I met with a lovely mum-to-be recently who is soon expecting her second child. She asked me “Oh, I would love to come along to one of your breathing workshops if you do them!? When I had my first, it was the breathing exercises the midwife was teaching me there and then that calmed me down and brought me to a place of peace to actually birth my baby.”
Now, there are a few parts to what she said that took me by surprise. The first being, “Do you do a breathing workshop?” The answer being yes, I do, the entirety of class two is about all the importance of utilising your breath and promoting relaxation. However, learning this and only this will only help you so much throughout labour and birth. As amazing as it is, and so highly beneficial, it is only a snippet of what hypnobirthing is all about. So, while class two is essentially about breathing and relaxation education, I do not run a workshop solely for breathing exercises. The reason being is because it wouldn’t really make sense to come to one class. My classes are run over 4 weeks for a reason, and that reason is repetition and practice. Also, practising your breathing techniques at home with the support of the 7 MP3s that you get given as part of your course will make it more instinctive for you to allow your mind and body to relax in a way that feels comfortable for you. A breathing workshop would feel absolutely amazing there and then, but a couple of days later you may well have forgotten what it is you learnt in that one class.
The second thing that stood out to me about what she was saying was “the breathing exercises my midwife taught me there and then…”
Thank goodness for her midwife! I love midwives. They are so empowering and so supportive and how amazing is it that this lady had a real gem by her side when she was birthing her baby. Not everyone is so lucky. I know many women who feel totally let down by who supported them (or didn’t support them) when they were in labour, and felt like their voices were not being heard. However, this fantastic midwife held her hand and brought her to a place of calm, all by utilising her breath.
My point being, with positive birth preparation, hypnobirthing classes give you all of these tools and techniques in advance that you can practice for weeks, even months, before your baby is born. It will become such a part of your subconscious programming that you won’t even have to think about it when you are in labour, it will just be instinctive for you to breathe in this way, not leaving anything to chance of who may or may not be able to help you on the day. You can be in control of it. You can educate yourself and you can relax your mind and body without any interference when you are in labour. You would already have put in all the hard work and that really pays off!
Lastly, this lady had met me on the off chance at a playgroup we took our little ones to. Looking into hypnobirthing classes wasn’t even on her mind at all but she was interested in what I was saying and was resonating with it. With only 5 weeks to go until her baby was due to be born, she hadn’t looked into birth preparation. Again. This is her second baby remember, and she knew from her first experiences what helped and what didn’t, but she was fast approaching her due date without so much as dipping her toes in the water into discovering options that could make this an even better and easier experience for her and her baby. Only by meeting me did it give her a lightbulb moment and ‘ding’ she knew she had to jump on board.
I read somewhere recently that only about 40% of expectant mums/couples take antenatal classes. My mouth actually dropped. I can’t believe it is as little as 40%. Ladies, if you want to make your birth experiences the absolute best they could possibly be, invest in your birth preparation, understand how your body works and how it is designed to have babies. Learn that there is nothing to be afraid of and discover all of your options. You won’t regret it. Every time your child has their birthday you will think back to the day they were born and when you gave birth to them. It is a story you will be sharing with your family and friends and what you say and how you feel about your baby’s birth will have an impact on others. You are the only one who has control over what you would like to learn in the run up to your baby’s birth.
You get to choose how your feel about your baby’s birth.
You get to choose what goes into your birth plan.
You get to choose when your baby’s cord will be clamped.
You get to choose what pain relief you may or may not want.
You get to choose if you would like your baby to receive the vitamin k injection.
You get to choose how relaxed you are during labour.
You get to choose and control every part of what happens on your baby’s birth day by being informed. Even if things do not go plan, you will know how to make the right decisions in a calm and relaxed way.
So, my question to you is:
What would you most like to learn in the run up to your baby’s birth? I can almost guarantee you, that all the different answers I receive and already do receive, is found in my hypnobirthing course.