Let’s be honest, we’re all a little bit fearful of childbirth, aren’t we? I’ve never had an extreme phobia, but Hypnobirthing has absolutely eliminated any fears I did have regarding pushing this small human out of my body.
But why are we scared of childbirth?
We get caught up in images portrayed by the media.
Dramatic waters breaking in movies. Babies being urgently pushed out in the back of a car in your fave soap. Mama’s screaming for an epidural on One Born Every Minute.
That’s what we relate to as childbirth, and it doesn’t look pretty.
I would say I had an average perception of childbirth. It’s going to fucking hurt, there is going to be lot’s of blood, and it’s going to take hours.
Not to mention how the F does my body even stretch to accommodate the human head that is exiting my body.
I can’t imagine many women don’t have the thought cross their minds when they see that line show up on the stick. Shortly after marvelling at the fact that you have a baby in your tummy, you wonder how the hell am I going to get it out?!
Long before Baby Richards was even thought to be a possibility, I had an interest in Hypnobirthing.
I think Giovanna Fletcher was the first person I had heard talk about it, as I’ve always loved the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, and I knew it was something I’d love to look into if I was ever able to carry my own child.
We tracked down a local course, and both looked forward to learning how to use the relaxation and breathing techniques to achieve a calm birth.
One of the things I love about Hypnobirthing is that it really involves both you and your birthing partner.
Whilst you might be the one who will benefit from the breathing and relaxation techniques, it’s your birth partner who will support you through the whole labour, and remind you about everything you have learnt.
It’s easy for your birthing partner to feel a bit out of the loop during pregnancy, labour and birth. They’re often uneducated about what’s happening, which makes the whole process seem much scarier whilst making them feel completely helpless.
This has been completely eliminated with Hypnobirthing, Ross has learnt so much and I really feel like we’re in this together.
One thing I didn’t expect to take away though, was actually learning what my body is doing during labour and birth.
How learning about the female body will overcome a fear of childbirth
Be honest, do you really know what a contraction (known as a “surge” in Hypnobirthing) is? Because I sure as hell didn’t.
I had no clue what my body would be doing when it goes into labour.
I’m absolutely claiming to be the pupil and not the teacher when it comes to Hypnobirthing, but I do want to share the positive things I’ve learnt, and recommend that you at least consider it. Here are the three key things I’ve learnt when it comes to the female body in labour:
- We know exactly what my birthing muscles are going to do during labour. We fully understand what is happening during a contraction, and this instantly made sense and removed our fear.
- We’ve learnt the importance of hormones in labour. Oxytocin enables labour, and can’t work in the presence of Adrenalin…therefore enhance those happy feels and eliminate the fear.
- We understand the importance of letting my body naturally take over, instead of squeezing all of the oxygen out of my body with an unnatural push
Honestly, by having this information alone, I feel more ready for childbirth than I could have imagined.
And how I’m making relaxation work for me
I see the Hypnobirthing skills we’ve learnt as a library of tools.
I don’t need to master them all, they won’t all work for me, but I have become confident at picking and choosing which I need to fully relax and tune into my body.
I’ve surprised myself at how well I’ve taken to deep relaxation. And I don’t mean sticking the Kardashians on and not leaving the sofa for a couple of hours.
I mean focused relaxation, using visualisation and tuning into every little bit of my body. It’s pretty epic once you give it a go.
It’s a difficult one to describe completely, but I’ll point you in the direction of a few resources in a sec.
In short, it’s all about taking yourself to a calm place in your mind, relaxing all of the muscles in your body, and enjoying the empowering experience of birth.
I know, sounds all a bit hippy and idealistic doesn’t it, but if anything, it has helped me really tune into my body and relax throughout pregnancy.
But will it really work?
Hypnobirthing isn’t about achieving a perfect birth, because who knows what this little tinker will get up to on the day, but it is about achieving a positive birth.
I honestly feel excited to see what labour and birth is all about, and I think I’m well equipped to face anything that comes my way. At the end of the day, I have to…it’s happening no matter what I do!
I’ll definitely let you all know how it goes, and how Hypnobirthing came into use on the day…wish me luck!
Resources to try…
We have found it really beneficial to take part in a face to face Hypnobirthing course. Ours was led by a local midwife in the birthing centre round the corner from our home, and included 4 group sessions followed by a one to one in our home. Find a local course here.
I also LOVED Hollie De Cruz’s book “Your Baby, Your Birth”. Hollie runs London Hypnobirthing, and offers a huge range of resources, try one of these:
Or you can try The Positive Birth Company – take a look at their website for courses, and the digital pack which I have repeatedly heard amazing things about. I follow them on Instagram, and love their snippets of positivity and Hypnobirthing stories.
Do you have any positive experiences to share?
Hypnobirthing is all about filling your mind with positive labour experiences prior to your own birth. We all know that things might be different on the day, but positive influences in the lead up will help keep the mind calm, ultimately helping the whole process! Do you have any positive stories to share? Find me on Instagram and Twitter to share!
Fancy reading my review of the NHS Antenatal Classes we attended? Have a read here!