So you’ve been researching which pram to buy, what to pack in your hospital bag, and what kind of cot is best…. Have you thought about yourself in all of this? Preparing yourself (and your partner) for giving birth to your baby?
When you think about someone giving birth, what images come to mind? Is it of someone lying on a hospital bed, on their back, all sweaty and red-faced, screaming and being yelled at to push by medical professionals?
This is what we see on tv and in magazines all the time, isn’t it? From a very young age we are shown that birth is an ordeal, is dangerous, and is a medical event.
But I’m here to say… birth does not have to be like that at all! Birth is a natural, physiological event and our bodies are very, very good at doing it. The issue is our overthinking brains… if we go into birth feeling fear, worry or anxiety, it plays havoc with those all-important birthing hormones which means that complications or interventions become so much more likely.
Whatever kind of birth you are planning (and there are always choices, even if you’ve been told that you have a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy), it is possible to have a calm, positive experience.
Hypnobirthing is the most popular birth preparation in the UK – recommended by midwives. Don’t let the name put you off! It is nothing weird whatsoever; it is all evidence-based and rooted in science, psychology and physiology. The ‘hypno’ bit does mean hypnosis, yes, but not in the stage show, pendulum-swinging way you might expect! It means ‘deep relaxation’ (it really is possible to be deeply relaxed during birth).
Hypnobirthing will inform you all about birth – your choices, what happens during birth, and all the different stages of birth (including the different paths birth can take).
It teaches you how to influence your birth so that it’s far more likely you’ll have the calm, positive birthing experience you want.
It gives you tools and techniques to manage the sensations of birth, and whatever birth throws your way.
It helps your birth partner learn how to best support – it leaves them feeling confident too!
It’s different to other antenatal courses in that it REALLY teaches you and your birth partner how to influence your birth, and how to stack the odds in your favour of birth going your way.
AND… it really is for ALL births. I’ve supported families planning homebirths, water births, inductions and caesareans. Having a calm, positive birth experience makes such a difference to those early weeks and months as a parent, and it will stay with you your whole life!
Every single family I have ever had the pleasure of supporting has finished hypnobirthing feeling calmer, more positive and informed about birth. I’d love you to feel the same.