Monday, 25 July 2016

Hypnobirthing with London Hypnobirthing

In July I attended a one day ladies only Hypnobirthing essentials course with Hollie de Cruz at London Hypnobirthing in Dulwich SE London.

I had toyed with the idea of attending a course since finding out I was pregnant again. I knew I wanted a different perspective on birth after L's birth and the fall out. I had talked to a supervisor or midwives about a new approach and she had mentioned Hypnobirthing. A friend delivered her second daughter in May and found that Hypnobirthing had given her a good mind set for birth. This gave me the final push to book on the course. 

I read the Katherine Graves handbook before attending, lent by my friend. It was really great to read and gave me a few things to start doing, like some guided relaxations. It was also good to read all the birth stories on the London Hypnobirthing website and to hear about how it had supported women through different labours positively. I was a bit sceptical about being so relaxed and in a zone that I wouldn't be aware of what was happening and totally pain free but I did believe strongly that mindset and breathing could help me through Peach's delivery whichever path it took. 

The course focused on the physical process of labour, the tools we could use to support us and about the birth partners role. 

Having thought myself pretty well informed about all things labour and pregnancy I learnt a lot about the muscles of the uterus, how they are designed to help the baby be born and the reason for the contractions. Hollie talked about how this process isnt mentioned enough but that by clearly understanding what was happening is so vital for the birth process and with our understanding of the 'pain' and 'discomfort' of labour. Knowing that the uterus is a muscle which is working to support and baby is a really great start point for a positive birth mindset. 

We talked through tools such as guided relaxations, affirmations and aromatherapy. A great time to read through the YesMumToBe cards we all had as part of a lovely goody bag. I have put these up in the house and enjoy reading them when they pop into view. 

The birth partners role is really important in hypnobirthing. They are your advocate and all questions should be directed to them during the birth, this is to allow the mum to be totally in herself and focused on relaxation. We watched a great video which also showed a supportive birth partner in role. 

I also met a lovely group of ladies, the first babies of which should be arriving soon. We were a mix of first time mums and second timers. Two of the women had used hypnobirthing before so it was great to hear how they had returned to it again after a positive first birth experience using the techniques. 

All in all I would highly recommend the course. Hollie is realistic, she understanding of interventions being necessary sometimes, her attitude is refreshing and totally free from too much hippie dippie hypnosis which wouldnt have sat well with me. 

The biggest message I took away, and the conversation I felt most spoke to me, was how mindset and empowerment of women in labour is the most important thing for the outcome. 

During L's labour I took back control of a situation I had lost control, lost myself, of. I was totally consumed with fear and panic and this affected my very memory of the event. However, once I was consciously myself again, when the epidural was in place and I was able to make informed choices once more my whole birth experience changed. I forget about this moment in my recollections of L's birth, I get stuck in my negative loop cycle of the scary bit, but Hollie reminded me how my changed mindset changed the labour process. I was standing up with epidural in place to help baby, I was laughing with J about soon not bleeding all over his shoes, I was calm as we made the necessary decision to go to cesarean. 

I need to focus on this strength, this strength which I didn't know I had until my birth debrief when the midwife told me she hadn't seen ladies turn around such a labour before, let alone standing with the mobile epidural in place. 

I will keep you informed in the coming weeks how I am preparing for Peach's arrival using hypnobirthing and will share my birth story when Peach is finally in our arms. 

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