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Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On April 01, 2023

Connecting with your Baby - Susan Adamson

Connecting with your Baby - Susan Adamson

Susan Adamson from Mother Trees is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Registered Nurse, Energy Medicine Practitioner, a Pre and Perinatal Somatic Student and MOTHER. She covers topics with MysticMag which touch on epigenetics, breastfeeding and her somatic approach to working with her clients.

How did Mother Trees come about and was this part of your predestined journey?

I believe that everything we do is part of our journey.  Mother Trees is a culmination of all my experiences leading up to becoming a mother, through birth and beyond.

I have been a registered nurse for over 35 years and have worked in home, hospital, school and clinic settings with a focus on families, especially during the newborn period. After the birth of my second son, I started suffering from significant allergies, chronic fatigue and severe back pain.  I spent years trying to find relief through allergists, medical doctors, naturopaths, chronic pain specialists and finally found the answer back to health with energy medicine.

I became a BodyTalk practitioner and Reiki Master in 2012 and started offering sessions to others with chronic health issues. The clients that were drawn to me had health issues that were influenced by their ancestral and familial imprints, beliefs and stories.  These epigenetic stories had created patterns in their bodies that did not serve them in this lifetime, and we were able to work with that information and bring their bodies back into balance and health.

Some of the stories that emerged were birth stories:  the client’s own birth and prenatal life or that of their mother’s or grandmother’s birth imprints or trauma.  I became curious about birth trauma and began researching its impact on adult health. I discovered the Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) and found my people.  From there I attended my first Womb Surround with Ray Castellino—a pioneer in pre and perinatal psychology, and fell in love with his work.  I am currently in my last 6 months of Ray’s Somatic Blueprint Foundational Training.

I have incorporated this pre and perinatal work into all of my sessions.  We all have birth imprints, good and bad.  It is important to try and understand how those imprints may still be impacting us in our lives today. Once we understand the correlation, we can more easily make the changes we need to move forward in our lives. 

Do you believe that breastfeeding creates a longer lasting bond and understanding between mother and infant?

Breastfeeding is the first touch point between mom and baby after birth. In an ideal birth setting, the baby is placed on the mother after birth and allowed time to rest, recover and orient to the world on the outside with the comfort and security of mom’s presence.  Babies will instinctively crawl to the breast after their sense of safety and security is assured (usually within the first hour of life).   

The breast crawl is innate to all mammals and humans are no exception.  Unfortunately, in most hospital settings, this “Golden Hour” after birth is often full of interventions for both mom and baby.  When babies miss out on the breast crawl, which promotes “self-attachment”, they often experience more difficulty breastfeeding and require more interventions to become successful with breastfeeding.  

It is important to understand that repair from a difficult birth or separation after birth can happen and needs to happen, preferably as soon as possible, in order to heal that trauma story.  If our early traumas are not expressed and healed, we can often recapitulate the trauma story in other ways throughout our lives. (this can include feelings of abandonment, betrayal, not being seen or heard or understood.)

So, to answer your question, successful breastfeeding can benefit bonding and attachment of mom and baby but it is not the only way.  Lack of attunement (being in sync with each other) between mom and baby is quite common and can happen up to 70% of the time.  If you know someone that feels disconnected with their baby or child, I would recommend they work with a practitioner that is educated in pre and perinatal somatic psychology in order to understand how to connect more deeply with their child, as well as uncover their own birth story imprints, that often influence all of their relationships.

How much of early motherhood is intuitive, and why do you think we have lost touch with this?

We are all intuitive beings.  We are born with a strong inner knowing—we see this easily in our children.  They express with all honesty and sincerity the things that we have been taught to keep quiet.  My son saw spirits when he was young.  They were his earliest playmates and I believe now that they were protecting him from taking on too much of my anxiety as a new mom. He always had excellent boundaries, knowing what feelings belonged to him versus someone else’s.  For example: When he was 4 y.o and we were running late for preschool, I was stressed about the time and trying to hurry him and his brother along.  He turned to me and said, “mom, it is ok.  We will be a little late but that is ok.”  I always knew he was an old soul with much more understanding of humanity than most children were given credit for at that age.

I think we have lost our ability to quiet the mind, slow ourselves down in order to really take in fully what happens to us in any given moment.  Our lives are so full of distraction, how can we hear that voice within–our inner knowing?  Distraction can be a form of disassociation.  Keeping us busy so as to not think deeply about the WHY.  Why do we feel uncomfortable talking with that particular neighbor or our mother-in-law or feel anxious when we hear a critical comment from a co-worker?

That is why I love working with new moms and teaching them how to trust their own intuition.  Understanding the symptoms their body is expressing and the story behind the disease or discomfort is so powerful. Families that see me are often looking for an answer to their problem, physical, mental or emotional.  In working with them, a story is often revealed that finally makes sense to them and that awareness allows them to release the emotion stuck within the story.  It is the beginning of relearning the boundaries that they were never taught as children.  So often children, unknowingly take on the pain and suffering of their parents. Once the story is revealed as not theirs, they can more easily let go of it and begin to heal. They can get back in touch with their own emotions and eventually, their intuition.  It is so beneficial to parenting!!  

What can you tell us about your somatic approach with your clients?

I start my sessions with the client stating an intention for what they want to glean from our time together—what they would like to be different in the hours or days to come?  It is extremely powerful to set an intention for what you desire—and it is something we often lack in our daily lives.  

Somatic means “in the body”.  So, along with intention, and the relevant story in the moment, there is often a feeling in the body that shows up with the stressful imprint or story.  We can explore the feeling, where it is and ways to shift it.  It is powerful to see the client reconnect with this part of themselves—their deep inner knowing comes alive. I often have to remind my clients that I am a facilitator and guide—they are the healer.  I am always moved by my client’s revelations and healing process.  It is different for each person and each session.  That is what makes this work so exciting!  There is no standard prescription or formula.  Each session is unique.

Why, in your opinion,has breastfeeding always been the victim of what is trending, when it is inherently the most natural thing in the world?

Unfortunately, birth in this country is seen as a medical intervention instead of a normal, healthy expression of bringing a new life into this world. Hospital protocols dictate the timing and pace of the labor and delivery process.  Because interventions, like epidural medications, are so common, many OB doctors and labor and delivery nurses no longer know how to assist a birthing parent through a natural unmedicated birth.  Even in a Baby Friendly Hospital, like the one I worked in, that promotes breastfeeding, natural unmedicated births were less than 5% of all births.

Breastfeeding also falls prey to the interventions of birth.  Although there are very few research studies that look specifically at birth interventions and breastfeeding challenges, lactation consultants in the hospital see the correlations.  Many babies are sleepy and disorganized after a medicated birth, and with a cesarean birth, there are also usually delays in breast milk production. 

As a result of increasing interventions in the birth process, most babies are not ready or able to breastfeed well within the first 24 hours after birth. Depending on the hospital, many pediatricians and nurses are uncomfortable with the slow learning of a sleepy breastfed baby and may introduce formula within the first 24 hours, causing more challenges in the natural breastfeeding process, along with initiating doubt in the mother that she can adequately provide nourishment for her baby.

Another compounding factor is that most women are discharged from the hospital after a vaginal delivery within 24-48 hours, and 72 hours after a cesarean birth.  That is not a lot of time to learn about breastfeeding, especially since most moms and babies are still recovering from the birth process, and groggy from pain medications.  Learning how to breastfeed in the hospital setting is also compromised by constant interruptions from numerous medical providers, vital statistics, cleaning staff, general nursing assessments, tests and procedures all needing to be performed before the baby and mom go home.  Also, the parents must navigate differing opinions about breastfeeding from the nurses, lactation consultants, pediatricians and anyone else who feels compelled to give their input. It can be quite confusing for a new parent.

So, although breastfeeding is a natural process, all the interventions of hospital birth and added challenges, like early supplementation, can create a lower success rate with breastfeeding in the long run.

How do you help your clients navigate through any breastfeeding problems they may encounter and how common is this?

Usually the mother and baby are sent home before her milk supply is established and therefore it is difficult to assess whether the baby is breastfeeding effectively or not.  It is usually recommended that mom and baby see their pediatrician within 3-5 days of discharge and lactation follow up only happens if they were seen by a lactation consultant in the hospital.  Those first few days home with baby are so challenging for most new parents.  They don’t know what is normal or not and 5 days can seem like a lifetime when sleep deprived and sore from constant feeding.

I love seeing families during this gap in care to reassure them of what is going well and if anything needs to change in the feeding plan.  My practice focuses on setting up mom and baby for success—however that may look for individual families.   Mothers, partners and babies, need time to process the birth experience.  We allow time to review the birth story, pausing for support, experiencing any emotions that show up, sometimes grieving the loss of the “perfect” birth.  Babies will often show their birth story too, with body movement and emotions.  It is important for the practitioner to name the challenging parts of the story that the baby shows.  This can be very healing for the baby and parent.  I have witnessed very sleepy babies with no energy to nurse, transition into vigorous breastfeeders after allowing them to breast crawl from mom’s tummy to breast, at their own pace and latch onto the breast, completely on their own (often at a painfully slow rate!)  With verbal encouragement, and recognition of all that they know about how to feed, as well as encouraging the parents in their own unique knowing.  It is a beautiful process.

I offer a Breastfeeding Success Program that provides one month of guidance and support including weekly home or virtual visits, breastfeeding consultation, birth trauma re-patterning, nervous system reset for baby and energy healing sessions.  I just recently began a Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy program and will be adding new BCST tools as I learn them.

I also teach expectant and new parents how to “talk” with their baby before and after birth through group programs.  Research has shown that communication with the baby before birth can help ease the birth and postpartum experience, including breastfeeding.

If you would like to find out more about Susan Adamson and Mother Trees, visit

About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.