When I was pregnant with Luna I said I really wanted to do hypnobirthing. I had no idea where to start so I had a little look online at what was involved. I found one website that described hypnobirthing and recommended going to classes. I didn’t really look around much so I assumed that you could only properly hypnobirth if you went to the classes. I found local classes to me but they were like £300 for 6 sessions. At the time I was working part time and at college so that was just not an option for me. I gave up my research and decided to leave it. I planned on having a water birth but my waters broke before my labour started so I was induced, which meant no water birth for me.
This time round I am really hoping for a water birth, I know that its pretty much impossible to plan your birth but if I have my way it will be in the water with no drugs! For some reason this time I decided to buy a book on hypnobirthing, just to see if there was a way I could do it without the classes. I typed hypnobirthing into Amazon and the first one that came up was ‘Mindful Hypnobirthing‘ by Sophie Fletcher. She had great reviews and the book was on offer. Since I don’t like to pay full price for anything I ordered it straight away!
The book came the next day, thanks to my mum’s Amazon Prime, and it took me two evenings to read. I found the way Sophie Fletcher speaks about labour so interesting. It was a completely new way of looking at it for me, it was just so positive! It describes hypnobirthing, your body and the process of labour. There’s information on the different help that is available during your labour, even including the different drugs available. I found although it promoted hypnobirthing it was not pushy or judgemental. The book also includes different relaxation and breathing techniques and hypnosis tracks, which I will come back to.
Although I have always enjoyed yoga and meditation, and am open to anything. There were certain aspects of the book I had trouble getting my head around. Visualisation was one, the book says to visualise a flower opening up and relate that to your body during labour. It even suggests watching YouTube videos as visualisation is very powerful. Whilst I don’t doubt that is true, I personally find it very hard to concentrate and my mind wanders.
The book included a downloadable hypnosis track and birth and pregnancy affirmations. These were easily downloaded onto my iPhone. I listen to them every night when I get into bed. At first I would take a little bit of time before I fell asleep as I am used to silence. Now as soon as I start the track I am instantly relaxed and ready for bed, I think I have only ever listened to the whole track once without falling asleep! At first I was worried that falling asleep would that the tracks wouldn’t work for me, but the I have researched more into it. The tracks are aimed at your subconscious so falling asleep is actually ideal as there is no mindless blabber in your brain! I also use lavender essential oils when listening to the tracks to help me relax further and associate the smell with relaxation. I will take my oils with me when I give birth, hopefully I can take a diffuser into the hospital! At least even if I don’t manage to have a mindful hypnobirth, the tracks and the oil have definitely helped me have restful sleep throughout my pregnancy!! I try to practise the breathing techniques also included in the book but I do find it hard to make time for them and often forget. As I am coming into the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy I really need to start practising daily!
I have also been watching YouTube videos of other mums who have practised hypnobirthing without going to classes. They have had successful drug free births which really helps build my confidence as I thought not going to classes would leave me at a disadvantage. Watching the other mum’s blogs has definitely helped and I would recommend anyone who wishes to hypnobirth to do the same.
A lot of hypnobirthers (if that’s even a word!) have home births. Now I would love, love, love a home birth. But my house is just too small! I would still want a water birth and I don’t believe there would be room to manoeuvre around the pool! I would also worry about how I would empty the pool as I live in a rented house and wouldn’t want to ruin the carpet! I can 100% see the appeal in a home birth and I envy those who have one.
I am so glad I decided to look into hypnobirthing again with this pregnancy as I have discovered you don’t need to go to ridiculously expensive classes! I wish I had realised this with Luna! Hopefully in 6 weeks time (give or take!) I will be able to post another blog describing my wonderful birthing experience!