Top 5 things you need to know about hypnobirthing.
As covered in recent press, there’s an exciting upward trend of pregnant couples using hypnobirthing to support them in pregnancy and labour. Certain hospitals quote that nearly a quarter of all women giving birth there have taken a hyponbirthing course, whilst some midwives predict that hypnobirthing will be standard antenatal practice within a decade. This is fantastic news for the empowerment of pregnant women – but what is all the hype about? What is hypnobirthing and why should you do it?
This list could go on and on but here is a whistle stop tour of the top 5 things you need to know about hypnobirthing written by founder of Hammond Hypnobirthing, Lizzie Hammond.
1) It’s not all hippies and incense
Given the name, some people are put off hypnobirthing with the initial reaction of “hypno-what”?! They’re skeptical and often think it must be only for those wearing tie-dye and generally into alternative medicine. But, it’s definitely not the case! Hypnobirthing is for any couple who want to enjoy positivity throughout their pregnancy and labour and who want the calmest entrance into the world for their new baby. Who wouldn’t want that?!
2) It’s science based
In summary our nervous system has two responses: emergency response and calm response.
We all recognise the emergency response and have had that rush of terror when you’re scared; your muscles freeze and your heart pounds. This is a result of adrenalin pumping into the blood stream. These involuntary reactions to fear are completely unhelpful in labour, when muscles work best if they’re soft and open.
So, to counteract this emergency ‘fight or flight’ response, women in labour need to RELAX which in turn enables the calm response to kick in. In childbirth, the calm response encourages the release of oxytocin and endorphins – both fundamental in encouraging a comfortable and efficient birth.
Hypnobirthing is about teaching couples so that they understand childbirth and have no reason to be fearful, whilst also providing them with techniques to help them relax during pregnancy and labour.
3) There’s more to courses than relaxation tracks
Some people think that by listening to relaxation audios, they’ve ‘done’ hypnobirthing. However, there’s so much more to learn on the courses to help gain a practical and logical understanding of childbirth, so that you understand why relaxation is useful. Hypnobirthing courses will be run differently, depending on which practitioner you choose however, you’ll most likely learn physiology, to understand which muscles and hormones are working during labour as well as the getting information about the medical options you have throughout labour. This gives you tools to feel confident about childbirth and understand all the options you have.
4) It provides your birth partner with a fundamental role during labour
If you’re feeling even the slightest bit bewildered at doing the ‘pregnancy gig’, alone, hypnobirthing is the perfect tool to give your birth partner an integral role during labour and provide you with huge support. The course provides information to arm birth partners with tools and knowledge to fully support the birthing Mum during labour, building an even stronger bond of support and trust for each other and the baby.
5) It’s not about promising you the perfect pain free birth
What is the perfect birth anyway? What hypnobirthing can promise is giving you confidence and techniques to enable your perfectly designed body get on with childbirth, just as it was designed to do, without your preconceived assumptions about childbirth getting in the way. Your baby will arrive in the best way for both you and your baby and hypnobirthing ensures that you feel confident, calm and informed about your options throughout pregnancy and labour.
There’s so much more to hypnobirthing, but this article gives you a taster of the information and positivity that you can get out of a course. Pregnancy is such a wonderfully special time for you, your birth partner and your baby and hypnobirthing ensures this time is full of positivity, rather than being clouded with any fear and nervousness about labour.
Lizzie Hammond, founder of Hammond Hypnobirthing running private and group hypnobirthing courses around London. To find out more details about Lizzie and the courses she offers, visit her website at www.hammondhypnobirthing.com.