It’s not surprising that so many pregnant women feel anxious and stressed about birth. We are surrounded by negative birth stories across the media and birth TV – it’s all drama! This coverage creates a distorted view. Sadly we are rarely going to see a calm and positive birth on television, because it makes for rather boring TV!
Fear and anxiety trigger cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormones, which will inevitably lead to a more challenging birth. Hypnobirthing gives you the chance to turn this around, with practise.
Simple, practical techniques
Hypnobirthing provides simple, practical techniques and strategies to reduce stress and anxiety in pregnancy. Hypnobirthing increases the flow of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin – the relaxation and ‘feel good’ hormones. Simple but powerful techniques through pregnancy can enable a much gentler start and birth flow, minimising pain in birth. These techniques enable mothers to feel more aware and in control, however and wherever they choose to birth their baby.
When we understand how our body and baby are designed for birth, how the birth hormone oxytocin is key, and the most effective ways to keep it flowing, we are well on our way to a positive birth (even with a medical condition that requires extra support).
Your partner’s role at the birth
Partners play an important role in helping oxytocin flow. Couples can learn hypnobirthing breathing and relaxation techniques and massage. These strategies help the birthing mother relax deeply before and during birth.
It’s important to acknowledge our fears in order to let them go – and myth busting does matter! Did you know that hypnobirthing mothers are significantly less likely to tear and significantly less likely to have an induction?
Fear release and confidence boosting
Hypnobirthing fear release and confidence boosting audio tracks including affirmations are an important tool as is a hypnobirthing birth plan. Specific hypnobirthing audio can help a breech baby turn, or a mother to relax before a c-section. Daily practise is key – helping us let go of daily stress and worry, and to maintain optimism.
A good birth is also about attitude. When we have access to accurate information, we can feel confident in our decisions and know the right questions to ask. We are empowered and at the centre of our birth, which makes an enormous difference to our experience. Confidence boosting and assertiveness techniques are practised, so women (and partners) feel calm, excited, optimistic and equipped for birth, however their birth flows.
The birthing environment
Environment matters. Our mind affects our body – so everything we see and hear in our surrounding physical environment impacts how we feel, which in turn has a hugely powerful impact on our birth. We know that birth flows smoothly when we feel safe, which is why many consider a home birth (which is very safe). Others stay at home as long as possible before attending a birthing centre, a dark, calm, quiet room with a pool, and a midwife who is a reassuring presence in the room. Your mind can let go easily and quickly and your birthing body can just take over.
In a nutshell – stop watching birth TV! Stop googling symptoms! Choose to read positive birth stories. Choose the calmest place for your birth. Surround yourself with people who support your birth plan. (Do you need to speak to a Consultant Midwife for extra support?) Spend time with women who’ve had a good birth – you will learn a lot from them. With your partner, practise hypnobirthing breathing and drift off with hypno tracks daily, and you will be well on your way to an amazing birth!
Rosie Goode is one of the UK’s leading Hypnotherapists and founder of London’s renowned Hypnobirthing Works. Rosie works both in the private sector and for and with the NHS. Rosie and her team of experts deliver a timetable of intimate group and private Hypnobirthing courses with bespoke methods tailored to every client’s’ needs. Rosie’s passion in helping couples through an empowering, positive and confident birth has led her to supporting over 2,500 couples towards the best possible birth. For more information or to book a ‘Hypnobirthing Works’ course with Rosie or to order some of her relaxation downloads, please visit Hypnobirthing Works.