What on earth is Hypnobirthing?
I just googled it, and it came up with this, “HypnoBirthing is a unique antenatal program that teaches simple but specific self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques for an easier, more gentle birth that is often accompanied by a significant reduction in pain.”
That’s a pretty good explanation, but for me there is more to it than that.
I like structure and I like to have a plan. And when it comes to pushing a human out of my vagina… I NEED AND WANT A FUCKING GOOD PLAN!!!
I hear all the mums out there who have given birth saying, “hahaha oh you silly thing Erin, you can’t plan your birth, don’t be ridiculous!” At least, that’s what a few friends of mine have more or less insinuated when I have told them what I am doing. And I am sure there is a lot of truth to that… hell, who am I to argue with someone who has actually given birth?!!!
But I do know is this…
1. Hypnobirthing is not some hippy, “SAY NO TO DRUGS, COMPLETELY NATURAL” approach to child birth. I am in the frame of mind now, and am totally prepared so that WHATEVER happens (if I need an emergency c-section, if I need to be induced, etc, etc) I will be calm and will trust in the process. I am open to whatever needs to happen for the safety of my baby and me.
2. I now know how to put myself in a state of relaxation, so my mind, my uterus, my cervix, and my BODY can work to the best of its ability. When you are in a state of panic/stress/nervousness, your sympathetic nervous system, or your “fight or flight” response kicks in… meaning that all the energy and blood flow moves away from the places that need it the most (ie your baby and your uterus), to your arms and legs so you can “run away from that sabor tooth tiger!” Everything becomes tense, and labour can slow right down, and become even more painful.
However, if you are able to stay calm and relaxed, guess what happens… 🙂 I now know how to release endorphins, which is our bodies natural way of managing pain… and is as effective as morphine.
3. I am now more empowered and educated regarding the choices that I have when it comes to my birth, such as the pros and cons of opting for such things as intervention, immunisations and delayed cord clamping, just to name a few (If you don’t yet know about the benefits of delayed cord clamping, please look into it).
4. My husband and I have a plan of how we are going to handle certain situations TOGETHER, that may or may not arise. He also has a checklist of what to do when I start to get surges (or contractions) so he can feel involved and part of the experience.
5. I have daily meditations and affirmations that I listen to, which I find INVALUABLE! It is creating such a beautiful experience for my entire pregnancy, even though I am most of the time in pain with my pelvis, fluid retention, etc, etc, I AM LOVING IT because my frame of mind is positive. This can only be of benefit to my baby, and how I go into my birth.
6. I am now SO CONFIDENT, and SO EXCITED about my birth! I have NO FEAR at all, and am open to ANYTHING that may happen. BRING IT ON!!!
7. The skills I have learned and am continuing to practice are actually life skills that can be used everyday. Visualisation techniques, self hypnosis, fear releasing techniques, meditation techniques, and just general knowledge about how our bodies work will be useful to me on a daily basis in the future.
The course ran over two, six hour days, and was run by an amazing and very experienced mid-wife, Amy Plunkett who is also certified and trained in Hypnobirthing. We did our course in a cute town called Bilambil, NSW, but they are all over Australia. There were two other lovely couples in the class, and one beautiful lady is due the same day as me! And both couples are birthing at Tweed Hospital too! So it was a great way to meet other mumma’s to be 🙂
It cost us $500, but includes everything from the two days, a folder with everything you need (from checklists, to meditations, visualisations, breathing techniques, information on breastfeeding, etc, etc), 4 tracks that you download to listen to everyday, and also to play whilst giving birth, plus on-going support.
I don’t feel the need to also do the antenatal classes at the hospital, as we both feel well equipped for the birth, and what to expect/what to do when it all starts to happen!
I cannot recommend doing the Hypnobrthing course enough! The strength, the focus and the inner sense of calm it has given me is priceless, and the fact that my husband and I are on the same page with how we are going to tackle this makes me feel so excited!!!
For further information regarding Hypnobirthing, visit:
Love Erin xo