gentle birth

Is HypnoBirthing® pain free?

If you have heard anything about HypnoBirthing® you may have come across an idea that is is pain free. That sounds amazing - right a promise of a pain free birth in a culture where our expectations are for agony. So how is it possible that we can guarantee a pain free birth? 

HypnoBirthing® Mama's do tend to have faster labours, quicker deliveries, less tears and less complications. We can't promise a pain free labour. But we do believe in the ideal physiological birth that it is unlikely you will experience 'pain'. Comes with a caveat that even the most advanced HypnoBirthing® Mama will feel some discomfort during the 'Ring of Fire'. 

Ring of fire - you know what I am talking about

Ring of fire - you know what I am talking about

Now I can say this with confidence even though I DID experience pain during labour. I feel every period in my back and I suspected when I laboured I would feel it in my back. I did sixteen hours of my twenty hour labour feeling it all in my back. I got to sixteen hours and - hello transition! I wanted the bath and I wanted sterile water injections. Sterile water injections are exactly what they sound like - sterile water injected into your back to block the pain receptors delivering a message to your brain. Side effects to bub : NONE! Very low chance of maternal side affects as well. 

So wait - what?! I'm a HypnoBirthing® Mama and I took pain relief? Heck yeah I did. I did my research and had that option in my tool kit and when I needed it I used it. This technique is not about judgement and it isn't about one type of birth - it is about empowerment and education. 

Sorry I deviated from the topic a bit there... Once the sterile water injections starting working (immediately) I could feel my surges. I could feel the tightenings starting and stopping and I could breathe my baby down. What I did not feel, once I removed the abnormal physiological symptom of my labour was pain. How awesome is that. For the next four hours I laboured and birthed my baby using my body's natural expulsive reflex and some breathing. And until that baby was crowning and stretching my perineum, vagina and vulva, ie/ ring of fire and holy heck it is pretty fiery, I felt NO PAIN!  Just the sensation of my uterus working toward getting that baby out.    

What we are advocating for with the information we provide and the relaxation techniques we teach is that fear stays out of your birthing experience. If you can eliminate fear you can eliminate tension which leads to pain. 

If you think this sounds like something you can wrap your head around then please drop me a comment below, call me, send me an email or a message of my Facebook or Insta. I am ready to help you birth POWERFULLY! 

 

So your pregnant - now what?

You've spent a few months getting down and dirty with your partner, you've peed on a stick and got two lines you are super excited... What's next? 

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There is a good chance there has been a lot of google searches on the best way to conceive, or the best positions for a boy or a girl. So now you have outcome you are after you have no idea what to do next. And you probably googled that to.

Here are some of the standard things offered in Australia for pregnancy in the public health system. Some or all may be offered to you and whatever is offered you still have choices! 

The first thing to do is visit your GP. They will want you to pee in a cup and do a blood test to confirm you are pregnant. So definitely drink a glass of water before you go. If you haven't been religiously tracking your cycle you may be offered a 'dating scan' at this point. A dating scan measures the baby and estimates a due date based off the babies size. It is an imperfect science so don't be surprised if this gets updated at your next scan. If you've you've been tracking your period and ovulation dates then there is unlikely to be any benefit to getting a dating scan. 

At this stage you want to talk to your GP about the care you want. You can ask for recommendations for Obstetricians that support your birth ideals (if you are going private) or ask what is offered at the local hospitals - some have birth centres, some offer home births, case load midwives etc... You still have options in the public system. You may want to get your referral sent at this point to the hospital that supports your ideal care model. 

The next big test is the NT Scan at approximately twelve weeks. This is a combination of a blood test and an ultrasound combined with lifestyle risk factors (age, weight, race etc... things that may give you an increased risk of having a child with genetic abnormalities). If you fall into a higher risk you may be referred for further testing. What they are looking for is chromosomal abnormalities which are a marker for Down Syndrome amongst other things.

At around the sixteen week mark you should be moved from your GP to your care provider. You may still have shared care with your GP if you are being looked after by midwives as they can't order all the tests. Now is the time to be locking in your prenatal classes, doing your hospital tours and starting to check your care providers support your birth ideal. They will also start testing your urine for protein at most appointments so drink a glass of water before you go in. 

Half way through! You are twenty weeks so it's time for another scan of your baby. This time they are checking growth rates and that your uterus, placenta etc... are all performing perfectly. If everything comes up roses then that's it for medical scans for your pregnancy. I know - you will desperately want to see that tiny human again. And even if the ultrasound tech told you with certainty the sex of your baby you will still wonder if they are right. 

The next test is at around twenty four weeks and it is a cruel thing to do to pregnant women. It is the Glucose Tolerance Test. Why is it cruel? You have to fast for 8 - 12 hours before the test and you are pregnant ergo you are starving. Infrequent eating in pregnancy causes low blood sugar which causes nausea. You are then asked to drink something that is essentially liquid sugar. It doesn't taste nice. All that sugar on an empty stomach makes you feel nauseous. Then they will take blood off you before you have the drink and one to two hours after. I think most pregnant ladies will not give you positive stories of the test. It is two hours though and an excuse to have a day off work. 

From here on out in a healthy pregnancy your care is likely to be monthly visits with your care provider. You will wee in a cup, be weighed and measured. 

As you get closer to your due date you will be seen fortnightly and the process will be the same as above. Some care providers may offer vaginal exams at this point. Feel free to do independent research as to the efficacy of these so you can be confident accepting or declining them. I am not saying this from a biased point of view, I just think if someone is going to become intimately acquainted with your vagina you want to be sure there is a purpose behind it. This may be a particularly important thing to be prepared for and aware of you have suffered from sexual assault in the past as this type of check is invasive and may bring up unwanted feelings. 

Then you have a baby and you will bring it home - then what?  

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What is HypnoBirthing®?

This is the question I get asked most about what I do.

Some people have some weird ideas about what HypnoBithing® is. So I'm going to start by explaining what it isn't. It isn't me teaching your partner how to brain train you into clucking like a chicken throughout your labour. It isn't some weird hippie thing that will promises an orgasmic birthing experience (it's a thing - google it, but probably not at work). It is not solely for women who want a drug free natural birth. 

It is a bunch of relaxation and breathing techniques that help you relieve some of the discomfort you may feel during labour. 

Yep that is really all it is. 

The techniques you learn help you go into a deep state of relaxation activating your subconscious. During your practice you imprint beautiful ideas and thoughts around your birthing experience. You then use the relaxation techniques during labour to bring forth all the positive beliefs you have around birth to help you receive your baby in the most positive and gentle way possible. 

But can that really help with pain? Yes and no. We, HypnoBirthers, very rarely talk about pain during childbirth as it is both a cultural and relatively modern concept. In some cultures it is not considered to be painful at all. So in that respect it cannot help with 'pain' during childbirth. It does allow a woman to go deeply into her birthing body and work with the physiological aspects of labour to assist her to birth in the way her body is meant to birth. 

OKay that last bit sounds a bit weird - you have probably heard that labour IS painful. VERY PAINFUL! For some women without the appropriate knowledge then it is going to be painful because they have an expectation it will be painful and no techniques to help deal with that pain and the end up in a Fear -> Tension -> Pain cycle.

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As birth has become radically medicalised over the last eighty years this pain is the norm. This natural event has been taken behind closed doors and women are holding onto it like it is a dirty secret instead of embracing the experience, sharing it - rejoicing in it. Consequently many women are going into birth with nothing but bad birth stories or even worse - no idea at all. HypnoBirthing® is just about educating expecting Mama's and their birth partners on the physiological process of birth, how to get your ideal labour from care providers and some techniques for you to manage labour with as little discomfort as possible. 

So how can it be for all women - it seems like I am advocating for a drug free vaginal birth? I kind of am - kind of. HypnoBirthing® works on the belief that without special circumstances all women are able to birth without drugs and naturally (I personally hate using that word as i feel it is judgmental but natural and vaginal births are considered the same). However there are sometimes special circumstances that will require medical intervention. If those are applicable to you then HypnoBirthing® helps with that to. As well as the techniques you learn for your birth we teach you and your partner to know what to ask care providers throughout your pregnancy, birth and beyond to make fully informed decisions. We also have a special program just for Mama's to be who know they will be having a a Cesarean birth. Because above all we believe that being in charge of your care will give you a beautiful birth experience.