As a pregnancy coach and mother of two children, both of which I birthed at home, I don't talk about home birth as much as I could. There's a little bit of fear people will think unless they are planning a home water birth hypnobirthing isn't going to be for them and that couldn't be further from the truth. Hypnobirthing is as much about the preparation you do before your baby arrives as it is about creating a calm and positive birth experience. However, to not talk about how much hypnobirthing can be a powerful tool for women who are looking to birth at home is ridiculous and here's why.
1) Hypnobirthing Gives You Confidence
One of the key elements, if not the key element that will enable you to stay at home (with the absence of special circumstances) is confidence. Belief in your body and baby's ability to do the job they were perfectly designed to do is vital. Immersing yourself in hypnobirthing is the perfect exercise for building up your confidence muscle as you approach your labour day.
2) Familiar Surroundings Aid Birth
Being in an environment that feels familiar is a huge plus point when it comes to feeling safe. In hypnobirthing we explain how these feelings release the positive hormones and emotions that make it easier for us to give birth, often more comfortably, quickly and enjoyably.
3) Learn How to Create a Nest
Working in conjunction with point two and the familiarity of staying at home. You'll also learn how to ramp up the everyday comfort of your living room turning it into a nest. In birth everything you do is about the promotion of endorphins and oxytocin, the body's feel good and natural pain relieving hormones. Creating a nest is key.
4) Stop Engaging in Other People's Fears
One of the things that used to get to me, was the raised eyebrows and the 'you're brave' comments I'd get at one end of the spectrum. Right the way through to 'you must be bloody crazy' at the other end. Well-meaning or not, conversations like this undermine your confidence. Most good hypnobirthing courses, will help you to by-pass other people's negativity and fears, so you can focus on creating the positive homebirth you have been dreaming of.
5) Get Your Partner More Involved
Regardless of where you're choosing to birth your baby, the whole process can be an intimidating and/or isolating for some birth partners. Hypnobirthing helps you to create the time and space to discuss your needs as a family. Whilst providing your partner with specific tools they can use during your pregnancy and on the day the you welcome your baby into the world, so they feel confident and an integral part of the entire journey.
6) Stay Calm and Positive During Labour and Birth
The ability for you and your birth partner to stay calm during your labour, whether you are having a straight forward or a more challenging birth is absolutely key when creating a positive birth experience. You will learn how to do this through various breathing, relaxation and visualisation techniques.
7) Clear Communication
Learning how best to work with your care providers is a crucial part of hypnobirthing training. As feeling listened to and respected plays a huge role in how safe we feel at both a conscious and subconscious level during birth. If you are not working with a care team you have had the opportunity to get to know during your pregnancy, understanding how you and your partner - especially your partner - can manage those all-important relationships is very powerful.
8) Navigate the Natural Twists and Turns of Labour With Ease
One of the phrases we teach our clients is 'understanding what you can control, letting go of what you can't.' Hypnobirthing is about providing you with a solid foundation to create the best birth experience. For us 'best' means feeling calm and confident, no matter what situations you are presented with on the day, rather than creating 'perfect text book births'. This is empowering for both you and your partner, particularly if you have to navigate situations that aren't on your birth preferences.
9) Pain Reliever
Lots of hypnobirthing courses don't like to mention the P-word. Whilst it is impossible to make useful comparisons, because pain is so subjective, it is worth considering the anecdotal evidence provided by thousands of hypnomumies from across the world who report 'less painful' births. Why might this happen? When a labouring woman is relaxed and working with her body as opposed to fighting against it, the birthing process is made much easier for her and her baby. Ease often equates to less or more manageable pain.
10) A Calm Environment is Great for Siblings
Many mums worry about what they will do with older children when considering birthing at home. When your environment feels very calm and you and your birth partner feel in control, which is what hypnobirthing is designed to do. Having soon to be older siblings in the house can make the birthing experience even more magical.
As you can see ten amazing reasons why all home birthing mums should be considering hypnobirthing as as a useful aid during their homebirth experience. Are you a homebirthing mum that utilized hypnobirthing? I'd love to know if and how it helped you. If you are considering home birthing is hypnobirthing something that was already on your radar? It would be great to hear from you too.
Thanks to Hollie De Cruz - Co Founder of The Calm Birth School for her contribution to this article.