Wondering what all the fuss is about with hypnobirthing? Not really sure what it actually is? Here is a whole alphabet of things to help you gain a better understanding.
A is for Antenatal Preparation
Hypnobirthing is a simply a form of birth education. It wil teach you ways to prepare your mind and body for birth. Most antenatal classes cover what happens during labour and birth. Hypnobirthing teaches you how to enjoy and cope with it.
B is for Birth partner
Hypnobirthing values the role of the birth partner and they are encouraged to attend classes. The classes support birth partners to prepare for birth and parenthood emotionally and will help you become the ultimate team for the big day or night.
C is for Calmness, Confidence, Control, Choices, Communication and Comfort
Also known as the 6C’s of hypnobirthing. We can safely say that anyone approaching birth would like all of these words to play a role in their birth experience.
D is for Demystify
If you were to stumble across the word ‘hypnobirthing’you may be put off assuming it’s a load of out there nonsense. You will soon learn that it is actually very logical, scientific and practical. In some ways it is so incredibly simple, you will question ‘why doesnt everyone know this stuff’?!
E is for Endorphins and Epidurals
Endorphins are our natural pain relief hormones. Hypnobirthing techniques focus on encouraging these to be released during birth. Many women find that hypnobirthing and other natural comfort measures are enough to support them to be comfortable during labour. However, the great news is that you can of course use hypnobirthing techniques alongside stronger pain relief options such as an epidural. An epidural is actually only offered once in established labour. So if you are planning on having an epidural in labour it is important to have other coping strategies leading up to this point.
F is for Fear release
The absolute heart of hypnobirthing is based on how fear triggers the fight flight or freeze response and how unhelpful this is during labour. You will explore what fears you have around birth, where these messages come from and how you can in fact let these fears go and replace them with positive beliefs instead. Think of it as hypnotherapy for birth.
G is for Guidance
Hypnobirthing acts as a tour guide for birth - from leanring what to expect from birth and how to set up the right kind of birth space, to communicating with care givers and more.
H is for Hypnosis
The ‘hypno’part of hypnobirthing stand for ‘hypnosis’. Not the stage kind- no pocket watches in sight! The hypnotic state is a natural relaxed state of mind that we drift in and out of several times a day. Hypnobirthing uses a range of relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help you release fears and gain confidence for birth.
I is for Intuition
Also known as your inner guidance or gut feeling. A lot of what hypnobirthing teaches is about going back to the basics of birth and allowing your mind and body to guide you instinctively.
J is for Just breathe
We all know that taking a few slow deep breaths can help us feel calm and relaxed. Hypnobirthing teaches breathing techniques to use during labour and birth to diffuse adrenaline and encourage the calm.
K is for Knowledge
Knowledge is power! Understanding how the birthing body works will build confidence and help you feel in control during your birth.
L is for Language
Does the word ‘Contraction’leave you feeling anxious? If so try switching it up for ’Surge’or Wave’and see how that makes you feel. Hypnobirthing language is positive, gentle and more mother-focussed as opposed to medicalised. Considering the language we use when thinking or talking about birth can be powerful for our mindset.
M is for Mind-body connection
The body cannot do anything without the mind telling it to. How we think and feel triggers responses in our body. For example we blush if we get embrrassed. Labour can actually slow down or stall if we are feeling stressed and afraid during labour. The foundation of hypnobirthing is understanding something called the fear, tension, pain cycle and how to avoid or interrupt it. SPOILER its all about relaxation!
N is for Nuture
Hypnobirthing gives you the opportunity and permission to slow down when you practice the techniques. By nurturing yourself you are also nurturing your baby. These pauses to relax or practice techniques are recommended to be done as much as possible. There are also many things that can be shared with your birth partner which will help strengthen your relationship together.
O is for Oxytocin
The love hormone, the shy hormone. This incredible hormone plays a vital role in birth and bonding relationships. It is at the heart of hypnobirthing and you will learn ways to release it and protect it.
P is for Positive birth
Hypnobirthing cannot guarantee the birth you are dreaming of. Nothing can do that as there are too many variables. However, it will give you tools and techniques to have a positive birth experience however your baby is born.
Q is for Quiet and unobserved
We are mammals and it is useful to think about what other mammals need to support them during labour and birth. A quiet and unobserved space is key here.
R is for Relaxation
When we feel relaxed we release the hormones oxytocin and endorphins. Oxytocin is responsible for surges during labour. Endorphins are our happy pain relieving hormones. They will help labour progress and feel more comfortable.
S is for Science
People are often surprised how scientific and logical hypnobirthing actually is. For example practising the techniques encourages neuroplasticity. This is the process in which the brain forms new connections to things. In other words, you can literally reprogram your brain to change negative subconsicous ideas about birth into positive ones.
T is for Tools
A whole toolbox of practical tips and techniques to have the best birth experience possible. Tools include breathing techniques, massage techniques, guided relaxations, affirmations, aromatherapy, birth partner guide and tips on transforming your birth envrionment.
U is for Uterus
What do you think a uterus is? do you know how it works and why its important to know how it works? This is one of the first things you will learn about in a hypnobirthing course.
V is for visualisation
Visualisation is a powerful tool that can bring you closer to your goals. Oprah and Jim Carrey have great stories about how they have used it. Many athletes will prepare for performances this way. Think of preparing for birth like preparing for a marathon race!
W is for What if
Hypnobirthing will help you prepare for a range of ‘what if’scenarios during birth. You will learn a frame work to support you to make informed decisions.
X is for X0X0
Hugs before drugs. Intimacy, cuddles, kisses, feeling safe and loved will help produce the birthing hormones. These hormones have euphoric side effects that make us feel relaxed, happy and relieve pain. The pain relief menu is always available but if you are keen to keep things more natural then dont understimate the power of a hug.
Y is for Your Body, Your baby, Your birth
You are in charge. Everything is your choice. You can accept or decline anything that is offered to you. Hypnobirthing is the vessel to empower you through pregnancy and birth.
Z is for Zen Goddess
Relaxing about the things that you cannot control and knowing that all the strength you need is within you.
Keen to learn more? Our Hypnobirthing module is included in our Complete Birth Preparation Course or available separately. It comes with everything you need including downloadable MP3s, Affirmations and a Course Guide!