This week I recently read some comments in a group I am in where the person in question said that Hypnobirthing did not work for them because what occurred during her birth was totally unexpected, which inevitably knocked her off course.
I have not really spoken about this before and so I am here to share my thoughts.
I feel that this is something that is missed quite a lot when people are trying to prepare positively for a great birth.
Quite often, people think that by thinking positively (or they think that hypnobirthing is purely about thinking positively), and NEVER thinking negatively, that they are going to get an amazing birthing experience or the perfect birth experience.
I think that that message does women a huge disservice.
Hypnobirthing isn’t about thinking your way to a great birthing experience by just positive thinking.
Don’t get me wrong, It is important to be looking forward to giving birth, however there is much more to it than that.
The reality about giving birth is that it’s an unpredictable thing.
We can have the best, most robust birth plans out there and do the best preparation in the world, but if our baby has a completely different idea about how they are going to enter into the world then those plans can very quickly change.
If, for example, baby gets themselves into a non optimal birth position, or maybe you are in labour for four or five days or (like me) your waters release and you don’t go into labour within 24 hours and you have your care team pressuring you to take additional steps to help nature on its way.
What do you do then?
I experienced this unpredictability in my own birth where I ended up not having the home birth I had prepared for. You can read my story here.
All of these things can impact how you give birth.
They can impact your preferences for the ideal birth that you have been thinking about. And just to be clear here, positive thinking alone cannot eradicate any of those things that I have mentioned above.
I think that it’s really important that if you are using hypnobirthing or thinking about using hypnobirthing you understand that this isn’t about guaranteeing you the perfect birth experience.
Don’t forget, perfection only really exists in the dictionary! It’s not real, instead consider the fact that everything is in fact perfectly imperfect.
By using the tools and techniques that Hypnobirthing can teach you, you are setting up a much healthier foundation for success by preparing for the most positive experience that you can have based on the circumstances that you are presented with on the day.
What that means is that you (and your birth partner if you have one, and if you don’t have one then I highly recommend getting a doula) have somebody to speak with about your ideal scenario, your preference A and your preference B.
You have to think about
- How you want to feel and what you would like to happen
- How you will use your hypnobirthing techniques
- How you will use the visualisation tools
- How you will use your breathing techniques
- How you are going to use those tools in these unexpected situations to help you stay really really calm.
- How to remember to use your BRAINS acronym when you need to understand your situation more clearly and tune into your instincts
This is a much better approach than just thinking ‘ok, my surges are going to start, it’s going to be really gentle and build up and then I’m going to go into active labour and then I’m going to go into the second phase…..’ and you get the idea.
Whilst it’s great to be thinking these things, it’s also really important to ALSO be allowing yourself to explore what happens if things don’t go to plan straight away
Think to yourself
- How am I going to deal with that scenario?
- How am I going to remain calm?
- How is my partner going to deal with that?
- Are they in the best place to be able to support me if things go slightly off-piste?
- How am I going to deal with things if my labour doesn’t progress as I anticipated?
- If I feel pain or intensity and I want assistance, how am I going to feel about that?
- What are my preferences?
These are all of these things I want you to be thinking about.
I really want to make it clear that a positive mindset is one of the best tools you can have in your toolkit BUT if things don’t quite go to plan, if things don’t go exactly the way we are hoping they would do then that’s when understanding the importance of your breathing techniques, understanding how to interact with your care providers, making sure that your care provider is really really tuned in to how you want to deal with different scenarios is all really really super important.
Hypnobirthing is about empowering women and the way that The Calm Birth Method is taught focuses on this empowerment so that you are able to navigate the natural twist and turns of labour and birth with confidence.
Feeling calm and feeling powerful
What that means is should you end up with an unplanned abdominal birth (Cesarean), or maybe you end up in hospital after planning a home birth, or perhaps you wish to have an epidural, all of those decisions are made from a place of power and knowledge and being able to interact with your care providers in a way that leaves you feeling like you are making decisions from a place of strength.
This is the way to truly feel in control.
It is super important to feel that your birth was something that YOU were driving rather than something that happened TO you.
So I want to reiterate again….
Hypnobirthing is NOT just about positive thinking and positive thinking cannot guarantee you a perfect birth. Please don’t aim for perfection.
Please aim to feel positive and empowered regardless of what happened and regardless of the way your baby decides to enter into the world.
If you would like to learn more about how YOU can use Hypnobirthing to help you prepare for your birth, you can sign up for a FREE one to one 30 minute taster session with me via Zoom. You can book them here.
The next group Hypnobirthing course starts on Tuesday 4th May 2021. You can book that via the course booking page here.
What are your thoughts about this? Please do share your comments below or share this post with a friend you think needs to hear this today.