Whatever type of birth you are opting for, you want it to be calm, positive and safe, right?
That’s why I decided to enroll myself and Joss on a hypnobirthing course.
Now, we all know that baby has to arrive. We have all heard the stories, watched one born every minute and closed our legs a little tighter when we think about that head crowning. Are you with me? But actually, what if you could get yourself to a place of calm, a place where actually, yes, all that stuff is still the unknown, but it’s no longer frightening; it’s empowering. Would having a baby seem slightly less scary then?
I think so.
This week we met a lovely addition to our pregnancy journey in a lady called Kate Rixon. She is our hypnobirthing coach and no she isn’t a hippy. She is in fact a very lovely, normal, down to earth, Mum of two, who made us feel super at ease.
I researched a lot about hypnobirthing, what it meant and what types of coaches you could find. Some were very pro ‘natural’ birth with no pain relief, some were more laid back and talked more about mindfulness and a positive experience for you and your baby. I knew I wanted some of that. So, Joss and I booked onto a four week course with Kate, who teaches techniques from the Calm Birth School. She is going to come to our house for a couple of hours a week for four weeks and teach us how to become the best possible birthing team we can be. So, whatever your thoughts are on the ‘hypno mumbo jumbo’, who wouldn’t want to have the best possible birthing team they could have?
So, here is what I learnt during week one.
Firstly, let’s pick some positive words
Now I am not saying you need to start calling your vagina a Daisy and your contractions tickles instead, but just replacing some of the harsh words associated with pregnancy and birth can help.
We opted for surge instead of contraction and things like bearing down instead of push. This association with less medical terms can all help to get your brain into a calmer, more positive place and one that allows you to focus on the actual sensation you are feeling rather than the pre-associated feeling that comes with the word.
Everything is about choice
It is my body, therefore it is my choice and I can control it in the best way to manage my own situation. I am frightened about birth, don’t get me wrong. The unknown, the pain, the lack of control, but actually I have more choice in the matter than I ever thought I did. As women we know our bodies and we shouldn’t forget that instinct is a wonderful thing. Midwives and doctors are amazing, don’t get me wrong, I think they do a fantastic job in our wonderful NHS, but you know your body better than anyone else. So don’t be afraid to tell them what you are feeling and what your body wants you to do. It’s your experience, your journey and most importantly, your baby.
Your mind is a powerful thing
Hypnobirthing is all about harnessing the power in your own mind to help you stay calm, positive and in control. Very similar to mindfulness or meditation if you have ever embarked on that. Kate introduced us to some breathing techniques, relaxation sessions and simple things we can do as a couple to manage our own situation. It can be as simple as getting your birth partner to stroke the inside of your arm, or more intense, like taking yourself into a deeper state of hypnosis. Whatever works for you and that’s the best bit, you choose! The great thing about the techniques also is that they literally take anywhere between 5-15 minutes and can be done together, alone, in the bath, in bed - wherever. I have also heard from my midwife that babies who have hypnobirthing journeys are actually calmer, so I am very up for that.
There is no wrong
Your birth is what is right for you. Nobody should or can tell you otherwise. Natural, induction, C-section, or on the bathroom floor, whatever it happens to be, it’s what was right for you. Whether you manage with just breathing techniques and birth standing up or opt for an epidural and give birth in stirrups, there is no wrong. Find yourself a hypnobirthing coach that goes along with that mentality and will support you in all your decisions as the last thing you want to feel when you invite someone into you home, is judged. Kate said from the outset she will support any decisions we want to make with no judgement and help us tailor our course to meet the birth we desire.
I was left with a Calm Birth School book to have a read of, a very snazzy notebook and some homework to write down my birth story as if it had already happened. I am looking forward to that one. I learnt so much, just in our first session and I can’t write it all down here or we will be here forever. But if you want to know more about hypnobirthing or Kate you can find it all here.
I will be documenting our four-week course in a weekly diary, so pop back if you want to know what we are learning each week.