Guest post by Poppy Child, a Hypnobirthing Practitioner
Grasp this for a moment: we are the only mammals who doubt our ability to give
birth. Other mammals engage in the primary act of birthing without worrying. Birth just happens. But for the modern-day woman there are so man
y factors to be worried about. How will I cope with the pain? What if something goes wrong? What if I tear?
All of these stressors and anxieties can disrupt the flow of labor and birth.
This is where hypnobirthing comes in. Hypnobirthing can help you overcome fears during pregnancy and experience a calm and gentle birth, whether it turns out to
be simple or complex.
So what exactly is hypnobirthing?
Many people think hypnobirthing involves being hypnotized or put under a spell. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Hypnobirthing is grounded in science and involves reprogramming your mind to think more positively about birth through education. Knowledge dispels fear.
Why do we need hypnobirthing?
Although birth is actually a very normal and everyday event, we have lost touch
with the process of birth. Think about it—have you ever seen a birth before? Probably not in real life. Our reference points for childbirth are usually films and media, which don’t do a good job of portraying birth in a positive light. Picture the woman screaming lying on her back with panicked doctors and nurses: the scene is very negative and fear-inducing. These ideas have been embedded in our subconscious mind so that when we find out we’re pregnant we are already fearful of giving birth. Hypnobirthing helps us to let go of fears and embed more positive images and ideas around birth through a process of learning and reprogramming.
So how does it work?
Back to basics - The first step is to understand the physiology of birth and how birth actually works. This helps you to feel confident in your ability to give birth because you understand the mechanics and have faith that your physiology is working for you and not against you.
Letting go of fear - The next step is identifying and releasing fears. Fear in the mind can cause adrenaline to spike during labor, which can prevent labor from progressing smoothly. So it’s absolutely vital to address fears during pregnancy.
A powerful set of tools - Hypnobirthing gives you a complete toolkit to use during labor—from breathing techniques through to visualization—helping you to feel confident, relaxed, and in control. Hypnobirthing can be combined with perineal massage, prenatal yoga, and pelvic floor exercises. The idea is that we want to prepare our body and mind for birth.
Fully informed and empowered - Hypnobirthing is also about being informed about your choices during pregnancy and birth, and how to advocate for yourself if you need to. You’ll learn about interventions and how you can navigate challenging situations to ensure you are making informed choices—that are right for you and your baby. The course also covers all the standard labor and birth information including the stages of labor, the birth partner’s role, avoiding perineal tears, after-birth, and more. It really is a comprehensive form of antenatal education.
The more practice, the better - The idea is that you practice these hypnobirthing tools throughout pregnancy, helping you to have a more calm and connected pregnancy. By the end, most people start to look forward to their birth experience!
When should I start?
The best time to start hypnobirthing is around 20 weeks or after. It’s never too late but you do want to give yourself enough time to put the tools into practice and give yourself time for the meditations to work.
What course should I take?
If you want to learn more about the hypnobirthing way, then take a look at Poppy Child’s online hypnobirthing course: Birth Box. During the course, you will learn practical and mindset tools for a positive and empowering birth experience. The course is taught over video and audio, giving you a totally flexible learning experience.