A growing number of couples are discovering the wonders of HypnoBirthing®, a complete birth education programme which teaches them how to achieve easy, comfortable and natural childbirth, with many mothers experiencing little or even no pain. London-based practitioner Sophie Burch explains.
Let me tell you my story… I have two sons. Oliver, 5, and Milo, 2. Oliver was born in hospital and throughout labour I was terrified, in agony and ended up with a cascade of interventions. Oliver’s birth was traumatic for us all and he was in SCBU for the first 5 days of his life with me pacing the corridors desperate to cuddle and feed him. When I finally got him home he was jaundiced, colicky and I was uncomfortable, knackered and desperate. The one saving grace in all of it was that I learnt how to massage him and then how to teach others how to massage their babies – this enhanced our bond and was literally pure therapy. I still teach this and see the benefits for other parents and their babies every day.
So, when I found out I was pregnant again, I felt increasingly apprehensive about going into labour and giving birth and knew that I had to ‘do it differently’, but I had blocked-out the memories of my first birth and found it hard to revisit them. A close friend had just birthed her baby using a technique called HypnoBirthing® - The Mongan Method. I was instantly intrigued when she told me it didn’t hurt! I thought, “What is this? If she can do it, then I’m sure I can too” – and I did. My husband and I signed up on a course when I was 28 weeks pregnant and I immediately felt calmer, confident and excited about my upcoming birth. Most importantly, I was able to revisit the memories of Oliver’s birth and I understood what had gone wrong – and why. Suddenly it was all so clear. It had been my fears, preconceptions and general limiting thoughts. The answer too, was crystal clear. I had to see my fears for what they were, and let them go. No two experiences are ever the same. That’s the beauty of life!
The HypnoBirthing® course gave me the tools to release my fears and preconceptions. It taught me to breathe effectively, to remain calm and oxygenate my body so that my body and my baby could work together during labour. I learnt to use visualisations to help me focus and deepening techniques to get into an ultimate state of relaxation. Very importantly, my husband (who also had his own fears to release having seen me in such a terrible state the first time), felt confident to ask the right questions if needed, and was armed with tools and suggestions to use throughout. He no longer felt like a spare part, but was an active participant in the labour, my lover, my nurturer and my advocate which left me feeling safe, secure and able to happily relax and focus on allowing my labour to proceed unhindered.
Milo was born at home, weighing a whopping 10lbs 2oz (4.6kg), after a 14 hour labour – and I can honestly say this – the whole process was COMFORTABLE and ENJOYABLE.
HypnoBirthing®, offers a philosophical approach to childbirth that works with the belief that pain is not necessary, and that a woman’s body is perfectly designed to give birth to a baby. Pain is usually caused by fear and tension and this can be eliminated when the body is relaxed. I do wish I’d known about it the first time round! Here are some other interesting facts:
• Shorter labour by between 2 to 3 hours
• Reduction of complications and surgery
• Shorter hospital stay
• Increase in satisfaction ratings reported by mums
• Reduction of Post Natal Depression
• Increase in baby’s apgar scores (health of baby after birth)
• Babies are shown to cry less, sleep and feed better and are generally calmer
I was so inspired by my birth, that I felt, “If I can do it, then anyone can.” So I learnt to teach Marie Mongan’s fantastic course, and haven’t looked back. Marie has been quoted as saying
“My dream is that every woman, everywhere, will know the joy of a safe, satisfying birth for both her baby and herself – one she’ll not need to forget”.
I have such a passion about what I teach, and love inspiring expectant parents to birth their babies the way nature intended. HypnoBirthing® can’t promise you a ‘perfect’ birth – no one can – but it can promise you a much more comfortable and relaxed birth than you would have without it. Even if your birth takes a different turn you can still benefit greatly from the techniques by feeling in control of your birth.
It fills me with joy, passion, empathy and the excitement of what can be achieved if we just set our minds to it.
For further information about HypnoBirthing or to find a practitioner near you please visit the HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method – website at www.HypnoBirthing.co.uk
My website address is www.calmbirthcalmbaby.com. I teach in and around South East London. I’d love to hear from you.