How can hypnobirthing help me in labour and birth? Here’s 10 ways..

One of the things that I absolutely love about hypnobirthing is that there really is something for everyone when it comes to looking for tools to prepare for your baby’s birth.

When your considering different forms of antenatal preparation for the birth of your baby – hypnobirthing can help both physically and mentally.

So here are just a few of the ways it can play a huge roll during labour and birth.

1 – It helps you to understand that your mind has a lot more influence over your body

Its true, our mind and our body are essentially the same thing and when it comes to pregnancy and birth – having an understanding of the way that our body can be impacted during birth can really help us to see why a relaxation toolkit… aka.. a hypnobirthing toolkit can be a great idea.

If you think about it, our mind controls so many reactions within our body – like when you find something funny, you laugh. You don’t stop and then think to laugh!

Well its the same in labour, if we feel safe we can let go in order to birth our babies.

2 – Hypnobirthing provides you with a variety of tools that help you to feel calm in a variety of different birthing scenarios

Home birth, induced birth, caesarean birth, hospital birth, freebirth… the list goes on – regardless of the type of birth you are planning for – there are loads of different tools that you can try to help you to prepare for birth.

That’s what I love about hypnobirthing – everyone will use the tools different.

In my hypnobirthing sessions, I break the toolkit down into 3 sections – mind tools such as visualisation, physical tools such as items that can change your environment and breathing techniques

3 – It helps you to understand your body and therefore helps you to work with it instead of against it

I don’t know about you but I didn’t have a clue how my body worked in labour before I had Charlotte. Having an understanding of the purpose of contractions, how our uterus works in labour and how we change in our behaviour as labour progresses can help build your trust in the process.

Birth is a biological requirement and just like with so many other bodily functions.. it just happens.

Also understanding a bit around birth positions, particularly ones that help you work with gravity and support yourself and your baby to birth can give you the confidence that you were designed to do this!

4- Hypnobirthing helps your birth partner to gain confidence in how to support you during birth

Hypnobirthing can be just as useful for your birth partner, after working with hundreds of families – its been really great to see how it can make all the difference to your birth partner.

It can help them see that they do have a really important role during birth and opens up conversations about the different ways that they can support whether that’s through setting up your birth environment or advocating for you during labour.

5 – It can help you tune into your instincts

Often, having an understanding of our bodies along with relaxation techniques helps us to tune into our instincts easier during labour – its often said that hypnobirthing mamas or parents stay at home longer before going to the hospital as they know its not yet time.

It can also help with choosing birthing positions, making decisions in labour and tuning into your baby.

One of the most important things I talk about in my sessions is instinct – for many years, we have almost learnt to not trust our instincts during birth and this doesn’t need to be the case.

6 – It can help you feel confident about advocating for yourself not only in pregnancy but during birth too

A really key part of a hypnobirthing course is understanding how to advocate for yourself during labour and birth.

Sadly, our maternity care system is currently quite stretched with many policies and procedures in place that don’t always work on an individualised basis and this can mean that some parents want further information or a different care pathway.

Whilst hypnobirthing isn’t about giving you advice, a key element is educating you on how to feel confident on knowing your rights.

7 – It can help you to write birth preferences based on what really matters to you

Completing a hypnobirthing course often provides you with most of the information you’d like to write in your birth plans as a hypnobirthing course can really help to highlight ways that you want your birth to look and feel.

This can also be useful for both your birth partner as a tool they can use to advocate for you as well as your caregivers such as a midwife or doctor.

8 – It can help you to feel more comfortable as your labour progresses

During a hypnobirthing course, we will go through loads of techniques that can help you to feel more comfortable as your labour progresses – whether that’s through learning massage techniques that can help ease any discomfort , breathing techniques to help your muscles to relax and active birth positions that you can use for resting or however you feel during labour.

9 – It helps you to understand the different stages of labour and how best to prepare your environment

Often birth partners I work with say that this has been one of the most useful parts of the course as it helps them to understand what to look for in terms of a change in your body language.

We will talk about things like setting up your environment, how to adapt it in different locations if your choosing to birth outside of the home and also things like what to expect when your placenta is born.

10 – It can provide you with confidence and excitement

And of course, last but certainly not least!

This is the whole reason why hypnobirthing exists – to help you to feel more in control of your birth!

Many parents that I’ve worked with often say that our hypnobirthing course has helped them to feel empowered about their choices and for me – this is the ultimate goal as a hypnobirthing teacher!

Why it’s important to create a calming home environment

So, by now – you are probably sick of hearing everything to do with coronavirus, yet, there is some really important information that people should read and understand in order to help with their mental health and happy hormones during this time.

Hypnobirthing is based on science and logic and some of the skills and information that is taught in a class are useful not only for pregnancy but for every member of the family in everyday life.

Why is it so important?

Our bodies compromise of 2 nervous systems – our parasympathetic nervous system and our sympathetic nervous system with the latter being more commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ response system. The fight or flight response was designed to help us in a life-threatening situation, yet our very clever brains just can’t fathom out the difference between real and pretend threats and therefore start to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

This basically means if your feeling stressed, for example, watching too many negative things on TV – your body begins to release these hormones (that you don’t actually at that time as TV isn’t a real threat!) need and therefore makes you feel more anxious.

Instead, we want to be in the parasympathetic nervous system which is the system of calm – the important thing to note is that you can’t be in both systems at the same time.

Particularly if your pregnant, or a new mum – this system is really beneficial not only for you but for your baby as you produce hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin which is crucial for bonding with your baby.

So what sorts of things can I do to stay in the calm nervous system whilst at home?

  • Only watch small doses of TV which will produce adrenaline like the news or TV shows are action/violence based. Instead – take the opportunity to watch your favourite shows, comedies which make you laugh and romantic films which make you feel soppy (cheesy.. but it works!!)
  • Positive Statements and Affirmations – Whether you are pregnant or not, find some affirmations that make you feel confident – ‘I am strong’ is such a powerful one – print it off, pop it on your phone, say it to yourself when your feeling particularly anxious.
  • Take a long deep breath every time your anxious – I always suggest to pregnant clients to do it every time they walk through a door frame, by doing this, you automatically settle your system back down
  • Use some of your time at home to create a scrapbook of pictures or memories – looking at those we love and memories we cherish produces oxytocin!
  • Limit your phone use and take this time to invest in self-care – a yoga class, gardening, reading – whatever you enjoy, even doing this for 10 minutes a day will massively benefit you!

If you like these ideas, feel free to leave a comment or share your own ideas – its great to hear what other people do to create their best environment, pregnant or not!

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