As soon as I knew I was pregnant with baby number 2, I was adamant I was going to have a positive birth.
My first birth hadn’t been traumatic, however it wasn’t the empowering experience I had heard others talk of. I went into my first birth with a mindset of ‘it can’t be that bad, women do it all the time’ but I was uneducated and unaware of what was to come and therefore my ‘control’ was lost fairly quickly.
I ended up with a painful, loud and busy experience of birth… and afterwards I felt a bit of an anticlimax and felt I was more of an observer as opposed to being present during the birth.
Fast forward 4 years, as a qualified mindfulness coach I was excited about the prospect of having a positive and empowering birth.
When I shared my excitement with others I received mixed reactions. I had some people who empowered me and encouraged my positive mindset – they were my champions. I was also met with a lot of ‘Yeah sure; let me know after you have had the baby that you actually enjoyed it’ or ‘Are you mad – you are looking forward to childbirth?!’ Luckily, I was able to set boundaries and not let these negative comments affect my mindset and vibe and so I continued on with my journey.
So, I investigated hypnobirthing and booked a 1-1 course with Claire at The Muma Hub. I knew Claire was the right person for me as she had such a calm manner and made me feel relaxed and empowered each time we spoke. I was so excited to spend evenings (on zoom due to restrictions at the time) in her company.
Claire’s course educated me on the process of labour, the different stages, breathing techniques, and a whole wealth of advice for a positive and empowering birth.
There were so many things that resonated with me that I hadn’t even considered first time around.
One in particular being the use of ‘anchors’. Things that can ground you and bring you back to a relaxed state during labour. I chose lavender spray which is something I use each night before bed, affirmations that I had selected, crystals, and my Dads handkerchief tied around my Mums eternity ring. Using these at the beginning of the labour were fantastic reminders of home, my happy place and a feeling of calm.
As labour progressed I didn’t use them as much but they played a crucial part in the beginning.
Amazingly the surroundings for my birth were exactly how I had imagined. The room was dark, the midwife had fairy lights that she put on and it was my safe haven to birth my baby. Throughout the labour the breathing techniques Claire had taught me, combined with the mp3s that I had listened to leading up to the birth were all invaluable.
Knowing and understanding the different stages of labour was so useful. I had educated my partner on the transition stage – when you feel like you want to give up. This stage is vital to know about as it means baby is coming and this is the final part.
managed to take photos of myself during labour, something that would have been completely unthinkable first time around.
My mindset and techniques ensured I had the birth I dreamed of. Our beautiful 9lb baby boy was born after a quick active labour with no drugs or intervention.
I can honestly say I enjoyed his birth and frequently play it back in my mind. During this birth I was 100% present and in control of birthing my way.
If anyone is thinking of a hypnobirthing course my advice is to absolutely do it! Claire was invaluable to my experience and for that I am eternally grateful.