What is hypnobirthing?
"We asked lots of questions, which Rachel was both happy and able to answer in detail, without hesitation...she knows her stuff!" - R & B
Think it sounds nuts? So did I.
Having spent 15 years practising as a city lawyer, it is in my nature to seek out logic. Evidence.
What the name belies however, is that hypnobirthing is based on all of those things. It is rooted in science.
If you are fearful, your body cannot birth your baby. It needs the right hormones, the right positions and the right environment to work effectively.
If you do not know the right questions to ask your care givers, you cannot obtain the right information - the information that you will need to make the big decisions concerning your labour and birth and your baby's early care.
Hypnobirthing is about understanding what your body needs in order to birth your baby, and the feeling of confidence and calm that flows from that. It is not about meticulously planning the "perfect" birth - no one can guarantee that. But you can educate yourself so that you know your options and you can equip yourself with the tools you need to feel truly confident about birth and your ability to cope with whatever may be thrown your way. The combination of a full, evidence-based antenatal education plus effective relaxation and breathing techniques really is a winner when it comes to childbirth.
Hypnosis gets a bad press - largely due to the association with stage hypnosis. In fact, we are all in a state of self-hypnosis at least twice a day - once as we fall asleep, and once as we wake up. Through self-hypnosis and deep relaxation, you can experience a calm, relaxed, wonderful birth.
Still not convinced?
Hypnobirthing teaches us about the importance of the emotional state of the mother, the positions adopted by her during labour, and the environment that is needed for her to give birth. Why are they so essential?
Let's consider the following scenarios:
- What happens to the muscles in your shoulders when you think of something you're scared of? They tense.
- Lay down and put your legs in the air. Think you could do a poo in this position? Pretty difficult!
- Fancy getting intimate with your other half in a cold room, with bright lights and lots of people around you? Not really!
Whilst being funny and seemingly unconnected, these scenarios actually draw parallels with childbirth. Hypnobirthing enables you to educate yourself about how your body works best, and how to feel calm and in control throughout the amazing experience of birth.