Hypnobirthing – What Is It?
“Well good luck with that” they say. That’s what most people say when I tell them I plan to breath my baby out with no pain relief through learning hypnobirthing tools.
I came across hypnobirthing from clients really, during my initial consultations I routinely ask if they have children and if it was a natural birth etc. and all my hypnobirthing mums then continue to tell me all about their amazing births. I have to admit at first I thought hmmmm not sure about that but the more and more women I have met who tell me they ENJOYED their birth, they weren’t scared, they had no pain relief and breathed their baby out. When I got pregnant I thought well I better look into this…
This is not the stuff of ‘One Born Every Minute’ because a hypnobirthing mum is possibly the least dramatic thing to watch ever – it probably wouldn’t make good TV, we have watched many hypnobirths during our classes and on Youtube they are amazing births, go and check it out (if your that way inclined).
I think we have become so used to what we see on TV and films and people’s horror stories from years ago. Once upon a time we used to give birth on a bed with legs in stirrups, how on earth does that make sense? Talk about going again nature and gravity! And dads never used to be allowed in the room let alone be involved. But this is now the 21st century surely we need to move on.
Hypnobirthing requires very little intervention (hopefully) from medical professionals, it is focused on the mum and dad working together to birth the baby. My husband will be very involved to help to calm me down, speaking affirmations and playing relaxing music and all round speaking positive truths to me throughout (unless he faints).
So what is it? Hypnobirthing is not going into a trance it’s simply the art of mastering breathing techniques and relaxation to calm you down so you can handle your labour in a more relaxed manner.
When the body is in pain and we are scared and afraid all the muscles tighten and we enter ‘fight or flight’, the last thing your body cares to do is birth a baby when all your muscles are tight and your in a state of stress. This is how mothers end up with failure to progress. When we are relaxed during pregnancy and feeling in control the chances of having a quicker birth with less (not no pain) is more likely.
Does it really work? – I’ll let you know.
Benefits: the possibility of a less painful birth, no pain relief, bringing your baby into the world in a calm way in a calm environment, therefore in theory giving birth to a calm baby.
My husband and I have two hypnobirthing books which I would recommend, the course we went on was based on the Marie Mongan theory, the original founder of this technique. But if your pregnant and interested I would recommend these – it’s also never too late even if your 36 weeks you can learn some tools to help you during labour.
(I would also HUGELY recommend this book too – it isn’t hypnobirthing but it is how to have the best birth – it covers nutrition, reflexology, massage, affirmations and it has a week by week breakdown of what you can do that week to help ie. a yoga pose to start or a food to help)
I listen to my positive affirmations everyday and listen to the downloaded relaxation I have on my phone, in the bath or when I go to sleep at night.
(A lovely client also lent me these cards to have around the house as little reminders)
Joe and I have been to a course on Hypnobirthing, it was for 5 weeks with 5 other couples and she taught us the breathing techniques (there are three different breaths to use at different times – the calm breath, surge breath and birth breath), the relaxation tapes, we talked about where we wanted to birth our babies eg. home, hospital or birthing centre and the pros and cons of each, breastfeeding, fears, communication, we did our birth preferences (birth plan), massage, aromatherapy, placenta encapsulation, the role of the dad and his jobs during birth – it was a brilliant course. My mum ended up coming to a couple of sessions because Joe had to work away and I think she was a convert (especially the in class meditation we did every week).
This takes practice, we have to practice everyday and you have to believe this is possible and have a good positive approach to it all. The more you do the relaxation the quicker you can get yourself into that state and the deeper your relaxation can go, win win really (it also helps me to sleep – hello third trimester insomnia).
Our rough plan is when labour begins, he can time the surges (a better word for contractions which sounds very harsh) and blow up the pool and add the water. We will create a little bed space for me downstairs with a mattress and pillows and blankets, maybe bounce on my ball for a bit, watch some Netflix. When things rank up we may do some massage to calm me down or some relaxation scripts which Joe can read to me, we will put our LED candles out and create a relaxed atmosphere. When the midwife arrives we will ask her to speak in hushed tones but we mainly want to do this together, the midwife can intervene if needed but otherwise it’s just me focusing on staying relaxed. When necessary I will get into the pool and hopefully we will get the water birth we want. Followed by putting the baby on me immediately for skin to skin for a few hours.
We are planning a home birth (see post below) but you can use hypnobirthing in the hospital or birth centre it’s very simple really.
I can honestly say I am looking forward to the birth and thats coming from someone who has always been petrified of the idea of childbirth to the point where I thought theres no way I could have children. When I found I was pregnant I knew I had to look into other methods rather than the usual scary stuff we are fed by the TV. I hope we can tell a positive story to other people who live in fear of a painful awful birth full of screams, drama and lack of control. We are aiming for more a spa sanctuary, less TV drama, I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish us luck.