Hypnobirthing - now fit for royals
"Hypnosis may ease Kate’s birth pains" - Times Newspaper, January 14th 2018
With headlines like that it's no surprise that Hypnobirthing has become more popular in the last few years. Midwives on the private Lindo Ward of St Mary's Hospital in London where Kate and William have had their last two babies, are being trained in Hypnobirthing.
Breathing exercises, visualisations and relaxations have been around for years, and they are helpful. However, Hypnobirthing goes further in the way it works on fear. Every woman, however much she is looking forward to giving birth, will have seen a TV programme or film which showed a less than positive birth experience. This may be buried deep in her subconscious, but it is there. Just think about those 'One born every minute' episodes full of high drama and anxiety. No wonder our expectations are that giving birth is something to be fearful of.
Hypnobirthing courses work on eradicating this fear. Its techniques help you feel calm instead of frightened about labour. When you feel calm, your body produces the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterine muscles work more effectively and efficiently. Oxytocin triggers the production of endorphins, which are often referred to as nature's pain relief, so your body is perfectly designed to give birth efficiently and comfortably. The perfect system is already in place. All you have to do is get your fear and anxiety out of the way and let this natural system work in the way it was created to. Giving birth can be the most wonderful and empowering experience of your life.
Michelle, speaking on R4's Woman's hour had this to say about her experience:
"I felt pretty in control really, I felt more relaxed and was in a really good mental state which allowed me to zone out and focus on what was important. Obviously opening up and birthing my baby as quickly and calmly as possible... the time went so quickly because I was in the zone and I was in control."
"I would say the first part of labour before I was bearing down and pushing the baby out was not really too painful. It was quite manageable, I had a bit of gas and air and my husband played a huge part in it and he was counting me through surges and really helping me stay focused and calm. That first part was not too painful at all. The second part when she was actually making her way down was more amazing really as I felt like this is what I am designed to do. It was painful at times but it was at the back of my mind."
Added to this most courses also include a full antenatal course; something that is sadly lacking as NHS cutbacks have forced midwifery services to drop this service. Hypnobirthing courses will give you all you need to know to make informed choices around your birth.
Hypnobirthing helps women rewrite their birth stories, removing fear and anxiety and helping them have a calm and comfortable birth. After all, if it is good enough for Royals...
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About Linda Mortimer
I am a Hypnobirthing teacher and hypnotherapist who has a background in teaching and psychology. This has given me a wonderful range of skills that enable me to provide Hypnobirthing courses that are engaging and fun.