You’ve probably heard of the term ‘hypnobirthing’ in some sort of context as it has become more popular in recent years but do you know what it actually is?
….Are you now visualizing a room full of pregnant women breathing with their eyes closed whilst listening to whale music? Thought so!
I won’t lie, breathing techniques do feature heavily in the practice of hypnobirthing but with good reason. Let me explain…
Hypnobirthing is more than just a selection of coping tools, it is a philosophy that empowers you to trust in your body and embrace the beauty of birth. It encourages mothers to approach birth with confidence, calmness and excitement to help them achieve a positive experience. And that is why I love it!
The idea is based around birth being a totally normal and natural process, which it is. However, years of horror stories and media have made it hard for people to think in this way. And so a change in mindset is required to help birthers believe in their ability to birth without fear.
That is why the overall environment and how you feel is super important for the process to unfold. When you are relaxed and calm during birth, you will produce less adrenaline and stress hormones, which can cause pain. These hormones lead to uncomfortable contractions which may make you panic more and this then becomes a vicious circle, otherwise known as ‘fear, tension, pain!’
Hypnobirthing focuses on understanding the birth process as afterall, knowledge is power. Through this learning, we know that the hormone (opposite to adrenaline) is responsible for fueling contractions, bonding with and feeding our babies. This hormone, otherwise known as the love hormone, is called oxytocin. Oxytocin likes to feel safe, supported and undisturbed and so birthing in the right environment with the right person/people can really affect this. Hypnobirthing teaches ways to enhance this amazing hormone during labour for a more comfortable and empowering experience as well as teaching you how to create a birth plan that aligns with your wishes and values, and how to communicate effectively with care providers. Additionally, hypnobirthing emphasizes the role of the birth partner. Gone are the days that the birth partner sits helplessly in the corner of the room as we now know that they are an instrumental part of the process…and so they have lots of jobs to do!
Lastly, it is important to add that Hypnobirthing can be used by anyone regardless of their birth choices. It is often a misconception that hypnobirthing is only for natural water birth but this is far from the truth. The focus is on ensuring you are provided with the knowledge and confidence to make your own informed decisions which can help to create an overall positive experience.
If you would like to know more about hypnobirthing, check out my online course Birth Box.
It's a wonderful way to prepare for the birth of your baby and to approach the experience with confidence and joy.