So, last night I was teaching a couple their first session of hypnobirthing. For their first child, they had a long labour (over 30 hours) and traumatic birth six years ago. This experience has led them to look into hypnobirthing. The aim is to help overcome Mums understandable anxiety. So that she can enjoy her pregnancy and look forward to giving birth to her second baby. We did a long birth relaxation exercise towards the end of the class, her feedback afterwards was that she felt really in the ‘zone’. Plus, that she could see how this might actually help her with childbirth labour and delivery.
After I have done a birth relaxation exercise with a couple, I like to give them an explanation of why it is so beneficial to practice for preparing for childbirth. One of the benefits I mentioned was that by practicing deep relaxation allows your conscious mind to switch off. Meaning that your subconscious mind is processing all of those positive birth affirmations, and allowing you to believe in them. The positive birth affirmations can relate to fear release, believing in your body, and deciding how long your labour will be.
It was at this point the husband asked the very relevant question to their previous birth experience – the length of childbirth labour and delivery is fixed surely, you can’t shorten it? To which I replied, yes you can!
How hypnobirthing can help childbirth labour and delivery
There are medical ways to speed up childbirth (such as using a hormone drip or breaking your waters). However, medical interventions can often have negative side effects. Hypnobirthing focuses on the aim of a natural delivery, without medical interventions. So last night I went on to explain how childbirth labour and delivery and be sped up using natural techniques.
Relaxing during labour and childbirth
By physically relaxing, a woman in childbirth will allow her body to soften and open. This means that the baby will be able to be born much more easily and quickly. If a woman is tense during labour, she is holding her baby in, which will cause the labour to be longer. This is why relaxation practice is so important when learning hypnobirthing.
Staying at home
It is always recommended to stay at home for as long as possible in the early stages of childbirth labour. If you go into hospital too soon, you will more than likely be sent home anyway! When you are in a deep state of relaxation, any form of stimulus or distraction will disturb the subconscious mind and bring you out of the relaxation. One of the biggest distractions for women in labour is the transition from home to hospital. This is why staying at home for as long as possible will result in a faster delivery, because you will be able to stay in that relaxed hypnobirth state for longer.
Staying active during the early stages of labour
By staying active and moving around in the early stages of labour, you are encouraging your baby to move down into a better position. If the baby moves as far down as possible on its own, it’s much less work for you to do!
Using effective positions for childbirth
The lady that I was teaching last night had an epidural for the birth of her first child. I asked her if that meant she was laying on her back during labour, which she confirmed she was. We often see in the media women giving birth laying down on their back. Which means we then presume this is the correct thing to do. In fact, it can slow down childbirth. This is because you will no longer have gravity helping the baby to move down. You will also be pushing the baby up and over the tail bone, which is a lot more work and will inevitably take longer. Luckily, hypnobirthing courses cover lots of different positions for birth. I explained to my couple last night that we will go over lots of different positions throughout the coming weeks.
Hypnobirthing breathing techniques
Our muscles work best when they are not tired, and when they have a good supply of energy and oxygen. Hypnobirthing covers different breathing techniques to help you stay relaxed. The breathing techniques also help to get the maximum oxygen to your organs needed for childbirth labour and delivery. If our muscles are working well, any physical activity will be easier and quicker.
As this was the first hypnobirthing session with this couple I could only briefly touch on all of these techniques and how they can help them. The topics will be covered in more detail as we progress through the course. Up until that point the Dad had been fairly vocal that he was only there to support his wife, but did not really believe in it. A very typical response from a lot of Dads! However, after this short conversation about how hypnobirthing can be very logical, and directly relating it to their previous birth experience, I could see how he was starting to come around to how powerful it can be. I can’t wait to start session two with this couple, and to help them on their positive birth journey.
If you are interested in how hypnobirthing can help you during your pregnancy and labour, get in touch with me for class availability here.