My Hypnobirthing Journey.
I’ve decided to share my Hypnobirthing journey with you lovely lot. In this post I’ll be sharing my own reasons for choosing Hypnobirthing (plus a little information that I learnt in my first class) and in my future posts; my experiences and what I have learnt from my classes and (hopefully) how it helped with my labour and birth. Watch this space for those future posts!
Why I chose Hypnobirthing.
My reasons for choosing Hypnobirthing this time around have much to do with the labour and birth of my son. It was not an easy labour, there was A LOT of unnecessary intervention and faffing and it was far from the natural birth I had dreamed of. It was exhausting and painful, unbearable in fact and neither myself nor my other half wanted to go through that again. (This is also one of the reasons ‘Why I’m having a home birth‘ this time around).
I’m not going to go into all the nitty gritty ins and outs of my birth story because a) reading about my horror story is only going to add to the fear of other women’s births, and b) my Hypnobirthing instructor has forbidden me to talk about the negatives of my son’s birth. (She’s had me write down ‘My Son’s Birth Story‘ as homework for our second class).
I heard about Hypnobirthing shortly after the birth of my son. I was really interested in the idea of self hypnosis and putting my mind and body into a state where I could cope better with the labour pain.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a birth education programme for expectant mothers. Its main focus is to change the way in which we perceive birth, to see it as a positive event and to remove the association of pain and fear. It teaches self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better, calmer birth experience.
Severe pain does not have to accompany childbirth and there is even such a thing as a pain free birth! Not saying that all women can achieve a pain free birth but some can and do.
“All mammals give birth in comfort. We are mammals. And yet many women suffer extreme pain. The difference between us and other mammals is that we have the rational brain, the neocortex, and it is this part of the brain that registers fear and is the cause of pain in childbirth. ”
With Hypnobirthing you’ll discover and experience the joy and magic of birth, learn how to remove fears and anxieties and most importantly, you’ll learn how to put yourself back in control of your birth – rather than blindly turning your birthing experience over to your doctor or midwife.
How does it work?
Having started our first Hypnobirthing class with The Wise Hippo last Sunday, I feel I can begin to tell you a little bit about how it all works…
It quickly became clear that the absence of fear and pain is crucial, starting with the vocabulary used. Instead of “pain”, we’re to use “pressure, discomfort, tightenings etc”. “Contractions” are now known as “surges” – I particularly like this one. When I think of the word “contraction”, I think of tensing up, closing up, curling into a ball (not ideal when you’re giving birth). “Surge” sounds so powerful, a power surge, a wave of energy, working towards something incredible, you want to welcome a surge.
Self hypnosis. This is a self relaxed state of mind which we are all capable of entering, we do it everyday without even noticing. i.e. driving home, having reached our destination, yet not remembering our journey. It becomes second nature, our brains know how to do these things and will do them automatically. With Hypnobirthing, you’re given the tools needed to help you with labour and birth and by practicing them over and over until they become second nature, your brain automatically knows what to do when the time comes.
I left Sunday’s class excited for the next. (There are 4 classes in total, each lasting 2.5 hours). I’m not sure if my other half is completely sold on Hypnobirthing but if that’s the case, he’s not letting it show.
Make sure to follow my blog to get notified of my future posts!
Are you interested in Hypnobirthing? Have you already used these methods with your own births? I’d love to hear about your experiences.