"Hypnobirthing is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. It is a rewarding, relaxing, stress-free method of birthing that is based on the belief that all babies should come into the world in an atmosphere of gentility, calm and joy. When a mother is properly prepared for birthing physically, mentally, and spiritually, she can experience that sort of joy, birthing her baby in an easier, more comfortable, and often even pain-free manner. Through a well thought out program of deep relaxation, self-hypnosis, special breathing techniques, visualisation, affirmations, and education, Hypnobirthing returns to a woman the art of birthing in a way that allows her to summon her natural birthing instincts and to birth her baby in safety and in ease.
Hypnobirthing is based on the belief that severe discomfort does not need to be a natural accompaniment of birthing when a woman is properly prepared and trusts her birthing body."
- Marie Mongan
I first learned about HypnoBirthing when I was heavily pregnant with my first and only son, Felix, who is now four years old. I had moved to Christchurch from Auckland when I was seven months pregnant. I was excited and put the word out for a recommendation for a midwife in the Canterbury region. An old school friend recommended the midwife she had worked with and, in what felt like the same breath, she recommended HypnoBirthing and went on to rave about the birth of her children and how HypnoBirthing empowered and resourced her with all she needed to ensure an enjoyable birthing experience.
I was sold.
As a trained counsellor, with a great deal of therapeutic strings to my bow and personal development under my wing, HypnoBirthing philosophy and techniques resonated in all sorts of ways. The idea that gaining wisdom about the history of women and childbirth can help to change our beliefs about birth made sense to me. Learning how fear has been gradually installed in all of our psyches, in the western world especially, made sense to me. It made sense that in order to let go of some engrained fears we need to re-educate ourselves on the truths of childbirth and learn about how our bodies work miraculously in our favour, and in the favour of our babies.
Learning to remain calm and to trust in our bodies, our babies and the environments we find ourselves in is at the heart of HypnoBirthing. Learning about the central nervous system and how fight or flight impacts birth in detrimental ways informs us and also encourages us to invest time in relaxation and self-hypnosis.
Remaining calm and breathing appropriately at all stages produces the hormones and chemicals our bodies and babies need, and encourages oxygen to reach where it is needed most; our uteruses and our babies.
Empowering ourselves with knowledge and techniques to ensure a safe, natural and enjoyable birthing experience is key. It made sense that we need to not only inform ourselves, but also continue to enquire and make decisions based on the reality of what is going on. Discussing fears with our birthing partners and learning what partners can do to help throughout pregnancy and during childbirth play an important role in the process. Ensuring a midwife or caregiver who is open and familiar with the ideas is also important.
Birthing partners can play a crucial role in pregnancy and birthing and not, like history suggests, be merely onlookers or out of the picture all together. They learn relaxation techniques themselves so as to remain calm and present for mums. They learn how to help empower mums, anchor mums, relax mums, give mums light touch massage, and how to act as caregiver themselves and as a strong voice for the emerging family. They, too, become informed and empowered to be an integral part of the pregnancy and birthing process. And so much more.
The various breathing techniques learned for remaining calm, experiencing surges (aka contractions) and for the birthing phase totally fit with what our bodies need. Affirmations and visualisation help to give our conscious and subconscious minds, and our bodies, new messages about birth and becoming a parent. Relaxation and self-hypnosis re-program our minds and bodies and help to create a climate of calm and positive expectation.
HypnoBirthing is all about Mind Body and Soul and even more about mothers, partners and babies experiencing a pregnancy and birth that feels connected, empowered and joyful because as we continue to learn the birthing experience has an enormous impact on our relationships with ourselves, our partners and our babies. In addition to this, our babies experience an entry into this rather chaotic world, that gives them a sense of ease, trust and love, inviting them to fall in love with us, and the world around them.
In addition to all of the above, Hypnobirthing wisdom, tools and techniques will benefit you and your relationship to self and others ongoingly as everything you learn is about the power of the mind, and how relaxation, self-hypnosis, breathing, visualisations and affirmations can improve your quality of life.
Please contact me on 0277120004 to find out more and book in for a HypnoBirthing course. I will take you on a journey of self discovery that will change your pregnancy and birthing experience, and indeed your life, in ways you least expect. I am also offering a free post natal counselling session to anyone who does a HypnoBirthing course with me in 2017.
My advice: Study HypnoBirthing as early into your pregnancy as you feel comfortable. Prepare, prepare, prepare - whatever you put in, you will get out. It is so worth it!