Reflections on HypnoBirthing

FullSizeRender“I was 7 months pregnant when I started taking HypnoBirth classes with my husband. At the time, I was a bit of a skeptic, and thought I knew all there was to know about giving birth – it’s painful, a bit scary, and involves a lot of cursing. But what I learned in those 5 weeks of classes helped me in a way I hadn’t expected. By the end of the class, I was mentally prepared (dare I say excited) for a natural birth… something I had never even considered before. I went from wanting all the drugs legally possible, to wanting to give birth as naturally as possible. Of course, fully aware that medical intervention could be necessary if the labor didn’t progress as planned, and that was ok too. Either way, I was much more mentally prepared for this incredible event.

Here are a few of my takeaways from the HypnoBirth classes:

Getting over the fear. If anyone was afraid of giving birth it was me. I was so excited to hold my baby boy, but not so excited about giving birth. They call it “labor” for a reason, right? HypnoBirth teaches that FEAR is the main culprit behind the pain, and that birth can actually be manageable. Fear affects the body physically by constricting and seizing up – the opposite of what we want to happen in labor. We learned how to handle the contractions (called “surges” or “waves” in HypnoBirth) and that with each surge we are one step closer to our baby. (This thought did help me). Also we were given affirmations CDs to listen to every night before bed, and I really enjoyed hearing the words “my body births easily” especially as I watched my stomach grow to watermelon proportions.

Natural painkillers. I’m ALL for modern medicine when it’s needed, but thought for a long time that an epidural was the ONLY way to go. We watched quite a few videos of ladies giving birth naturally using the HypnoBirth method, and I was so surprised at how calm and relaxed they were. Plus they didn’t have to suffer from the drugs side effects. So, I decided as long my pregnancy/birth was low-risk, I would go for it naturally. At 40 weeks +3 days, my labor started in the middle of the night, and then went so fast, I wouldn’t have had the time for an epidural, so it’s a good thing I had my mind made up!

Trust the body. In one particular HypnoBirth class, Jasmine, the instructor, mentioned that a woman can give birth while in a coma.

Say what?! I had to google it, and it’s true. The body will contract the baby down, and even push the baby out! Now, I found great comfort in knowing this strange fact. If I just relax, the body knows what to do.

Set the mood. When the “surges” begin, we learned it’s time to RELAX. The hubby’s job is to get the playlist ready, some candles, snacks, acupressure, and light touching to get you in the mood for baby. (Different from ANYTHING I’ve ever seen in the movies).

After my water broke, my contractions were so close together, we went directly to the hospital where my hubby recreated a nice atmosphere there. Al Zahra Hospital caters to HypnoBirthers and provides a tub and a more “homey” environment.

The mind is a powerful thing. Hypnobirth teaches some great visualisation techniques, like a ribbon around the belly unravelling with each “surge”, and then the “flower” opening. Towards the end of labor, I tried the flower visualisation, but it wasn’t quite working. I’m from Arizona, and for some reason I imagined my cervix opening like the Grand Canyon. Hey, whatever works.

Those first moments. Baby Charles was born about 7 am on October 7th weighing 3.63kg. The nurses placed him on my stomach, and then they dimmed the lights, and all the staff quietly left us alone. The three of us spent the first hour together getting acquainted – the sweetest hour of my life. Never have I been so relieved, so wired with adrenalin and crazy love, and a tad freaked out that my body just did that. The bump transformed into a precious baby, and now I’m a Mommy :)”

By Leslie Darnley.

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This week I am lucky enough to have a guest post by my awesome mummy friend Leslie (I recently posted a beautiful photo of a pregnant lady underwater, that was her!!) we met in Dubai a few years back – and despite being from very different places (US/DK) today we are very good friends. One of the many great things about being an expat in the fantastic city of Dubai, is that you get to meet so many amazing people from all over the world, which maybe you wouldn’t have had the chance to at home. Leslie and I are enjoying our first months of motherhood together and I love our long walks around the Dubai Marina with our strollers.
I did the HypnoBirthing course myself but I couldn’t have described the highlights any better than how Leslie describes it.Unfortunately my birth didn’t go quite to plan so I didn’t get to use all of my HypnoBirthing techniques, but it definitely helped me feel more comfortable and confident about the whole situation – so I certainly recommend it.

For more information about HypnoBirth in Dubai: http://www.jasminecollin.com.

Thanks Leslie.
Mie x

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