Updated: Mar 18
If I could call what I do anything other than hypnobirthing I absolutely would. It's a huge red herring (for what I teach, anyway), and I know the very word 'hypno' unleashes a healthy dose of skepticism, particularly if you're curious & inquisitive about how to go about having a Good Birth.
Since I first trained 7 years ago, I've spent plenty of time enjoying the pause people take to gather their pocket-watch/cluck-like-a-chicken jokes once I've 'confessed' to being a hypnobirthing teacher. And in that 7 years I've also watched women blossom in belly & belief as they 'get' what birth preparation really means.
So if you sign up to a hypnobirthing course with me, what will you get? Will you have to visualise your cervix as an opening flower? Will you have to learn how to Omm & visualise a perfect home birth with burning sage and whale music in the background? Short answer: No.
Here's the deal;
I am all for writing birth plans. They have a bad rap, but that's usually because they force women into defining what they're birth Will Be Like. Instead, you need a birth plan that allows you conceptualise the atmosphere, dynamic & tone you'd like around when you're having your baby AND the practicalities you need in place to create that AND how you might manage any changes in plan.
I love an affirmation....but only if you really believe in it. I can't sign up to affirmations tell you to visualise your cervix will open like a beautiful lotus flower or that your baby is the perfect size for your body. Why? Because I know from first-hand doula experience that sometimes bloody cervix's just do not open, and sometimes babies need a little extra help. This doesn't mean you have failed in your preparation or your determination. It doesn't mean your body is wrong, or your baby is wrong, and it certainly doesn't mark your birth as a 'bad' one. I'll help you find and write affirmations that work for you
Home birth. I love it for many, many reasons. BUT, it's not right for everyone, and so I won't press you towards it. What I WILL do is encourage you to look at your options, determine the pro's and con's of each option and write a birth plan that helps you make the most of the pro's and mitigate the con's.
Never underestimate the power of breathing. It's an awesome for pumping you full of that powerful old Oxytocin, and for helping you stay calm and in the moment. Water is also excellent for keeping comfy and feeling safe & secure. However, I'm also all for Entonox, epidurals & pethidine - when the time is right. It's really hard to determine before your labour starts whether you want these things or not, so I'll help you gather the information you need and strategies for requesting & declining so you remain in control of what happens and when.
You've really got to understand the context you're giving birth in, because you are not the only person who is going to influence your birth outcome. It's fair to say that the NHS is struggling. Midwives are often overwhelmed with protocols, paperwork & patients. Increasingly women are presenting at maternity departments with multi-axial complications, and so health professionals are increasingly required to provide complex care pathways. All this can influence their attitude and their boundaries - and this just may not correlate with your approach. I think one of the most important segments of my course is the time we spend considering who else may be involved with your care, and what might be influencing them. A hefty dose of respect and empathy goes to everyone who works in the NHS - not just because they deserve it, but because understanding that will help you negotiate your care too.
So there it is. Come along to a course with me and you will absolutely get all the chilled out, inspirational, good birth promise you expect from hypnobirthing. And you'll get it with a healthy dose of this doula's honesty & practicality.
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