Here’s how Hypnobirthing helped me during my labour despite it not going to plan...
Connie Simmonds, UK
Let me start by saying, Hypnobirthing was never something I thought I would be interested in, but after listening to a few mummy podcasts during my pregnancy I kept hearing about it more and more. My curiosity got the better of me and quite frankly nothing I was hearing was negative.
Hypnobirthing in official terms is a complete birth education programme that teaches simple but specific hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.
So, after seeing an online digital programme by The Positive Birth Company advertised half price, I thought “what have I got to lose”.
Before embarking on this course my birthing plan was to simply go as natural as possible with the option of an epidural if I felt I needed it (this is what my mum did so I was pretty much copying her). I knew that not all birth plans actually go to plan so I wasn’t going to be regimental about it. Besides this all I knew about labour was what I saw on TV and what people told me, I imagined it to be pretty awful and painful and quite frankly something you rather forget. The Hypnobirthing course changed my views on this pretty instantly which enabled me to go into my labour feeling positive and reassured.
Key things I learnt during my course:
- The body produces the happy hormone Oxytocin during labour, the more relaxed you are the more you will produce, and the less stressful labour will be.
- I learnt about the different stages of labour, why they happen and how to manage them as calmly as possible.
- Breathing techniques to use to help relax the body and support the muscles during labour.
- Create a relaxing environment for yourself.
Even knowing just these 4 things meant I was completely informed of what was happening to my body and why it was happening, it meant that I could focus on my breathing pattern which not only feeds the body with much needed oxygen but acted as a great distraction, and having some essentials to help me relax throughout pretty much saved me wanting to give up at times.
At 2.30am my first contraction started, by 11am I was fully dilated and Macie was born at 12.44pm the same day. Despite having a quick labour my contractions were just a minute apart for most of it, leaving me little time to rest and prepare for the next one. As a result my blood pressure rocketed and I was sent to the labour ward and advised to have an epidural.
My heart sunk, my wish (after studying Hypnobirthing) to have a water birth in the birthing suite disappeared. Nevertheless, I remained positive, put my unborn baby first and put my trust in the recommendations of the doctors.
So, although things didn’t go to plan, I was still able to adjust and apply what I had learnt to my new birthing plan. The midwives complimented me on my breathing techniques, they absolutely loved my spa scented cooling face mist, I think it relaxed everyone and I would never give birth again without bringing the 3D scan photo of the baby. This gave me such positive reinforcement, when I felt like giving up I looked at it and gave me a boost.
I would actually recommend Hypnobirthing to anyone pregnant, it can be a worrying time full of the unknown and quite frankly all that I learnt on the course fuelled me with confidence and determination to have a happy and positive birth.
Sometimes in labour things don’t go our way, I was even rushed into theatre to have my placenta removed but I remained positive, it was engrained in me to stay calm and relaxed regardless, knowing that baby and I were in safe hands.