How awful his birth could have been…
Even before I was pregnant I feared birth. I associated childbirth with screaming, pain, emergencies, trauma and lack of control.
What scares me is that it could have so easily been that way.
For nearly three years working as a Hypnobirthing teacher I’ve heard countless birth stories, lots wonderful but some really quite difficult. Many of the difficult stories come from clients that have come to do Hypnobirthing in a subsequent pregnancy for a more positive experience.
I listen to their stories and see what an impact their experiences have had on them and their transition to becoming a mum. And I see just how important having a positive experience is for them.
When we begin the course and start talking about the incredible ways their body works during birth and the types of things that can disturb the flow of labour. It’s like a light bulb moment. They see that actually their body wasn’t faulty, their body was working perfectly in response to the fear and negative expectation they’d had as well responding to the environment too.
You see fear makes birth more difficult in many ways-
- When we have negative expectations of birth we become fearful of it. When we are fearful our muscles are tense. I’m sure you’ve experienced this when you watch a horror film and you notice how your body becomes tense in the scary bits. For me I experience this lots at this time of year, every time I see a spider. The majority of the sensations of labour are the uterus muscles working. Muscles working that are tense will not work as well as relaxed muscles. They’ll be slower and more uncomfortable.
- When we are afraid in labour we go into the fear response. This tells our body that there is danger. Why would our body birth our babies into what it thinks is a unsafe/dangerous environment? It slows everything down and in extreme cases can even stop labour.
- The adrenalin that we produce when fearful not only slows labour but works against the good hormones. These good hormones make us feel more comfortable and speeds up our sense on time, without these in abundance labour is harder.
- Lots of these factors make us at higher likelihood of being offered medical interventions. Interventions that maybe wonderful in the right circumstances but for some women can be hard to deal with emotionally and physically.
So when I look back on my straightforward, fairly swift, water birth with my son I really do wander what it would have been like had I not released the massive fear I had and shifted my mindset with Hypnobirthing.
Of course there is no way I could ever truly know but my understanding of birth tells me it would have hurt- A LOT as I’d have been so very tense. It would have been longer with all the adrenalin that no doubt I would have released. Perhaps it would have led to big interventions that I’d have not known I could question.
And even if the course of events hadn’t changed, I’m sure the way I saw it would have been very different.
In addition I wouldn’t have had the tools and techniques that kept me so calm and comfortable. My birth partner, Adam would have probably been less sure how he could support me.
Even with a birth that left me feeling like superwomen, my transition to becoming a mum had some really tough moments and I really can’t comprehend how much harder that would have been after an experience that I saw as being difficult.
Would I have had another child 17 months later? Then another? Perhaps I’d have still been in a career that left me unfulfilled? What about that lasting memory and how it made me feel about myself?
Birth is so important. We will remember it forever and we really do deserve the best. If you would like to stack the odds in your favour to have the birth you deserve, book your Hypnobirthing course today.