- Posted by Leslie Altic
- On 13th April 2020
- 0 Comments
- Antenatal, Hypnobirth\, Hypnobirthing, Positive Birth
In the current climate, does it feel like things have gotten a whole lot more anxious and uncertain? Does it feel like your choices and options for labour, or the images you have of your birth are slowly slipping away? Thankfully, there is little to no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible to coronavirus. The RCM/RCOG guidelines are updated regularly with any new information: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/2020-04-03-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-in-pregnancy.pdf
But what can you do to help reduce some of this anxiety and prepare yourself for labour? Physically, following government guidance, socially distancing and washing your hands often is essential. Your antenatal appointments will likely have decreased or been cancelled, but do keep in contact with your midwife and keep track of baby’s movements.
Mentally, though, a really useful skill to have is hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing is often just thought of as a method of pain relief, and while that is true to a certain extent, it is so much more than that. It is antenatal preparation with a difference, a method that helps prepare the mother and her birth partner for a peaceful and positive birth. Through a hypnobirthing course, you will not only gain knowledge about the physiological aspects of birth and how to work with the body efficiently and effectively, but also the skills and techniques that will help strengthen your belief that you can birth your baby, safely, calmly and joyfully.
Due to the over-medicalization of birth, many women have forgotten how to trust their instinct, now believing that they will need assistance to birth their babies. This, combined with society’s perception that birth is a painful process, contributes to a lot of women’s fear and anxiety. Yet, birth is an amazing physiological process, a hormonal dance, which women’s bodies are designed for it.
It’s often not enough, though, to just learn the information about how birth and the body works; you need to know it subconsciously. This is what hypnobirthing does – by practising deep relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques, it helps to concentrate and focus the mind and use it more powerfully. By tapping into the subconscious mind, you are bypassing or quietening the thinking brain, giving the instinctive mammalian brain space and enabling the body to do what it’s designed to do. With a little bit of daily practice, triggers for relaxation and a layering effect are created, so that when labour starts your mind and body are prepared, relaxed and calm.
There is still the perception that hypnobirthing is a bit airy-fairy, or that it’s only for certain women having a certain kind of birth. But it is for every woman and every birth. There are different hypnobirthing methods around, some professing to be the original or the best, but in reality, all hypnobirthing courses are based around the same premise. Through an understanding of the body and hormones that are involved in labour and birth, and a range of relaxation and breathing techniques, women can release any fears and anxieties they hold around birth, build confidence in themselves and learn to trust their instincts in themselves, their body and their baby. For women, hypnobirthing can contribute to increased well-being and a positive birth experience, shorter labours, more chance of spontaneous labour, less need for pharmaceutical pain relief and less chance of interventions. Yet the benefits of hypnobirthing are not only for the woman; it benefits the whole family as well. Birth partners feel more informed and able to be an advocate and protect the woman’s birth bubble, thus playing an active role in birth. The bond between partners, as well as with the baby, is strengthened. And hypnobirth babies are born in a calm environment and tend to be more contented, sleeping and feeling better.
Hypnobirthing can’t guarantee the ‘perfect’ birth, as there is no one perfect birth, since everyone is different and every birth is different. But it will help you to feel informed, so that you know what is important to you for your birth. And that isn’t to say that some babies and women don’t need a little assistance during labour. If you have decided to have an elective caesarean or induction because that is the right decision for you, or the path of your labour strays from your plan, hypnobirthing techniques are especially helpful for remaining calm and in control, and feeling confident in making the decisions that are right for you. Being in control of their birth is a major determining factor for a positive birth experience for women, however the birth happens. It’s your body and your baby, and hypnobirthing will help you to stay calm and in control, regardless of what is happening around you.
To find out more information about the hypnobirthing course we offer (at an amazingly discounted price), check out www.belfastbabycompany.co.uk or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be happy to chat to you about how hypnobirthing can help you to have an amazing and empowering birth experience!