Our very own Hypnobirthing practitioner, Dr Del Tubby shares her Hypnobirthing story; from her natural birth choice, the journey with her birth partner and the all important decision to teach others the techniques she has learnt.
When people think of hypnobirthing I think they imagine it is giving birth in some kind of weird trance like state where you aren’t really aware what’s going on. Most people’s knowledge of hypnosis is seeing the stage shows of the 80’s where volunteers were ‘made’ to do things on stage such as pretend to be a chicken! Three years ago when I first signed up for a Hypnobirthing course my friends reactions varied from ‘What is Hypnobirthing?’ to gentle mockery for doing something which was a bit ‘different’. There was even one lady at work who kept insisting it was going to be ‘really painful’ no matter what I did (she hadn’t actually had a child herself so had no idea!!)
Now that I have experienced natural childbirth and Hypnobirthed my two beautiful boys I know that I was not in a weird trance during my births, in fact I have never felt more in control, more alive or more powerful as I did at those times, there were times when I was in very deep relaxation and focus during the later stages of labour but I was very aware at all times. My births were amazing, euphoric, empowering, life-changing, bonding experiences. I didn’t pretend to be a chicken laying an egg at all!
Hypnobirthing is many things…
It’s natural childbirth through knowledge, preparation, breathing techniques, anatomy and physiology education, self hypnosis, visualisation, affirmations, positive thinking, fear release and relaxation. It is also about the relationship between a mother and her birth partner. To me Hypnobirthing equals confidence. It gave me the confidence to know that I could give birth naturally, this is what my body has been designed to do and if I could convince my interfering 21st century brain to take a back seat my body is perfectly capable. Hypnobirthing focuses on the fact that childbirth is normal, natural and healthy and should not be medicalized. Women know deep down how to give birth just as they know how to breathe or how to grow a baby from just 2 cells. Hypnobirthing leads to beautiful, natural, sometimes euphoric or pain free births which a woman and her partner can look back on with a sense of awe and satisfaction for the rest of their lives.
Natural childbirth techniques reduce fear
When I first fell pregnant I felt really fearful of giving birth but as a Veterinary Surgeon I had seen hundreds of animal births and knew that they give birth naturally and confidently and never appear scared so why don’t humans have this ability? Of course we do but we all hear and see so many negative birth stories it is hard to remember this. We have all seen the terrible Eastenders births and heard about that friend of a friend who was in labour for 6 weeks and had a 24lb baby whose head was the size of a melon! All these things we hear build up in our minds to make us fearful, when we are fearful we produce adrenaline which blocks all the lovely natural pain relieving endorphins our body produces to help us through labour. Hypnobirthing aims to reduce these fears by educating the woman and her birth partner.
Knowledge is power
By the end of the course they know what to expect for each stage of birth and have practised the breathing/relaxation techniques which can be used for each part. They learn exactly what the uterus is doing to facilitate the birth of the baby and they learn the part played by Endorphins and Catecholamines leading up to and during labour. They are taught birth positions for home and the car and given birth preferences sheets to read through and choose what is important to them as individuals. All of this empowers them to be in control of their birth – and they can communicate this to their midwife to help them achieve their goals.
It includes your birth partner
For a long time the father was not welcome in the birthing room and had to wait outside, Hypnobirthing is the opposite of this and the birth partner is positively encouraged to play an important role and will approach labour confidently knowing what he/she can do to assist. My (not in touch with his feminine side) husband could not have been more supportive and nurturing and made my births the amazing experiences they were. We did it together and that is a wonderful feeling which has made us even stronger as a couple.
There is no single thing which defines Hypnobirthing, more it is a way of thinking and living both before, during and after the birth of the baby. Hypnobirthing has changed my life, whenever I think back to my births I think of a happy occasion without fear or stress where my body was given the freedom to do what it knew to do. I wouldn’t change a thing about my births, they weren’t necessarily perfect but they were to me, Hypnobrthing gave me the ability to accept what didn’t go totally to plan and have an amazing warm fuzzy feeling whenever I think back to them. I am so passionate that Hypnobirthing is the way forward that I have now been trained to teach the BeCalm Hypnobirthing method by birth guru Jackie Heffer-Cooke and am loving feeling that I am making a difference passing on what I have learnt.
Lots of Hypnobirthing love
If you would like to experience a more natural childbirth, Jackie Heffer-Cooke and Dr Del Tubby are available for group workshops and Jackie for individual consultations. To find out more visit our Hypnobirthing pages or call reception on 01603 631900.