Birth is a normal physiological procedure, we all know that but why are we all so scared?
Television has given us an insight into birth, sadly though the desire for good ratings has meant that the only birthing experiences that we are allowed to witness are those high in drama. Screaming mothers, fainting or stressed out fathers are what we see because that makes good television. Animals on Nature programmes are regularly shown birthing their babies calmly and peacefully, but rarely humans. What we witness in these shows can have a huge impact on the way that we give birth.
We all like to feel in control of our bodies and what is done to them, but so often women in labour feel so out of control that they surrender themselves and their baby over to others often complete strangers. That is why the role of the birthing partner is so important. On television we are often shown fathers running around in a complete panic as their partners go into labour. But when they are educated in HypnoBirthing they feel empowered and confident. If our partner feels this way then those emotions are passed on to the labouring mother. In the same way that if your partner comes home from a terrible day at work even if you were in a good mood their feelings can soon be transferred on to you. If my children are struggling to fall asleep at night I lie with them and change my breathing pattern making my outbreath slower and before long they match my breathing and find themselves drifting off to sleep. Birthing partners can do this too and it really helps to have a calming effect.
Often fathers find it difficult to build a connection with their unborn child before it arrives and is cradled in their arms. In HypnoBirthing classes we ask partners to visualise caring and supporting the mother every step of the way and then holding their new born and gazing into its eyes. This helps to bridge the gap between being an independent person to becoming a new family. It is so important to imagine a baby inside the mother rather than just a blob! We can do this by keeping pregnancy diaries, taking photos of the growing bump, playing games, music or even just talking to the baby, because they can hear and often respond from a very young age. Siblings can be encouraged to kiss the bump or blow raspberries to make the baby move. The more excited you are about meeting that baby the more you can visualise the baby working its way down through labour and this takes an element of the fear away.
Fear is really your worst enemy during labour because it makes adrenaline/catecholomines rise in the blood stream. Any type of mammal can be at the point of giving birth and yet suddenly reverse the process if they feel unsafe. Just as men often find when standing at a urinal next to a stranger they are unable to relax enough to let go, until the person next to them has left. This is built in protection so that if animals are surprised by a predator they can escape safely.
If a birthing partner/father has been part of the birth preparation they are much more likely to be in connection with mother and baby during labour. They understand what is happening with the birthing muscles and they can see how they can have a very active role. Through massage and any kind of touch the partner can boost endorphin production, endorphins block the catecholomine production and make you feel great. That same kind of feeling that we all get from exercising. Endorphins can be many more times more powerful than morphine when we tap into them correctly. Oxytocin production in labour is also amazing as it works as acclerator can be produced simply through kissing or touch.
They most effective way to have a good birth experience is to get your partner involved. HypnoBirthing empowers birthing partners to offer comfort, love, support and greater confidence and what better way to welcome your baby into the world.
The next HypnoBirthing course starts on 4th September 2018.