Hypnobirthing...a term I only heard about from a client when I was pregnant. She told me it is a fantastic technique to create a positive birth experience, make the pain more manageable and in some cases pain free...all with the power of your mind! To say I was sceptical is an understatement! The only birth story I had heard was the excruciatingly painful birth my mother had had, along with the screaming women on the TV giving birth. For me it appeared to be something women had to endure without any elements of control, rather than a positive experience (unless significant amounts of drugs were used). However I had 5 months to go until my drop date so I decided to be open minded and have a closer look into it.
I did some market research and subtly asked many of my post natal clients and colleagues if they had used hypnobirthing...I was shocked to find that EVERYONE that had tried it highly recommended it and would even comment saying their previous births without it were significantly different to their more recent birth using the techniques. 2 people even commented that they had NO PAIN! That was it, I was sold! I bought a course online and a couple of books, and me and my partner went through all the sessions together. It was eye opening!
My due date came and went and unfortunately I had to be induced for medical reasons 5 days later. I used my hypnobirthing techniques throughout my labour and birth and I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations!
Was my birth pain free? Absolutely not.
Did it mean my birth went to plan? Not at all.
However I felt confident, calm and empowered throughout the whole process. It was the most amazing, exciting and overwhelming experience I have ever had. For me it was 100% a positive birth experience, I would do it again in a heart beat. This positive experience spurred me on to complete the hypnobirthing teacher training, to help other women to feel empowered during their birth experience.
So what exactly is hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is an evidence- based technique that reduces your fear of birth and teaches you relaxation techniques to help keep calm and focussed throughout. It is highly scientific (much to my surprise when I started it) and uses a variety of strategies to connect your mind with your body, so there is something that suits everyone. It requires practice prior to birth to get the best results, however the techniques can be used for any nerve wracking or stressful situation. (I have definitely used the breathing techniques as a new mum when my stress levels are being tested at 3am by a screaming baby).
If you would like to find out more there are some fantastic books available such as KGHypnobirthing, Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing and the Positive Birth company to name a few. If you would like more of an in depth knowledge and teaching of the techniques check out my 1:1 hypnobirthing course or my group Antenatal course: Mind & Body.