What are the Four Baskets? – Conscious Birth and Wellness

What are the Four Baskets?

 “The Four Baskets refers to the time frames of conception, gestation, birth, and the first hours after birth- these time frames are the primary foundation of our lives (also called the prenatal and perinatal period.) The experiences we have during our Four Baskets become the lens through which we perceive the rest of our lives. If there was stress or trauma during any Basket it can create a pattern of stuck energy that we find ourselves repeating over and over throughout our lives. The Four Baskets is a process that brings awareness to these areas and can resolve or restore the blueprint of the primary foundation, so that life can proceed smoother with more clarity”

Catherine Lightfoot, Author of Four Baskets, from Womb to World

first Basket- Conception

Was conception sought after, desired, planned? A pleasant surprise? An unpleasant surprise? Resented? The result of abuse or manipulation? Considered or attempted termination? Will be or was given up for adoption? This key time sets the stage for one’s sense of self and place in the world. It is because of my own first basket trauma that I do what I do. I spent a lifetime with a knowingness that I was an ‘oops’, that I was an inconvenience, never really wanted, never really fitting in. “Root Chakra” wounding in its finest. In discussing generational trauma with my mom she told me she was resentful of getting pregnant with me. ” I added more years to her sentence.” I am 5 and 7 years younger than my siblings, and she wanted to leave my dad. She was just waiting for them to be a bit older, to both be in school. I derailed her plans an extra 11 years. My conception story created the foundation for a wounded sense of self, a wounded place in the world, insecure avoidant attachment and a lifetime of struggle. It wasn’t until I started to do the work of healing my 4 basket experiences that life, abundance, connection began to unfold for me. These experiences can be healed later in life but just like in everything, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ as the saying goes. Preventing harm be being aware of how this story impacts one’s psyche and healing it while still in the womb or early childhood, can prevent a lifetime of pain. The majority of adults and children I’ve worked with who were adopted, no matter the reasoning why, or how much their adoptive family loved them all carried this core wound of “I am not wanted”. A few with conscious parents have mitigated its effects.

I am always blown away how the smallest statement or reaction displayed during the 4 basket period can create such a monumental impact on a baby’s sense of self as you will see with more examples as we move on.

Second Basket- Gestation

Babies are conscious of their time in the womb. Encoding emotional/ intrinsic memories, cellular memories and some even recalling biographical memories of their time in the womb later in life. Parental stress, grief, hardship that leads to them being focused on their own needs vs attuning and bonding with baby impacts both physical and emotional development. A non bonding experience such as grief while pregnant, as researched by Dr. Tony Madrid leads to asthma and healing that experience within the mother, heals the child’s asthma. I use his protocol and it works. Learn more here. Stress and disconnection can lead to more than asthma, it can set the foundation for all kinds of issues. Baby is growing its entire body, brain and nervous system. They live in a literal soup of your emotional and stress hormones that encode that development. Again prevention and supporting optimal development is the key. Attuning with and talking with baby in the womb is crucial. I can help you to learn how to tune in and connect, even if the baby is carried in another person’s womb on the other side of the world. We can support and help baby process their experiences when in the womb.

Third Basket- Birth

The vast majority of us have trauma from birth and if you don’t heal it you will be destined to repeat it with the birth of your child as an opportunity to heal it now. If you were born by C-section you are more likely to end up with one yourself. Birth trauma leads to so many impacts but again my focus is on prevention through preparation and mindset. Life is 10% what happened to us and 90% how we react to it. Even if a c-section becomes needed we can address and process the experience for both of you and make it a conscious birth. A recent client trying for a vaginal birth after 2 cesareans, 1 pregnancy loss and 1 hard delivery of a posterior baby came to me. Her little guy made it clear he was here to give her the beautiful birth she deserved. But in the end that didn’t happen. Despite all the preparation she had another c-section, but it wasn’t traumatic for either of them because we knew why, and they both accepted that was their soul’s journey. They talked to him and explained to him what was going to happen and why. He is the most relaxed, calmest, content child compared to her other 3. I love her story, the wisdom and intuition of a birthing mother and her body. I’ll post the full story soon and update this post. C-sections can be done consciously and without trauma. Without attuning with and communicating with baby they can feel like they were just ripped into the world, that they have no control over their lives and feel very lost. At one of my APPPAH meetings a colleague told the story of a youth who was getting in trouble with the law. He went to a program filled with other juvenile criminals and within a meditation he recalled his birth, a scheduled c-section where he was ripped into the world without warning or understanding. Upon revealing this to the class it was discovered that 100% of the young men there, 20 I think, were all born by cesarean. Our births set the foundation for our lives, but the programming can be changed by healing within the 4 basket experiences.

Here is an excerpt from the article DOES BIRTH TRAUMA LEAD TO PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS? ‘Although the infant has an unconscious mind, these early experiences become the blueprint on which future psychological development takes place. Psychologists believe children who had difficult births are more likely to be angry, aggressive, and anxious compared to children who had easy births. Researchers at Harvard University and Brown University published the results of a study in 2011 showing that the circumstances of a baby’s birth can predispose it to autism. In other words, children who have a difficult delivery have a higher chance of developing autism compared to children who are born uneventfully. The results of 60 studies were combined in this meta-analysis.”

Add in that a traumatic birth also increases the risk of being separated from bonding in the crucial 4th basket hours for medical attention or a stay in the NICU, it makes it crucial that we are there with attunement and connectivity with baby to help them process, navigate and heal these experiences as soon as possible. Or even better preventing trauma through preparation before birth by optimizing fetal positioning, ensuring healthy alignment of the birthing person’s body, reducing tension and stress and having both ready and excited for birth. Preparing an open mindset that your birth will unfold how it was meant to and having acceptance and forgiveness for it even if it wasn’t how you dreamed it to be, can also mean no trauma.

4th Basket- First 6 hours of Life

We talk about the golden hour, the first hour of life where the birth hormones are surging which aids in bonding, easier initiation of breastfeeding, and skin to skin that regulates the newborn’s nervous system and know how important it is. In the ancient ayurvedic tradition that coined the term the 4 baskets, they refer to it as 6 hours. 6 hours in which the newborn is super alert and taking everything in. When separation occurs it can encode the nervous system with fear and survival programming. Commentary on how you looked or disappointment on your gender can impact your self-esteem, who was there and what the mood was like, all gets encoded. One client a few years ago had her birth show up to be addressed within a session. It related to her dad and time and how she felt she was never worth anyone’s time, especially his. After the session she asked her mom about it to learn that dad was working 2 hours away when she went into labour with her. Instead of dropping everything to come at her call he finished his work day and then came, showing up at the hospital just in time for her entry into the world. Can you imagine how her mother felt labouring without him, her resentment and fear? The stress hormones she was bathed in? How this all set the stage for a belief that she wasn’t worth her dad’s time. Or anyone else’s for that matter. I can only imagine how his late entry also impacted her 4th basket experiences as well.

All of who we are is encoded within the 4 baskets of experiences, which is why my mission to give babies the best start to life possible is done by preventing and healing trauma within them.

A great life begins with a conscious birth… conception, gestation and postpartum.

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