What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is logical, simple, practical and very effective; a complete antenatal education. It makes a difference to your experience of giving birth, and gives you the tools to give your baby the best possible start in life. Hypnobirthing changes and empowers both the mother and partner, and has the most profound effect on the baby which will last a lifetime. The five C’s of Hypnobirthing:
For a mother, Hypnobirthing enables her to work with her body, which is naturally designed to give birth. It releases the fear and negativity that she has been programmed with from an early age that birth is painful, and replaces it with calm confidence. Hypnobirthing will enable a mother to remember the birth as the most wonderful and empowering experience of her life.
A birth partner who has learnt Hypnobirthing will produce hormones of confidence and calm. He/she will also have a positive impact on the environment. Being a supportive and protective part of the process of his/her baby being born can enrich and deepen the couple’s relationship and also deepen the relationship of partner and child. He/she will feel empowered knowing he/she played an important part in how his/her child entered the world.
The birth of a baby is positively impacted when the mother is a Hypnobirthing mother. When a mother is feeling calm and confident during labour, the muscles of the uterus are relaxed and provide a more comfortable journey for the baby. In addition, the oxygen carried in the mother’s blood is the oxygen which goes through the placenta to the baby, so the baby’s oxygen supply is not compromised. As a result the baby is relaxed and labour progresses more efficiently.
Understanding how the muscles of the uterus work is a very important part of Hypnobirthing. The uterus is effectively a powerful bag of muscles which contains, protects and nourishes your baby. The external vertical fibres of the upper part of the uterus work to draw up in a spiral motion in the first stage of labour. The fibres of the middle layer of the uterus are interwoven with blood vessels. The fibers of the inner layer form horizontal hoops around the cervix which, during pregnancy, keep your baby in. In order for a baby to be born, they have to release and open.
During pregnancy the body of the uterus must remain relaxed and stretch in order to accommodate the growing baby, while the cervix must remain firm in order to keep the baby in. In labour, these two functions are reversed. The muscles of the body of the uterus start to work and draw up, and the muscles of the cervix relax and start to open. The two types of muscle work in harmony when the labouring woman is calm and relaxed as nature intended. In the first stage of labour, during surges the vertical muscles draw up. The circular muscles relax and are drawn back in response. The cervix thins and opens.
The hormones of pregnancy, labour and birth are a miraculous cocktail. All of these play an essential part in making labour a natural and comfortable experience for the mother.
Oxytocin is stimulated by love, hugs, touch, dim lights, privacy and is responsible for contracting the muscles of the uterus. If oxytocin isn’t present, the birth process can be more challenging.
Melatonin works well in dim light, privacy and warmth and makes you feel very relaxed, therefore a very essential hormone during labour.
Birth by its nature is a very physical activity and women often experience a higher level of endorphins. Therefore the sensations they feel are tolerable to them. Athletes will be familiar with an endorphin high after a physical activity.
An increase of adrenaline at the start or before the process can counteract the effect of oxytocin and can slow down labour. This is why, particularly in first time mothers, midwives encourage the couples to stay at hone for as long as possible as a change of scenery from home to hospital can slow down or even reverse any progress made at home.
Relaxin loosens the ligaments in the uterus and allows the body to become more stretchy and elastic.
When it comes to birth, we could learn a great deal from our fellow mammals. The conscious brain has little to do with the actual process of giving birth. We can’t decide when our baby will be born, and we can’t decide how our labour will be, though we can do a lot in preparation to affect it.It is important that we respect our natural instincts and so the birth is more likely to go smoothly and naturally. In the wild, an animal will take herself away on her own to a place where she feels safe to give birth. If she’s not sure, the whole process will stop, or even reverse, until she is sure it is a safe place to have her baby. Your body relaxes when you are at home in your own space, somewhere that you feel comfortable and happy. Likewise, your body relaxes when you are surrounded by people that you trust.
Hypnobirthing is a revolution caused by women. It is a load of little things that put together make a very big difference. Hypnobirthing along with correct position of mother (upright, forward and open legs) allows the process of birth in the most efficient and helpful way for both mother and baby.
Hypnobirthing is a process of letting go, of getting rid, of the stresses and the fears, the preconceptions, the assumptions. By the time you come to give birth, the perfect system which is already created in every woman’s body can work in the way it is designed to. It is quite an uncomfortable process as there is no trial run. The work to release the fear is really important, and this takes practice.
It is important to be aware that there are always alternatives and options but they might not always be presented to you. Hypnobirthing can give them the knowledge. Knowledge is power. Hypnobirthing can:
Make you feel calm
Put you in control
Build your confidence
Give you comfort
And therefore an overall happy experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.