In the past hypnobirthing has always been perceived as a bit hippy dippy, which is a point I look to debunk throughout The Calm Birth School book as by far the majority of hypnobirthing theory is based on the biology of birth and evidence based neuroscience. As an avid reader I find that many of my favourite authors pepper their teachings with quotes from the genius of Einstein and as I was listening to one of my favourite books of the moment recently, it struck me just how many of Einstein's teachings and quotes applied to the lessons we teach our hypnobirthing clients. So much so I wanted to share just five of the many quotes I could have included, that prove Einstein would have totally taught you how to rock an awesome hypnobirth...
1. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
This immediately stood out to me as one of the most common misunderstandings people have about hypnobirthing is that it's only relevant for natural labours or home births. Which isn't the case at all. Hypnobirthing is about a woman feeling positive and empowered about the birth she is experiencing regardless of how her baby enters into the world. If this point is forgotten and the focus is solely on how many drugs, or how much assistance a woman needed, the point that she has just carried and born a miracle can be totally lost. Which is bonkers! No woman fails at birth. Every single baby born is a miracle. Every mother is a goddess (whether she feels like it 100% or not)!
2. "When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity."
Now I'm sure many people would run a mile if they saw Einstein's Theory of Relativity listed on the course syllabus, but that's exactly what we're talking about when we explain time distortion during labour and birth. When a woman enjoys the sensations of birth time can fly by. However, when she is fearful and dreading the next surge (contraction), wondering how long it will last and when the next one is going to arise, every second can feels like an hour, causing her to feel more pain and more exhaustion.
3."Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
Hypnobirthing isn't just about feeling empowered during birth, it's about your entire pregnancy experience. A big part of feeling that sense of empowerment is to feel confident enough to ask questions of your care providers. To be curious about their responses and in certain situations know that it is wise to seek out supporting or opposing information to what has been presented to you. When families appreciate information is often coloured by the perspective of your support team asking questions and looking at the evidence allows parents to make informed decisions about what is right for specifically their family. This doesn't happen when you blindly accept all information that is provided as fact.
4. "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
While we may be the most intellectual of the species, when it comes to primal acts such as giving birth, we only have to look at the ease at which other mammals give birth. Calmly, comfortably and without fear to know that they can probably teach us a thing or two.
5."Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
I love this quote! One of the exercises we ask our hypnobirthing clients to do at The Calm Birth School is to imagine their positive birth experience as many times as possible. This is one of the exercises that for those who are not so familiar with neuro-science, some of our more skeptical clients may think is a little bit woo-woo. I mean how can imagining your ideal birth have any impact on the experience you have in real life?
The brain's inability to tell the difference between what's real and imagined is a powerful tool when it comes to creating positive outcomes in sport, a laboratory and even a birthing suite. When you imagine positive outcomes, see and feel yourself at the end point, your brain believes that you have already done this in reality. The more times you visualize your positive outcome the more likely it is your body will instinctively look to recreate the visualization it has already experienced many, many times in your mind before. That's the reason the likes of Tiger Woods and David Beckham would mentally rehearse kicks and shots hundreds if not thousands of times before major tournaments. The effect was the same as practicing in real life.
And there we have it. I don't know about you, but I think Einstein would have made a stupendous hypnobirthing practitioner and in his absence, The Calm Birth School probably follows up a close second.