When you think of "hypnobirthing" what do you think of?
Does it bring to mind thoughts of blissed out hippies eating their own placentas? Giving birth while squatting in a yurt? Trancing out to shamanic drumming and whale music?
The truth is, it's none of those things (unless of course you want it to be!).
Hypnobirthing is actually something really simple and down to earth. There's something in it for everyone.
Hypnobirthing is not a cult, it's not just for beardy wierdy's, it's not only for those planning homebirths, lotus births, or freebirths. It's something that you can use to have a more positive birth experience, wherever and however you choose to give birth.
The "hypno" part is probably what most people wonder about. Maybe your only experience of hypnosis is watching stage performers like Derren Brown or Paul McKenna. Maybe "hypnosis" makes you think of mind control, and pendulums swinging, and not being fully in control of your own mind.
Would it help you to know that hypnosis is just a state of deep relaxation? It's something that we all experience from time to time, a bit like when you're daydreaming, or doing something boring while thinking about something else (ironing and Poldark anyone?)
Hypnosis is easy - practically anyone can do it, and the great thing is that it gets easier the more you practice.
The kind of hypnosis that you will learn on a hypnobirthing course is essentially self hypnosis - it's learning how to get yourself into a really calm and relaxed state, both mentally and physically. That's such a great skill that you will be able to use all through your labour and birth, and for many years to come. And the great thing about hypnobirthing is that it's very inclusive for birth partners too. The Dads who come on my courses consistently tell me that they felt much more confident and better prepared, knowing how they could help on the day.
And it's not just about breathing and relaxation - taking a hypnobirthing class provides you with a whole set of tools and techniques at your disposal that you can use all through your labour and birth.
And because birth is so individual, it's great to know that these techniques can be used in any situation - whether you have a long labour, or a super fast labour, whether it's your first baby, or your second, whether or not you have an induction, even with an epidural, or during a cesarean. You can hypnobirth in a hospital, at a homebirth, in a birth pool, on a bed, or even in the back of the car!
After all, feeling calm and relaxed is such a great way to approach birth! When you feel calm and relaxed, everything is so much easier. Many hypnobirthing mums will tell you that they enjoyed feeling calm and in control, that birth was not something to fear but something to approach with confidence.
And if things don't go quite according to plan, don't worry because that's all covered too. We talk about how to plan for your perfect birth but also how to cope when your path to birth changes - how to make decisions about things like inductions, pain relief, fetal monitoring, and other interventions. (Some hypnobirthing classes don't like to talk about these things, in the expectation that they will never be needed but I prefer to think that information is power - as the saying goes, if you don't know your options, you don't have any!)
You can rest assured that the hypnobirthing course I teach (I'm a hypnobirthing teacher with the very fabulous Little Birth Company) is not just a one day workshop covering breathing and relaxation, it's a COMPLETE antenatal class lasting around 10 hours. There's simply no need to take any other antenatal classes as well because it's all covered.
I promise you won't find my course too beardy wierdy or airy fairy. I hope that you will enjoy it, and by the end of the course will feel excited and looking forward to the birth of your baby.
Yes there is some relaxation and breathing. Yes there is LOTS of other content too. Yes there is plenty of discussion and interaction. Yes we even have a laugh. And yes there is definitely cake.
If you're based in Cheltenham or the surrounding area and are interested in finding out more why not PM me for details or take a look at the hypnobirthing pages on my website.
I run group classes in Bourton on the Water and private classes all over the Cotswolds. I look forward to meeting you soon.