OK OK, so I've been banging on about how I'm a HypnoBirthing teacher now. But what even is HypnoBirthing?! I mean it sounds a bit woo woo and airy-fairy and candles with music that sounds like whales singing, and a side of hypnosis (I'm no Derren Brown and I can't make you cluck like a chicken in front of everyone)... Not really your cup of tea, but you're still happy for me right? Right?!
Well I thought I'd share with you what HypnoBirthing actually is. It's a lot, to be honest. But as much as it's a technique (or combination of techniques), it's also a philosophy. The central idea of HypnoBirthing is that babies should come into the world gently, in an atmosphere of calm and joy. And in the absence of special circumstances, where a birthing person is healthy and their baby is healthy, then their birth experience doesn't need to be treated like a medical event.
HypnoBirthing is childbirth education with a big dash of empowerment thrown in for good measure. These days it can be overwhelming trying to make the right decision, especially one that impacts not just you but your family too. In my experience, HypnoBirthing emphasises birthing people feeling comfortable with, and understanding the information their care providers are using to treat them during their pregnancy and birth.
The HypnoBirthing course is based on 6 concepts, or pillars:
The combination of these 6 elements ensures that people who complete the course can feel truly comfortable knowing that they have an excellent understanding not only of what's happening during labour and birth and how the body's working in concert with the baby, but also how to work with the body to ensure that labour and birth are as comfortable as possible. This toolbox of tips and techniques gives everyone something to try out to find what works for them; some of these will be more powerful than others, so doing the HypnoBirthing course is a great opportunity to truly prepare for their baby's birthday, to know what feels good for them and what doesn't.
I've found the Education element of the course to be an excellent balance between detailed and interesting information and an overwhelming volume of information. What I really mean to say is that over the 5 weeks the course is run, you really get to understand the biology of the pregnant body and how it all happens but there's no pressure to have to memorise or be able to explain it to someone else. For me, I found it gave me a greater sense of trust and confidence in my body's ability to birth a baby.
When we cover Relaxation, Visualisation, Self-hypnosis and Affirmations we go through the science behind why and how these techniques work and also how to make the most of them - everyone's different, as will everyone's birth experience, so again it's about finding what works for you and practicing it. The more you do it, the faster it happens which is massive bonus when you're in the throes of labour - instinct can kick in and you get yourself into the space you need to be, much easier. There are so many practical things we cover too - massage, acupressure, rebozo techniques. It's also such a great way for birth partners to really focus on what their role will be and how they can best support their partners.
HypnoBirthing teaches 3 different breathing techniques - Calm Breath, Surge Breath and Birth Breath. These 3 breaths are gamechangers in my opinion. We're all aware of how breathwork is becoming more and more mainstream, with Wim Hof the IceMan being probably the most well-known personality in this sector and of course anyone who practices yoga regularly will be familiar with using the breath during the various poses. Well, there's nothing fancy about these HypnoBirthing breaths; they work to help the body and mind calm itself, ensure oxygen is getting to where it needs to go and work with the body to maximise the effort. I absolutely love them and found they made the biggest difference to my birth experience the second time around!
I love the HypnoBirthing course, especially compared to my previous experience of Natal Hypnotherapy, and would recommend anyone pregnant to look into doing a course! To be honest, something is better than nothing because #knowledgeispower but if you're looking for something top-notch then I don't think you can go past HypnoBirthing.