The word ‘hypnobirthing’ is often misunderstood. Hypnobirthing is both an approach to antenatal education and a set of tools and techniques that women and their birth partners can use during pregnancy to help reframe the way they feel about giving birth and to release any fear or anxiety they feel about it.
Most women who are pregnant look forward to having their baby, but for many this joyful anticipation is tinged with fear, partly for historical reasons, and partly due to having read or heard negative birth stories. The modern media have a heavy responsibility for portraying birth as a traumatic experience in order to make it more dramatic on screen, but birth doesn’t need to be this way. Properly equipped, labour and birth can be a positive experience for both the mother and baby. It is normal to experience some anxiety about giving birth, however fear during labour can inhibit the normal, efficient functioning of the body. Therefore working to release the fear is really important, and this takes practice.
Hypnobirthing is logical, simple, practical and very effective. Fully understanding what our bodies and minds need in order for birth to progress as expected is probably one of the biggest ways hypnobirthing can impact birth. The muscles of the uterus are at the crux of what we do in hypnobirthing. The uterus is simply a bag of really powerful muscles, (in fact possibly some of the strongest muscles in the human body) working to absolute capacity during labour. During a hypnobirthing course, you will come to understand the impact the hormones you are producing during labour can have on these muscles in both a positive and a negative way.
Whatever the birth, hypnobirthing will make a difference. Hypnobirthing tools enable women to feel calm, confident and in control for every kind of birth, whether that’s a home birth, water birth, an induction with an epidural or a caesarean. Ultimately it comes down to four things – the need to feel safe, relaxed, unobserved and undisturbed.
A positive birth experience, in my opinion, relies on a woman feeling fully informed about every choice that she makes during pregnancy and birth, feeling supported and respected in these choices by the people looking after her and having tools, techniques and information available to get as close as possible to the kind of birth that she wants, in the safest way possible for her and her baby.
A birth partner who has learnt hypnobirthing will produce hormones of confidence and calm and will have a positive impact on the birthing environment. Being a supportive and protective part of the birth process can enrich and deepen a couple’s relationship and also deepen the relationship of partner and child. He/she will feel empowered knowing he/she played an important part in how his/her child entered the world.
The birth of a baby is positively impacted when the mother is a hypnobirthing mother. When a mother is feeling calm and confident during labour, the muscles of the uterus are relaxed and provide a more comfortable journey for the baby. In addition, the oxygen carried in the mother’s blood is the oxygen which goes through the placenta to the baby, so the baby’s oxygen supply is not compromised. As a result the baby is relaxed and labour progresses more efficiently.
Hypnobirthing, along with correct positioning of mother (upright, forward and open legs), allows the birth to proceed in the most efficient and helpful way for both mother and baby. By the time a woman comes to give birth, a perfect system has been created in her body and hypnobirthing can help it work in the way it is designed to. It is no secret that labour can be quite an uncomfortable process but hypnobirthing can help you to release the fear and anxiety and enable you to experience the best birth possible.
Elida Zeilerbauer is mother to two little girls and a certified Katherine Graves hypnobirthing practitioner (a qualification which is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives) in London. She is also a professional member of the Hypnobirthing Association.
Contact Elida by email at hypnobirthing receive discount