Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I remember when I first heard the term “hypnobirthing”. I was 25+ weeks pregnant, sitting in my midwife’s office, discussing my options for attending an antenatal class.
My midwife had just asked me what type of birth I wanted to have. ‘The normal kind?’ was the first thought that popped into my head. After taking a moment to think about the little wriggling bub in my tummy, I realised this was something that I hadn't taken much time in my pregnancy to think about.
The thought of a caesarean popped into my mind. It wasn’t that I was against having one, but given the option, I would more than likely choose a natural birth.
“Have you heard about Hypnobirthing?” she asks.
‘Does the hyp stand for hippy?’ I immediately wondered. I’ve always been open to alternative perspectives but was this something I wanted to consider when I’ve already got so much going on in preparation for this new little person?
Little did I know at the time that this introduction would radically change not only the way I looked at bringing my children into the world, but how I now approach all future tasks that require resilience, confidence, and a clear mind.
Hypnobirthing is a method that focuses on self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help women feel physically and mentally prepared for childbirth. When we understand how our bodies actually birth, trust in its perfectly designed ability and keep our headspace in check, we can let nature do its thing and birth with minimal to no medical interventions.
Things like caesareans, epidurals, an episiotomy, early inductions, forceps and vacuum extraction are all practices considered to be medical interventions during childbirth.
It’s true that medical interventions can lead to further complications after birth, but they have also revolutionised the way we women can safely give birth in today’s age and provide life-saving options to those in need.
When you learn hypnobirthing, you’re not educated on how to avoid medical interventions during your labour. The tools and techniques you will learn will help you to increase your physiological and mental tolerance to push through the hard work that is required for birthing your beautiful and perfectly made baby. If you embrace these techniques, the likelihood of your labour needing medical intervention is reduced.
Hypnobirthing isn’t anti-medical but pro birth education, knowledge and empowerment. Even if you choose to accept medical interventions, hypnobirthing practices will help you and your birth partner to maintain a calm and positive mindset throughout your labour experience.