Hypnobirthing is becoming a very popular way for couples to prepare for birth. Kate Middleton is reported to have used hypnobirthing techniques for all three of her births. Giovanna Fletcher, Joe Wickes, Fearne Cotton and Harry Keane have all raved about the wonders of hypnobirthing.
So what on earth is hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a birth preparation course to help couples feel relaxed and ready for birth. It isn’t airy fairy nonsense, but is a course based on science and evidence and yes we talk about breathing and yes we love twinkly lights and soft music but the reason for that is down to the biology of the body and the science of the mind and that is why this tool is so effective!
I am so passionate about how effective hypnobirthing is after using it for both of my own births that I feel the need to shout it from the roof tops to anyone that might listen. I can already imagine some of you reading this now, thinking what is this crazy thing? - sounds a bit ‘out there’ for me but, hear me out, this is something that could totally change your birth and given what a truly special occasion that is this is a pretty big deal!
Let me reassure you that somebody isn’t going to click their fingers, send you to another zone where you give birth totally unaware and then with a tap on the shoulder you’re ‘back in the room’ babe in arms!
And guess what else? It’s not all about listening to whale music as you float in a birth pool, chanting and visualising flowers opening (unless of course that’s what you want!).
A hypnobirthing course will help couples to understand that how they think and feel about birth will impact on how their body physically responds to birth. Our thoughts and emotions cause physical, chemical responses in the body. This information is a game changer! Whether you are terrified at the prospect of giving birth or not, think about how birth is portrayed on TV, think about all of those horror stories that people feel the need to share with you, none of this has exactly filled us with joy or excitement at the prospect of giving birth. For some of us it has caused us to doubt our body’s ability to do this amazing job that it was designed to do and has created anxiety and fear. And guess what?! This is what then causes so many women to go on to have a birth that was something she would rather avoid at all costs in future.
Hypnobirthing is about retraining our mind, to change the way we feel about birth so that we can change how we then physically give birth!
We all know that birth can be unpredictable but what if I told you that there are things that you can do to influence you birth for the better? By understanding the birth process you will learn how you can work with your body, which is amazing by the way! One of my favourite topics to talk about when I teach is the hormones of birth, if every pregnant woman had an understanding of these fabulous chemicals that Mother Nature has gifted us there would be lots more women joining me in my rooftop shout out about this amazing tool! In order for us to produce the cocktail of hormones that we need for birth to be as comfortable and as easy as possible we need to provide them with certain conditions, think about how a cat might slink off alone to give birth somewhere quiet and dark where they felt safe. I am not suggesting for a minute you go and find the nearest hedge and give birth there but we can create an environment that will encourage those hormones that we need to come out and play!
And for those of you who want a more practical solution hypnobirthing is for you too! Hands up who doesn’t want to feel out of control? Yes birth is unpredictable, but we can feel more in control by being part of the decision making process. If I told you to do anything a bit daunting, would you just do it no questions asked? Probably not, but for some reason when we get pregnant we seem to take a back seat, we are along for the ride but don’t have any input on the destination or how we get there. Firstly this is not about being confrontational; this isn’t about going against your care providers’ advice this is about you asking questions so that you can understand what your options are, so that you can weigh up the risks and benefits and so that you can make a decision that you felt was right for you on the day. And that is an essential part of feeling emotionally satisfied about your birth. Would you have any medical procedure or treatment without asking any questions? I guess for most of you the answer is no, and birth is absolutely no different.
I could go on and on but before I end my over excited rather lengthy low down on all things hypnobirthing, I just want to put something out there for the birth partners who might be reading this and wondering what’s in it for them. Have you ever fancied yourself as a bit of superhero? Don’t panic, you don’t have to wear your pants over your trousers but let’s talk super powers! Powers that can help your partner to feel safe and calm, powers that can help reduce her sensation of pain (yes I did say that!), powers that will most definitely make you feel part of this incredible journey.
And finally a hypnobirthing course will provide you with your very own toolkit of strategies and techniques that you can call upon during your pregnancy and birth to help you feel more relaxed and calm no matter what.
So think about it like this, you probably wouldn’t rock up to a job interview not having prepared and expect to get the job, likewise if you don’t prepare for exams you’re probably not going to do as well as you could have. Birth is no different, by preparing you are giving yourself the chance of having the best experience possible on that amazing day when you say hello to your baby for the first time.
Hypnobirthing isn’t a type of birth, it isn’t something you can achieve or fail, it is a tool that helps you to feel PREPARED, CONFIDENT and POSITIVE about your birth. It is for any type of birth, all the drugs, no drugs, home-birth, induction, it isn’t about how it happens it is about how you feel.
Approach your birth without fear, have lots of knowledge, feel in control and be armed with some fabulous tools and no matter how your birth unfolds you will ROCK it!
Anna offers group hypnobirthing courses on a Monday evening from her home in Bromsgrove but also offers private sessions across Worcestershire where she comes to your home at a time that works for you both. If you want to know more get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone 07843 627518 or check out her Facebook page Rock Your Birth.
Given the new circumstances we find ourselves in as a result of the current pandemic, Anna is offering all her services, including online courses via live video link now - she is really lovely, so if you are still sitting on the fence, please do give her a call, and she will guide you through everything you need to know!