Donate to Saying Goodbye and help me raise money for infant loss

Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate

Friday, 24 January 2014

The 'Womba' Effect

Tonight, whilst engaged in a wonderful twitter debate, I was inspired to write this blog. The twitter debate is normally facilitated by the inspirational @JaneParenting but tonight at the helm was the insightful author of War And Peas @JoCormack - a book about being more aware of emotions and eating. If you'd like to join Jane she holds an interesting twitter debate every Thursday at 8pm under the hashtag rchchat. Tonights hot topic led me to consider resilience in children. 

We often hear the term resilience and to me amongst others, it is key. Even the UK TV School-based Drama, Waterloo Road are including this as a key feature in their latest series.

So what is resilience? Is it the ability to bounce back? Why do our children need to be resilient? Is it because it will support them in the ‘now’ and in their future? I think so. Do you?

As a mum, I have encouraged my daughter to develop resilience. I am a Blossom Method and Attachment parent and through our attachment she has gained a wonderful inner strength and outer strength.

In her early years as she reached out to grab I encouraged her to explore for herself. I never passed to her what she was reaching for I simply supported her in her exploration and moved the object to a place she could reach it for herself.

At age two Blossom insisted upon entering into the world of Bollywood Dancing. So following her intuition and desires, my husband found a class and she began her journey into Bollywood at age three. He drove her every Sunday morning, the 60 mile round trip, where she continued on with this until she was 5 years old and she won the local Bollywood Championships! Sadly, the class was then closed. 

When she began to reach out even further we have been there. We have watched her insist upon climbing very tall trees (age 4), and however frightening this was for me (yes, me rather than my husband) I still allowed her to explore. We, of course, supported her and made ourselves available as a ‘safety net’ if she needed us. I’m sure many of you do these things as well. I am certain there are other parents who simply cannot get over their own anxieties and as a result they hover, like helicopters with their propellers of anxiety whizzing in fear!

During all of these events something incredible happens to my body, and in particular my womb. As I watch, encourage and secretly manage my own anxiety, my womb goes into overdrive and flips sometimes to the point of nausea. It tells me something. Something I always attune to. This is a powerful bodily expression that I listen to even in the absence of my daughter, Blossom. A feeling I have experienced often even if I cannot see her.

Recently I was in the same building as my daughter and I was seated in a place I could not see her. I felt a strong body sense and then my womb started flipping. I immediately said to my husband and other people, there’s something wrong with Blossom. She is crying. When I eventually reached her she was very upset and distressed. How did my body know? Why did I follow my ‘womb’? I followed it because I know it to be a reliable source. I followed it because Blossom and I are so very attuned, emotionally and bodily. Why is this so? I really don’t know but I do put some of this down to ‘The Blossom Method’ and as a result our incredible attunement. 

Somehow (once I know she is safe), my womb settles its self back to a more comfortable position and we all move on. In our house we call this a ‘womba’. You’ll often hear Blossom saying, “Did I give you a ‘womba’ mummy? I’m curious do other mum’s (and Dads) experience this in their bodies?

Do you experience the ‘womba’ effect? If so, I’d love to hear your stories. Please comment below and let’s encourage others to tune into their bodies and gather more information about our children using the power of the ‘womba’ effect and the rest of our bodies.

Vivien Sabel  
Pg. Dip. Psych. Couns., Pg. Dip. Integ. Psych., Pg. Cert. Clinical Supervision, Pg. Cert. Management., Dip. Deaf Studies.

Author of the award-winning The Blossom Method™- The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth 
Baby Observer and Parenting Advisor 
UKCP Relational Psychotherapist



  1. Great post! Resilience is such an interesting subject - I have been noticing with my 18 month daughter that if I help her climb something, for example, she looks to me for help next time. As though I'm telling her "you need me for this". If I leave her to work it out for herself, she'll learn about what she can do for herself. All within the bounds of safety, of course.
    I love your description of the "womba". I remember when my daughter was waking for night feeds as a baby I would always wake with a little physical jolt seconds before she did... must have been a womba!

    solving picky eating

    1. Resilience is interesting isn't it? Thanks for sharing your comments.

  2. So thrilled you fascinating Blog has come out of Jo's inspirational #rchchat last night! It is so important to be more attuned to our bodies and to teach this to our children as it keeps us and them safer. Sadly, we often teach to over ride their instincts and bodily messages when we rush them along or interrupt or ignore their interpretations of them. @janeparenting

    This is such a valuable blog as it emphasises the need to tune in to our children and our bodies so they can learn from this too.

    1. Oh yes being in tune with our bodies can help us in so many ways. I like to support children & adults attune to their body feelings as well as their cognitive process

  3. That sounds so powerful. I think as a mum that I feel something too when my children are troubled or worried. It is a sixth sense and think because I have spent so much time with my boys that I just know/sense it. Attunement it is!

  4. Attunement indeed Naomi! It is so incredibly powerful isn't it? It is like a sixth sense, isn't it Naomi? I'm glad I have it but sometimes when I'm trying to encourage Blossom to 'explore' even further my womb just 'flips' so much it feels almost too much to bear.