What is Hypnobirthing going to do for YOU?
I like to think of Hypnobirthing as a complete birth preparation for couples, but that doesn’t paint much of a picture for you does it?
I compiled this A-Z of Hypnobirthing, drawing from the many aspects of my Calm Birth School course to help you dig a bit deeper to discover some of the things we actually cover and show you some of the tools that you will have in your box for the big day, meaning you can progress through your pregnancy and birth with a calm, confident mindset.
A is for Antenatal Education. We discuss everything that you will cover in your local antenatal classes and more so no need to double up if you are worried about spending too much cash or are feeling time poor! You will also get to meet like-minded parents in your local area, building a valuable support network.
B is for Birth Partner. Your birth partner plays a super important role in the birth. We will discuss practical ways in which your birth partner can support you both in pregnancy and the birth. Helping them feel involved and confident.
C is for Choice. You might not be aware that you have a choice about your path of care in pregnancy and birth. We discuss your rights and signpost you to sources of unbiased information to empower your decision making process such as AIMS.
D is for Due dates. We will discuss the common misconceptions around the estimated due date and talk about the pressure you might feel under as the due date approaches and perhaps passes. My advice to anyone is add two weeks on to your due date when friends and family ask.
E is for Epidurals. We talk openly about epidurals any pain relief for that matter. Or as I like to call it coping strategies. We will discuss pros and cons for everything available to you and encourage you to remain open to possibilities while helping you decide what’s right for you.
F Is for FEAR. Well, this is a big one. You might be as scared as I was about the prospect of giving birth (shit scared in a nutshell) Well knowledge is the enemy of fear and my Hypnobirthing course will leave you bursting with new information and techniques to practice to release that fear so you feel calm and confident.
G is for Golden hour. Right after you birth your baby, in the moments that follows, there are a few very important decisions you need to make – Yeah that’s right that precious time where you finally get to meet the tiny person you have lovingly grown for all those months, after all that hard work, you have to to get your brain in gear! We will give those questions some headspace before the big day so you can add them to your birth plan, taking the pressure well and truly off when the time comes- Job done!
H is for Hospital… or Home. It’s really up to you where you birth. you can do Hypnobirthing wherever you choose! The only right place to birth is what is right for you and where you feel safest and most comfortable. We will discuss what’s available to you at your local hospital labour ward, birth centre and home to help you choose. Offering practical advice on where to go to get valuable information such as which hospital.
I is for instincts. In pregnancy and birth a woman’s instincts are heightened in order to protect her unborn child. Your body instinctively knows how to birth your baby and in fact you could do it in a coma! Learning to trust and love your body and the amazing process of birth can go a long way in helping you achieve the birth you desire.
J is for Jelly babies! Or anything else you might want to pack in your bag for the birth. We talk in detail about what home comforts you might want to think about preparing in order for you feel comfortable and relaxed. Despite me packing a hamper of snacks that would have made even Deliciously Ella feel worthy, on the day I wanted quick-fix sugar and had thankfully listened when my midwife had suggested Jelly babies. They really got me through!
K is for Vitamin K. Remember those big decisions I talked about in the Golden hour? Well, this is one of them and it’s the first decision you and your partner need to make on the baby’s behalf. Vitamin K is given to prevent haemorrhage in babies, we are born with naturally low levels of it. There’s a lot of biased information out there about Vitamin K. I will signpost you to credible resources such as evidence-based birth.
L is for Laughter. The likelihood is you will laugh at some of the things we discuss on the course, I know I did as a parent! This course is brought to you in a safe space where you can share your fear and anxieties and of course feel comfortable to laugh to your hearts content!
M is for Mind Body connection. Key in Hypnobirthing. We often view these as separate entities but they are intrinsically linked. -we blush if we get embarrassed or we salivate at the prospect of our favourite home-cooked meal. The cervix is a sphincter muscle (yep, just like your bum) and these muscles only work efficiently when we feel relaxed and comfortable in our surroundings. If you start to think negative thoughts and fears about your birth as you are in labour then the subconscious can react and labour can potentially slow or stall until you feel safe again.
N is for Nothing. Feels like you are always doing something in your fast-paced life? We are constantly connected by our smartphones and this makes it hard for us to switch off and relax It’s ok to do nothing you know. In fact, building time into your week for your Hypnobirthing relaxations and doing absolutely nothing can be incredibly beneficial for the nervous system, reducing stress levels and priming your body to work efficiently in labour.
O is for Oxytocin. O Is for Oxytocin, aka the love hormone and I like to call it the mother of all birthing hormones! Oxytocin is also responsible for stimulating your uterine contractions and can bring a sense of euphoria sounds good right? Then you will love Oxytocin. Get to learn all about your birthing hormones and how they can help or hinder your birthing experience.
P is for hmmmm there are sooo many Ps in Hypnobirthing that I will have to go to another blog post for that! Let’s go with P is for Plan. The birth plan or preferences is a really good starting point for you to start thinking about how you would like your birth to be. As with anything in life, if we set rigid expectations on to how things should be then we are open to disappointment if they don’t happen exactly as we wanted. With a birth plan. I recommend the approach of Millie Hill in the Positive birth book. Having a Plan A which is your ideal preferences and then preparing a plan B, C and so on so that you feel prepared and confident if and Plan A doesn’t pan out as you expected. This approach encourages seeking a positive birth outcome over a perfect birth, there you go, some more Ps for free!
Q is for Questions and how you and your birth partner can ask the right questions to get the information you need to make important decisions about your care.
R is for Relaxation. This is a really important part of your Hypnobirthing Practice. And I say practice because it might take you awhile to get into the swing of it. We live in a super-connected society which makes it harder for us to really relax. If you have an established meditation or yoga practice then this bit might come a bit easier to you, if not then scheduling your relaxation time in the diary might help at first.
S is for Surge. Some of the language surrounding birth is hard and medicalised. in Hypnobirthing we can replace the words with softer sounding words. Surge is another word we can use to replace contraction and works nicely with the sensations that ebb and flow in the uterus as the surge takes place.
T is for Tearing of the perineum….let me guess. Do you want to avoid that? There are no guarantees here but there are several things that I can share with you that will help avoid trauma to the perineum at the birth. One of them being pelvic floor exercises (all squeeze together now!)
U is for the Uterus. The Uterus is one powerful muscle, the most powerful muscles in our body and capable of wonderful feats! As Ina May Gaskin once said, if Men had a uterus they would be bragging about whose was the biggest. Having a basic understanding of how the uterus works is pivotal to Hypnobirthing.
V is for Visualisation. This might sound a bit hippy-dippy to you at first but a visualisation is actually a powerful tool in Hypnobirthing. It helps reinforce the Mind-Body connection so when you regularly imagine giving birth in the way that you want, it makes it all the more likely to happen.
W is for water. Warm water is one of the many coping strategies available to you as you birth . It is a natural analgesic and can bring a sense of much-needed relief from the intensity of the sensations in your body. There are also no negative side effects for you or the baby so go ahead and hop in the bath or shower!
X is for…..ok you got me with this one. I cant think of a Hypnobirthing X. Can we say X is for Kiss. Kissing and gentle touch from a loved one is a great way to bump up your oxytocin levels, it’s also a good way to stimulate your endorphins (natures pain relieving hormone!)
Y is for YOU! This is your body, your baby and your birth, not anyone else’s and what is right for you will always be the focus in my sessions.
Z is for Zen. The Official definition of Zen is relaxed and not worrying about things that you cannot change. Life goal? Well, I’m not making any promises here but it is certainly what we are working towards with regards to your pregnancy and birth.
I hope that has satisfied some of your curiosity! There is this and SO much more covered in the course. If you’re hungry to learn more then visit the course content on my page and of course get in touch for a chat or come along to one of my regular Hypnobirthing taster classes