You’re a mama-to-be– of course, you’ve got questions.And me? I’ve got your answers.
Q. What is hypnobirthing?
A. Hypnobirthing is a state-of-the-art childbirth education program that showcases labour and what to expect during birth in a positive way. Using everything from science to ancient wisdom, Hypnobirthing helps parents-to-be to rise above any unnecessary doubts, anxieties or even fears surrounding birth. It prepares a mother with the positive mindset, tools & techniques and good support that she needs to birth with calmness, confidence and comfort. No terrifying videos of red-faced women screaming at the top of their lungs included! Which means? No matter what path your birth journey takes – from a natural hospital birth to an induction birth to a ceasarean birth to a cosy home birth – Hypnobirthing can help you to have the best birth possible.
Q. What is the ‘Hypno’ part of hypnobirthing?
A. Hypnobirthing uses hypnotherapy in some parts of the program to let go of any fears a mother and their birth companion may have about birth. It conditions the mother to release endorphins (Nature’s own relaxant) which promotes a state of complete relaxation and focus during birth. Just like when you are watching television or reading a book! You are still completely conscious and aware of what is happening around you and are able to communicate with your companion and caregivers if you want to. When using hypnosis mothers often experience time distortion. They focus on their birth and their baby and are not distracted by other people or their environment including the environment of a hospital. Some people worry that hypnobirthing is all about being ‘hypnotised’ during birth however this is not the case. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Q. Does hypnobirthing mean I will experience a pain-free birth?
A. I would never set you up with that expectation. I am known for helping mums become super prepared to embrace all the healthy birth pain. Hypnobirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many hypnobirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage more easily. When the cause of pain ‘fear’ that constricts the birthing muscles—is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants. Hypnobirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure, but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who have prepared for their birth differently. Just remember- they don’t call it labour for nothing. It can be hard work but hypnobirthing will give you the tools to comfort yourself, surrender and go vulnarable – that’s where all the strength lies. Whoops- just let out a secret!
Q. My desire is to have a natural birth. What happens if things don’t go completely natural?
A. While I believe hypnobirthing improves birth outcomes; you will not be setup with a certain outcome in mind. A mother can still utilise hypnobirthing techniques equally if they require a medical intervention including a caesarean birth. Hypnobirthing is about empowering ALL women; as all women and their babies deserve a positive and calm birth experience. You will learn tools that can be of great advantage for you to stay relaxed and be prepared for whatever journey your birth may take. You will have the knowledge to make well-informed decisions along the way so there are no regrets. I recognise that medical science is a marvellous invention and can save lives. We are giving birth at the best of times really.
Q. Can hypnobirthing be beneficial to someone that has special circumstances, VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) or who must have a caesarean birth?
A. Hypnobirthing is very beneficial to Mums who have special circumstances. I want you to experience a positive and empowering birth; regardless of how your precious baby comes into the world. That’s what I am all about… positive birthing and parenting. All birth is a miracle. Every birth is birth. In fact, there is even a Hypnobirthing Australia™ track and an alternative program designed for caesarean birth. Please note that I am no substitute for the relationship between a health professional and a mother. I understand that there are important decisions to be made between you and the mother and for the safety of the mother and/or baby.
Q. As a Hypnobirthing Australia™ practitioner do you attend the birth?
A. No – I do not attend the birth. However I am going to become a doula soon. Then i’m all yours! In hypnobirthing classes I emphasise that the birth companion is the support during birth and so are your caregivers. During classes, I involve your birth companion in a way that they practice and help you prepare for deep relaxation and advocate on your behalf. During labour they can guide the mother into relaxation through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods and visualisations. They have such an important role during your birth and are not helpless like some may seem to think. They are protectors of the cave and it is quite primal for them to be involved.
Q. When should I start the hypnobirthing classes?
A. You can learn hypnobirthing anytime during your pregnancy as the techniques are very straightforward, easy to learn and down-to-earth. However in between 20-30 weeks is ideal as you will have the time to practice the techniques before birth and reap the benefits of relaxation during your pregnancy.
Q. Who do I bring to the classes?
A. You bring yourself and your birth companion. Your companion can be your partner, doula, relative, friend- anyone you feel will be the best support during your pregnancy and birth. You can come solo- but you are never alone as you have your baby.
Q. Will my obstetrician/midwife be familiar with hypnobirthing?
A. It is important to communicate with your caregiver and to be open with your desires. If your caregiver is not familiar with hypnobirthing take the opportunity to discuss hypnobirthing with them early in your pregnancy. Discuss the techniques you will be using and any preferences you may have. However, more caregivers are becoming familiar with hypnobirthing and do enjoy being part of a hypnobirth! I have heard that some midwives even fight over who is going to get the hypnobirthing mother!
So, are you ready to learn how to fearlessly ride the waves of your birth journey?
Learn how to have the most positive start to motherhood possible.