With the Duchess of Cambridge’s due date looming, royal baby fever has reached new levels! While we’ll never know exactly how Kate has prepared for the birth of her new baby, there are rumours circulating that she practiced hypnobirthing with George and Charlotte and plans to with her third birth later this month.
Not quite sure what hypnobirthing entails? There’s no one better to speak to than Rosie Goode, founder of Hypnobirthing Works. Below, she breaks down this popular birthing technique and explains the many amazing benefits it can have before, during and after the birth of your baby.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a highly effective, practical toolkit that empowers women for pregnancy, birth and beyond. It’s underpinned by birth physiology and how our mind affects our body.
How does it work?
Fear and anxiety impact birth negatively, and in Hypnobirthing women learn how to shift the focus and replace anxiety with excitement. Understanding that Oxytocin (the birth hormone) is key, Hypnobirthing mothers learn how to keep the right hormones flowing. Partners play an important role in helping the oxytocin flow!
Couples learn Hypnobirthing breathing and relaxation techniques, a special massage, and partners also learn how to help the birthing mother relax deeply before and during birth. Confidence boosting and assertiveness techniques are practised, so women feel calm, excited, optimistic and equipped for birth, how ever their birth flows. Hypnobirthing fear release and confidence boosting audio tracks including affirmations are an important tool in the toolkit, as is a Hypnobirthing Birth Plan. Practise is key!
A good birth is also about attitude: when we feel confident in our decisions and know the right questions to ask, we are empowered and at the centre of our birth, which makes an enormous difference to our experience.
Who is it good for and what exactly are the benefits?
Hypnobirthing supports every mother and baby, no matter what type of birth she has: whether it’s planned caesarean, necessary induction or drug-free physiological birth in a pool in a birth centre, or at home. The more anxious stressed or scared a mother is, the more stress hormones she will produce and this is more likely to lead to a difficult birth and impact her, her baby and her partner post-natally. Every mother to be can learn to reduce anxiety, and head towards a positive birth.
When a mother and baby are well and healthy, birth flows automatically when we let it, and when we know how to support birth physiology. Hypnobirthing very effectively supports what is happening naturally for every mother and baby and Hypnobirthing equips her and her partner with strategies for any circumstance.
When a mother’s birthing body and baby are more relaxed, their birth will flow more smoothly: her birthing body easily able to birth as nature intended. Hypnobirthing empowers women in birth and helps them remain in ‘control’.
Hypnobirthing births (when the mother has practiced daily over a period of time) tend to be gentler, quicker; babies born feeling good, mother feeling great, and post-natally her body is likely to bounce back. Hypnobirthing mothers are significantly less likely to tear, less likely to have inductions.
Birthing partners are a very important part of the ‘team’: feeling good, and well equipped to support themselves and birthing mother through birth.
Top tips on how to use Hypnobirthing to your advantage to have the best birth
Start early – Starting Hypnobirthing as early as possible enables a mother and baby to be as physically relaxed as possible before birth, which will enable her birth to flow more smoothly.
Play daily – positive affirmations and Hypnobirthing audio tracks – boost optimism every day (helps you to ignore all the negativity around birth)
Think about what’s right for you and your birth – is it in a pool, at home, in a midwife led birth centre, a doctor led unit, a caesarian? Do some research and find the team and birth place that will support YOU. Maternity units (in London) support Hypnobirthing and when they know a mother and partner are hypnobirthing, they respond to them differently and follow their lead.
Surround yourself with positive stories and people who support your birth plan. What we hear and see repeatedly impacts our birth. Spend time with and speak to women who’ve had a positive birth – you will learn a lot from them and they will boost your confidence. Probably avoid ‘One Born Every Minute’ and other birth TV – it focuses on drama and shows the opposite of an ideal birth environment!
Ensure your partner is on board. If not, think about who might support you in your practise and help you feel good through birth.
Repetition is key… Practice daily in the lead up to birth to reduce anxiety, boost optimism and create a positive pattern for birth. With time we can shift from panic and fear to excitement about birth and even at 40 weeks Hypnobirthing will have a positive impact.
Take a ‘Hypnobirthing Works’ course which we run all over London or order some of our relaxation downloads and book a Skype session!
For more information, head to www.hypnobirthingworks.co.uk