I taught Emma and Mohammed hypnobirthing as a private course in their home. As a first time Mum, Emma did not know what to expect from birth. However, as is common, she had heard a lot of horror stories. Her birth story is lovely, and shows that birth can be very fast, even for a first time Mum.
The birth of Noah
I was totally convinced that I would go way past my due date as I’d heard that’s what happens to most first time Mums. Plus, the same had happened to lots of my NCT friends. So when I woke up at six in the morning with stomach pains the day after my due date I thought it was just the baby moving around. I didn’t think I was in labour and I went back to sleep.
I was also convinced that I’d have a really long labour. So I told my husband that he might as well get ready for work when I woke up again an hour later. However, by the time he was ready for work I knew that things were going a bit faster than I had expected. I got in the bath and listened to some hypnobirthing tracks. My husband tried to figure out the contraction timer app, but it kept flashing up “go to hospital!” I’d only been in labour for a couple of hours so thought it couldn’t possibly be time. Even though I was in a lot of pain and my contractions were very regular.
I got out the bath and strapped on my TENS machine, which was really helpful. We got to hospital and I’d originally wanted to decline the examination that tells you how dilated you are. However, I was in so much pain and so convinced I was still in early labour that I wanted to know how much more I’d have to go through. I was very shocked when they said I was 9cm! I was rushed off to the birthing centre in a wheelchair, clutching some gas and air. In the birth centre they quickly ran the water in the birth pool. I got in and my husband played my favourite hypnobirthing script on his phone. I also tried to do some of the visualisations.
It was very true what Colleen said, my body knew exactly what to do. I didn’t even have to push, my body was doing it for me. Noah was born after only a few pushes into the water after a labour of seven hours. I had a bit of trouble after that with my placenta not coming out properly. But I’m so glad everything up to that point went really well and Noah was delivered safely.
There wasn’t enough time for me to put all the techniques I’d learnt into practice. But my labour and birth were a lot calmer because I was so well informed of what was happening to me. I’d taken the time to think about all my options so felt in control.
How hypnobirthing can help a first time Mum
Having a fast labour, where it is not possible to use many hypnobirthing techniques might not feel like a hypnobirth. Especially as a first time Mum. However, the important thing to remember is that hypnobirthing is for pregnancy and birth. When doing lots of practice, women can become so relaxed that this helps to have a fast birth. The work is being done during pregnancy rather than birth.
Hypnobirthing is also much more than relaxation techniques. My course covers birth options and the practicalities of birth, so that on the day you know what to expect. This is something that I think can really help a first time Mum, like it did with Emma.