What the F@#% is HypnoBirthing?
This article was written by Michelle Clift of Simply Natural Childbirth, who is a HypnoBirthing International practitioner in East Doncaster, Victoria. To find out about HypnoBirthing classes in Perth please go to www.cherishedparenting.com.au/hypnobirthing, or to find classes elsewhere in Australia visit www.au.hypnobirthing.com
So the mother of your unborn child has told you she wants to learn HypnoBirthing. You reply with Hypno What?
I get it. It sounds strange and if you’re like most people, your only experience of hypnosis is people embarrassing the shit out of themselves up on stage clucking like a chicken or being told they are eating apples when they are really eating onions.
Hypnosis for having a baby is TOTALLY different and actually really amazing.
But I understand you have questions. You’re human!
First up, what do you have to do?
I’m guessing you’re a good guy and want to support your partner through this process as best you can. During the course you will learn tons of easy techniques to help get your partner to relax, breathe properly and reduce pain during the labour.
You will also learn how to communicate like a pro with the staff who are looking after you guys.
Your partner needs to concentrate 100% on having this baby so that leaves you to do all the talking which means understanding what’s important to you both.
More classes, seriously?
Eeeek, I’m sorry!! I know the idea of going to up to 10 birth classes at the hospital and with me can seem like madness but trust me, what you’ll learn during our course will change this birth for the better.
Hospital classes have their place for those that are interested in the medical side of birth whereas HypnoBirthing is all about techniques to reduce stress and tension and therefore pain!
I focus a lot on education too but keep it really basic and easy to understand. I decode all the medical lingo, which will leave you feeling really empowered and understanding your options.
I’m not sure how I feel about hypnosis? Do I have to join in?
In our first class I go through all the myths about hypnosis and explain that its just being in a nice, relaxed state. We start with a light relaxation in the first session and proceed to deeper states in later sessions.
Hypnosis is great for stress and sleeping and the feedback I get is that partners are calmer at work, driving and sleep better! Its also awesome if you can get an understanding of the state your partner needs to be in during labour.
When you are hypnotized you are conscious, consenting, fully in control, comfortably relaxed and aware of your surroundings and what it happening. You are not under my control and won’t do or say anything you don’t want to. If you have any questions about hypnosis, we can chat before the session starts.
Is this all just weird hippy stuff or can you back it up with science?
I have lots of research papers I’m happy to share with you but the game changer for most partners seems to be the first session. I talk a lot about the body, the nervous system and how the uterus and hormones work in labour.
This isn’t new age or alternative, it’s really just going back to basics and understanding how the body works naturally.
I reckon I’ll be a great support to my partner regardless. What will I get from this course?
I love that you’re confident. You’re already half way there to being the support your partner needs. You also need how to be her polite, non-confrontational advocate and protector.
Remember, birth is an intense experience and you may not have seen your partner give birth before. I truly believe that you can’t over-prepare for birth but you can certainly under-prepare.
Plus the skills you’ll learn are for life. The relaxation and breathing techniques are sooo good for you and the negotiation skills you’ll learn are useful for heaps of scenarios.
The Big One. The Money! What is this going to cost me you say!
Having a baby is bloody expensive. There just seems to be one purchase after another and all you’re probably thinking about is your partner taking time off work soon.
I understand, I truly do but something else that costs a lot is a really crappy birth experience. In Australia 30% of women are traumatised by their birth experience, which can lead to Post Natal Depression (15% of mums and 10% of dads). You can imagine how awful this would make those first few months, when it should be a special and exciting (and tiring) time.
Think about any big event in your life, your 21st, your 30th, your wedding. Think about the time, energy and money went into planning that event. Why did you do that?
Because you knew you would remember that event forever.
This event you will also remember forever but in a much more primal way. Your partner will also remember this birth forever, how she felt, how she was supported and what was said to her.
Why not do all in your power to stack the odds in your favour that it will be a positive memory you’ll hold forever?