How Your Inner Baby Shapes Your Life

Healing early childhood abandonment and rejection

By Carna Zacharias-Miller

(Add or view comments at the bottom of the page.)


Many of you will be familiar with inner child work.

While I am always focused on the inner child or the young self when I am working on childhood trauma with EFT, I recently realized that I am very much tuned in to the baby self. It is absolutely amazing how alive these inner babies are – how this very early time can influence a whole life, and how EFT can heal a bad start into life in a profound way. I believe that inner child work always should include inner baby work.

Issues and experiences around conception, pregnancy, birth, and infancy have tremendous impact on our emotional wellbeing. If there was a disconnection from the mother, it almost always started right in the beginning. Of course, there are usually no conscious memories, but there are always powerful emotions – often triggered by the things our parents told us, or circumstances that might come to light later in life. For example, I had two clients who experienced intense sadness and pain about losing their twin before birth – and they did not even know for the longest time that this twin had existed.

Conception issues are not so much sexual (although they can be), but rather they are circumstances around that moment in time. For example, the conception being a “mistake”, illness of the mother, or physical absence of the father. In my experience, the two most painful and far-reaching issues are: “I was not wanted,” and “I was just a girl, they really wanted a boy.” The knowledge or just the inner knowing (parents don’t always tell us directly) of not being wanted, for whatever reason, always brings up intense emotional pain and the belief that there is something profoundly wrong with us.

Even though my mother thought of abortion when she was pregnant with me and that makes me feel devastated in the pit of my stomach…

Even though I was the 6th child that my father forced on my mother, and she just did her catholic duty, and that makes me feel sad and angry…

Being of the “wrong” gender is not really a gender issue. It installs a self-destructive belief system in a girl that often taints her whole life:

Even though I am worthless, and I should not exist…

Even though I am never good enough, whatever I do…

Even though I was a mistake, I was not supposed to be here, and I still don’t know what I am doing here…

Moving on to pregnancy and birth, we deal with specific shocking experiences, like dangerous health complications, a death in the family, or left behind in an incubator. Often, the physical and/or emotional separation from the mother happens right after birth. It is always perceived as heartbreaking abandonment by the mother even if there were rational reasons for it.

Then we spend loving, caring time with “Baby Marie”, “Baby Anna”, or “Baby Paul” (not real names). That is where the pain, and the hurt, and the desperation, and the anger often come to a peak. Intense loneliness, feeling powerless, hopeless, and a deep yearning for being held and touched are big issues.

I believe that it is important to give these babies a voice that they did not have when they were actually going through the experience. Once they are allowed to speak their truth through the now adult self, they are ready to be comforted and healed by this adult self. It is heartbreaking to see how little it actually takes to make a baby happy! And it is wondrous to experience how differentiated baby feelings can be. We don’t just want to be a “good” little girl or boy to please our mothers, we often start out by wanting to be a good baby.

Sometimes I use a little guided imagery to connect to a specific visual and emotional “snapshot” of the baby, and then we tap on every detail that comes up:

Even though nobody touches Baby Marie, and she feels desperately lonely in her crib, I am treating this baby with kindness and compassion.

Even though nobody even looks at Baby Anna, and nobody picks her up when she is left alone in the bedroom, I give this baby all the attention she needs.

Even though Baby Paul’s mother yelled at him in the kitchen when he was hungry and crying, I feed this baby with all my love now.

Just one session of EFT (not always tearless) focused on the inner baby can make a big difference. Usually it is not as dramatic as it was with “Kathy”: After just one session spent with her baby self, she felt great, lost the 10 lbs she always wanted to lose, and found the love of her life. However, most clients feel relief when the baby self has been acknowledged in a loving way and the adult self is ready to support this tender part with love and compassion.

Sometimes, there is a spiritual aspect to this work, and I love it when that comes up: Some people have a strong feeling of the radiance, beauty, joy, and unconditional love they experienced before their incarnation. If they find themselves in an environment that is loveless or even hostile, they go through intense, very painful feelings of being trapped in the womb, of fear and regret about coming into the physical world. They don’t feel safe no matter what, and a part of them is never “here”. When I ask them if they feel homesick, they are usually relieved to have found the right word for these strange feelings.


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Author's Bio:

Carna Zacharias-Miller, EFT-Cert1, EvP







Posted April 27, 2011 07:21 AM

Dear Carna, I read your test and it made to turn a light in my mind!!!!

That is the part:
"They don’t feel safe no matter what, and a part of them is never “here”. When I ask them if they feel homesick, they are usually relieved to have found the right word for these strange feelings."

Please, help me to find the way... How could I work with this homesick?

Tks in andvance!

(from Brazil)


Carna Zacharias-Miller
Posted May 09, 2011 07:37 PM

Hello Fernanda,

This is such a complex issue that I recommend you work with a practitioner.

Take care,


Posted September 09, 2011 09:33 PM

Very touching and meaningful article. Thanks for writing it!


Posted May 28, 2012 06:06 AM

Dear Carna,

Thank you sooo much for sharing this. You have no idea how much it helped me. I always had this feeling of being unloved, unwanted, surplus, burden, and even though I tapped a lot around that in childhood and even as an embryo, it's not until I read your article that I felt this is complete.

I responate perfectly with the statement "Even though I was a mistake, I was not supposed to be here, and I still don’t know what I am doing here…" It's exactly how I always felt! Still do a bit. I was a mistake pregnancy, accused of ruining my mom's career and lived with that throughout my childhood.

Spending time with your inner baby is a great idea. Now, whenever I feel lonely or that I "need a hug", I hug my inner baby and that helps a lot. Being a second child I guess I was ignored a lot.

Sending you infinite blessings and utmost gratitude.



Posted May 29, 2012 01:47 PM

Hello Marwa,

You are welcome! I am glad that I could help.

All the best on your healing journey,


Posted March 08, 2013 05:49 PM


I have been trying for a baby for 2 years, reading this article was an eye opener. When I was 3 month old I had a deadly lung infection and survived miraculously. My mother was mortified all the time while I was in the hospital. I still have a scar to remind me of those first weeks of my life, that I could not have possibly remembered. When I think of my troubles in life, I often come to a conclusion that it is no surprise that I have to struggle through life because I need to earn my right to survive that illness. Do not know if fertility problem is connected with this, but I truly believe that was supposed to be dead. Please advice how to tap on that!

With gratitude,
EFT beginner


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