What is hypnobirthing?

A friend of mine who is 31 weeks pregnant with her first baby put a post on facebook asking what hypnobirthing was all about. I gave her a quick brain dump on it all and thought i’d share on here…

Ok… so HYPNOBIRTHING…

In lots of ways I think the term ‘hypnobirthing’ gets talked about in the same vain as hippies and airy fairy magic for a pain free birth. It can absolutely help women achieve birth which is ‘pain’ free, but why I want to teach it is I believe it can help women achieve the right birth on the day (the fabulous Wise Hippo principle). The theory is that Hypnobirthing techniques help you get into a state of relaxation which allows your body to basically ‘do it’s thing’. It allows you to be able to ignore peripheral things that are going on when it comes to the time to have your baby, so you waste no time or energy worrying about irrelevant stuff and you can just connect with your baby. It’s a team sport right? There’s two of you and you need to get your body in the most positively responsive state to birth your baby. No matter what shit hits the fan and intervention needed, you’ll be able to keep calm and in control which is so helpful if your birth does take a path you didn’t want as those calm messages will be reaching your baby.
So how do you do that?
By learning these relaxation techniques you can take control of your breathing and also of your ‘pain’. And I say pain like that because the pain I experienced in labour (and I only really touched on hypnobirthing techniques) was so different as although yes it was mighty uncomfortable at times, I felt in control of it. Honestly. 100% in control. It felt like a positive experience as I could feel my body doing what it needed to do to get them here safely. Sod just positive, it was magic. In a way I guess I learnt to succumb and see the ‘pain’ as a positive step forward.
The sciency bit… pain literally is in the mind. We have nerve receptors all over our body which send messages to our brain and it’s then that our brain decides if something is painful or not. So you can learn through hypnosis to occupy your mind so it doesn’t show any importance to that pain. Like athletes… they get themselves in such a zone during their sport that you quite often hear of them not ‘feeling’ an injury until they had reached a point where their brain had chosen to allow them to feel it – like the end of a match or something. It’s the same principle. You learn through the relaxation techniques to trick your subconscious (which reacts to your emotion) that you are calm and in control, which means no triggers are set off within you which could hinder your birth.
What triggers could they be?
If you’re scared, worried, anxious or whatever…  two key things happen. Firstly, the passive muscles in your uterus will be tense and literally prohibit your baby moving down. It also makes it a whole lot more uncomfortable given the extra level of resistance your baby has to go against. If you’re relaxed, you can control your breathing so every bit of oxygen is given to the uterus to help your muscles work with ease. Secondly… if you are scared, your body releases adrenalin which is pretty much ‘panic mode’ which stops the release of endorphins which are your body’s natural pain relief. If you’re relaxed, calm and focussing on all things positive, your body will produce those endorphins and oxytocin which together are the magic combo making your uterus to contract and offering pain relief.
If you Google ‘active birth’ you’ll find videos on how keeping active, mobile and upright help your pelvis have the optimum space to help your baby as they enter the birth canal and then you the most comfort possible. It also lets gravity do its thing.
I found the water amazing with Ella and would highly recommend it! Ella was actually born in the water and how natural and comfortable it was as opposed to birthing on a bed was mind blowing!!!!!
So I promise it’s not airy fairy, you really can teach yourself to be in control of it and it can be the most WONDERFUL experience. Take a chance and really believe in your body and how mind blowing it all can be – it’s fucking incredible!

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