more often than not, EFT can get to the emotional root of the discomfort, which will likely bring partial relief, at the very least.
When applying EFT to a physical discomfort, it doesn’t matter if the issue is pregnancy-related or not; just be sure to ask good questions before you start and periodically in between rounds of tapping, during natural points of reflection. Ask questions like:
- What’s been going on in your life lately?
- What was going on in your life when this physical problem first started?
- If there were an emotion involved in this physical problem, what might it be?
- How does having this pain or discomfort make you feel?
- If your body could talk to you, what would it say?
- If you could say anything to anyone, without consequence, what would you say?
When using EFT to work with any physical issue, it may be useful to go back several weeks or months to when the issue first appeared, and tap on any emotionally charged situations or events that occurred during this time.
Pregnancy can be one of the most magical times in a woman’s life, but it can be one of the most challenging as well. EFT has proven to be an exquisite tool during pregnancy and asking good questions to help you formulate your tapping set-up and reminder phrases will help you achieve greater success when applying EFT to physical issues, whether you (or your clients) are pregnant or not! Perfecting your ability to “be a detective” is a skill that will serve you time and time again.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published on August 21, 2010.