In this post we are going to answer the question “does hypnobirthing work” by documenting our own recent personal experience of hypnobirthing. When we were expecting our second child we began to research hypnobirthing as an alternative to conventional birth practices. We read many positive testimonials recommending the benefits of a calm and natural birth and we were determined to have a better birth experience than that of our first son.
Our first sons birth was very quick which limited our options as to the type of birth we had hoped for. We felt that we were not in control and found the whole experience quite frightening and traumatic, resulting in post natal depression which lasted for many months.
We began to look at hypnobirthing, believing it to offer a real alternative birth choice, by teaching specific techniques to keep relaxed, calm and in control no matter path labour may take. We came across two midwives locally called Emily Street and Jane Ingleby who run private hypnobirthing classes in the North West region of the UK. We registered for a course of 4 classes at our home. These classes covered the physiology of labour, how to eliminate fear and taught breathing techniques to use during different stages of labour.
We had a number of different scripts which we used whilst listening to relaxing music to help get into a state of deep relaxation. We practised these regularly, along with the breathing techniques in preparation for the birth. Whilst the course and its contents were very enjoyable, there were times when we questioned does hypnobirthing work, how actually does hypnobirthing work and also does hypnobirthing work for everybody? We decided the real test would be the birth itself.
DOES HYPNOBIRTHING WORK? HOW TO ACHIEVE A HYPNOBIRTH
DOES HYPNOBIRTHING WORK? HERE IS OUR STORY
Here Madeline recounts the story of the birth in her own words. Nine days prior to the baby’s due date, I awoke feeling tired and with the sense that something was changing. Later that same day I began to experience some mild tightenings which I largely ignored as I believed them to be braxton hicks. The tightenings continued into the evening and through the night, although they did not stop me from getting a full nights sleep (a good job as it was to be my last full nights sleep for some time!).
The following morning I awoke conscious that I was still getting tightening sensations fairly regularly. They were quite strong and muscular but not painful. As they did not seem to be getting either stronger or closer together, I did not believe that I was in labour. When I went to the toilet, I had had a show, so decided to ring the hospital for advice. They advised me to go along just to be checked. We swiftly arranged for our older son to be looked after by a friend and made our way to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, I continued to feel calm and relaxed as I still did not believe that I was in labour, so I was not worrying about what may lay ahead. At 10am the midwife came to examine me and was surprised to find that I was in established labour and about 6-7cms dilated. She could not quite believe it as I was calm and chatting away to her! We requested the pool as we were really hoping for a water birth and fortunately it was available and soon was filling up and I could not wait to get in!
I spent 2 hours relaxing in the pool. The surges (hynobirthing term for contractions) were coming around once every 8-10 minutes and I found it easy to breath through them using the techniques that I had learnt. The water was soothing and tranquil, at times it felt too easy and I almost felt like I was cheating! I told myself this must be what hypnobirthing is all about, because I was able to stay relaxed and calm, my body could just do what it needed to birth our baby in the best way possible.
At around 1.15pm I got out of the pool to be examined again and was pleased to find that I had progressed to 8cm, although this was slower progress than I had anticipated. The midwife suggested that we break my waters as she thought that this would help things to progress a little quicker. We decided to go ahead and she broke my waters at around 1.30pm. Within 5 minutes I had 3 powerful surges, I managed to breath through them, but was very keen to get back into the water as soon as possible.
At this point I requested gas and air and I found it really helpful to keep me focused when the surges were coming closer together. I started to feel the baby’s head descend and I had the urge to push. There was a brief moment of deja vu where I recalled this sensation from my first birth and felt a little frightened. However, I used the breathing techniques and light touch massage from my husband to stay calm and in control of the situation. I was able to breath the baby down and just as I felt that the pressure was too intense he popped out and into the water. I looked down and saw our baby floating and then my husband Tristan lifted him out and passed him to me.
As I cradled our newborn son in my arms, I felt the greatest sense of euphoria and overwhelming pride in myself and my body. I could not stop smiling and was amazed by what we had just achieved. Our beautiful son Hugo was born on 20th April 2013 at 2.20pm weighing 7lb 2oz. Hugo is an extremely calm and contented baby, helped we are sure by his gentle transition into the world.
DOES HYPNOBIRTHING WORK? OUR THOUGHTS
We have had two vastly different birth experiences and if we are ever asked “does hypnobirthing work” we are absolutely convinced that hypnobirthing does work and is what made the main difference second time around. We felt able to deal with any situation that may have arisen and coped well with the fact that we did not achieve our planned water birth at home.
We have nothing but positive memories of the day and feel that everything fell into place perfectly. So – does hypnobirthing work? We will happily recommend hypnobirthing to everyone as it has had such a powerful influence on our lives.
“Does hypnobirthing work” is the very first question we asked our hypnobirthing teachers! If you are pregnant at the moment and are looking to achieve a more positive and natural birth experience and you live anywhere in the North West region of the UK, then we would strongly recommend that you visit hypnobirthbymidwives.co.uk. Speak to Emily Street and Jane Ingleby. These are honestly two of the most passionate and inspirational people that we have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
We hope you have enjoyed our story and we would greatly appreciate if you could leave a comment below and share and like on Facebook.