So you are expecting a baby, CONGRATULATIONS, now it is time to prepare! But what exactly are you preparing for – the pregnancy, the birth, the baby – which can feel like a lot, and it is totally normal if you feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of advice coming at you. In this article I outline some different antenatal preparation avenues and how Relaxed Birthing fits.
To mark Home Birth Awareness Week I spoke with SOTERIA, New Zealand’s most informative independent resource for new and expectant mothers, about giving birth at home after two hospital births. At Relaxed Birthing we believe in transmitting knowledge, connecting women and celebrating each and every unique birth. So thank you SOTERIA for taking the time to share my birth stories and a bit about Relaxed Birthing, I feel honored.
Let me start off by saying that HypnoBirthing™ – The Marie Mongan Method holds a special place in my heart as it really opened my eyes to the impeccable design of a woman’s body when creating life. It was my main birth preparation tool, in combination with a Parents Centre antenatal class, when I was pregnant with my first daughter. While it held me in relatively good stead for that birth there were a few areas that didn’t quite correlate with my actual experience of labour. But it sure did ignite an interest in hypnosis that led me to become a Suggestive Hypnotherapist and ultimately create this Relaxed Birthing online birth preparation course.
Bianca started experiencing irregular contractions a few days before her first baby’s due date, and for about 24 hours she likened them to mild period cramps. Overnight her sleep was interrupted but she managed to rest and have baths while intermittently monitoring the time between her contractions.
During my third pregnancy my husband and I wanted to try a home birth, and my maternity carer agreed that with my history it was a great idea. In keeping with my previous births 10 days past my due date I saw my carer for a morning membrane sweep, and by the evening was experiencing regular tightening sensations. Hoping this was the onset of labour I informed my maternity carer and went to bed listening to the harnessing relaxation for birth audio’s. I slept for a few hours and when I woke the sensations had stopped. For the next few days I became increasingly hypersensitive tuning into every little tightening of my abdomen anticipating labour, which was happening often as my body warmed up for birth. Although every sensation was intermittent and only occasionally rhythmic, and mild enough that I could still move around and hold conversations.
Astro’s birth began with a morning membrane sweep 10 days past his due date. I experienced some mild cramping throughout the day but carried on looking after almost 3 year old Capri. As we sat down to dinner in the early evening I realised that the sensations were coming pretty regularly. So I monitored them for an hour and found they were coming every 5 minutes and lasting for a full minute. I spoke to my lead maternity carer to let her know I was in labour. Then I went to bed to listen to my own calm birthing audio recordings and easily drifted off to sleep.
Capri’s birth began with a morning induction 10 days past her due date. I received a dose of induction gel vaginally and sat on a hospital bed wired up to machinery telling me I was experiencing regular labour sensations as my stomach tightened. I listened to the hospital staff who told me to walk the stairs so gravity could help get things going. After twelve hours of walking and sitting with intermittent tightening sensations I was sure I was going to have our baby by that night.
Pregnancy and birth are miraculous, unique and possibly one of the most transformative experiences a family will ever go through. But until you have experienced the transition from a self-sufficient to dependent-lead existence what it truly involves mentally, physically and emotionally can be hard to comprehend.
Hypnosis, and by proxy Hypnotherapy, has an air of mystique surrounding it, largely due to most people having only experienced stage hypnosis. But a seemingly all-powerful and controlling Hypnotist clicking their fingers while saying ‘sleep’ is not what you should expect from a standard suggestive Hypnotherapy session.
I’m Desireé, a stay at home mum to a busy toddler and wife to a busy husband, and have run a part-time Hypnotherapy clinic from home. I love helping people improve their lives through guided hypnotherapy. I first encountered hypnosis as a teen at a stage hypnosis event, I learnt that I easily slipped into a dreamlike trance state, and although I felt lucid, I keenly followed the hypnotic suggestions presented to me. Flash forward twenty odd years and I now realise the full power and potential of harnessing the uninhibited mind that goes along with hypnosis.