Hypnobirthing mini-series – how to prepare for your own hypnobirth
Want a calm, pain-free labour? In the final part of our hypnobirthing mini-series, find out how you can prepare for your own positive hypnobirth experience.
As you learned in the first two parts of our hypnobirthing series, every thought or event you experience has a corresponding physical and hormonal reaction within your body – which means that negative birth stories can be potentially harmful for a pregnant woman preparing to give birth.
To help you achieve a calm, pain-free hypnobirth, Susanne Grant shares her tips for re-training your brain and preparing for a positive labour in the final part of our hypnobirthing series.
Wait for labour to start naturally
The first tip for a positive birth experience is quite simple: just wait!
The best way to experience a straightforward birth is to wait until your labour starts and progresses on its own. Going past your calculated ‘due date’ is not a medical urgency (unless you and/or your baby are showing indications). So if possible, wait until your baby is ready.
Choose your healthcare professional wisely
If you choose hypnobirthing as your method for birth, make sure your midwife supports you. Midwives are absolutely amazing, but like in many situations in life, you may simply not feel comfortable with someone. This is perfectly fine! Just ask for some else to support you.
Take good care of yourself
The better you care for yourself during your pregnancy, the more likely you’ll enjoy a positive birth experience. So eat well, sleep, get plenty of rest, keep active and listen to your body. This will benefit you and your baby, and it will help your birth and recovery.
Ban negative birth stories!
If you have a friend that keeps bringing up a bad birth story, ask them to stop. If they don’t want to, then remove yourself from the situation.
There is no need to have an argument about it. Just tell them: “I am more than happy to listen to your story once my baby is born, but I would like to have my own experience first.” Any good friend will support you.
Watch hypnobirthing videos on YouTube
We have all seen the screaming women being rushed to hospital to give birth in the movies. But birth doesn’t have to be like this – you can be in control, no matter what the situation brings you.
To help you feel more positive about birth, and learn what is possible and achievable for you, I suggest that you watch videos of other women enjoying a calm labour. (If you want to watch a positive experience, you can do so here.)
Visit your local positive birth group
The Positive Birth Movement is a global network that offers free antenatal groups, to connect pregnant women to share positive stories and expertise about childbirth.
Read up on positive birth stories
You can also read up on positive birth stories. A great example is Rockstar Birth Magazine, a step-by-step guide that covers everything you need to know for a positive birth experience.
Take a course, read books, know your rights, and decide what is best for you and your baby. What this means to every mother is different, but like parenting and birthing author Diana Korte once said: “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”
Practise, practise, practise
Usually a mother has about two, three or four decades of negativity around birth to unlearn. As you can understand, this doesn’t happen overnight. Luckily it takes time to make a little human, giving you several months to work on preparing for your birthing day.
So take advantage of this, and practise for a positive hypnobirth for at least 20 minutes every day (more if you can).
Prepare for your own hypnobirth
As you discovered in part one of this series, your mindset going into labour plays a significant part towards the outcome of birth. And knowing how your body works (as we explored in part two) will give you an additional peace of mind when it comes to your birthing day.
Combine your new knowledge with the tips in this article and you will be well on the way to achieving a comfortable birth where you feel in control, whatever the outcome may be. It may require a little effort and practise to achieve it, but the results are more than worth it!
Susanne is a hypnobirthing mother and owner of Grant Method of Birthing where she supports women to achieve a calm and gentle birth experience.