Well it seems very timely that today is World Hypnobirthing Day! It’s almost a week after I switched my Birth Preparation and Hypnobirthing course to a live online 1:1 programme. The safety guidelines issued regarding Covid 19 and pregnant women have meant lots of changes from working work face to face. And it has meant lots of uncertainty and insecurity for anyone who is pregnant.
Initially I felt sad to think that, for a while I won’t be meeting my clients in the flesh. I think it was the shock of how the situation changed so quickly and with little warning. I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye in person because the announcement was made as I was driving to the yoga studio to teach pregnancy yoga on Monday evening. As soon as I heard the news I turned around and came home and contacted everyone to explain the class was cancelled.
I quickly realised that I CAN continue to support pregnant women and their birth partners as well as new families. First of all, I sent out one of my MP3 downloads to everyone attending my classes to help them with some much needed switching off and relaxation head space. We know there’s a link between you releasing stress hormones and your baby releasing the same chemicals as a result. This isn’t good for either of you but it’s been a natural reaction whilst you figure out how you are going to work, pay the bills, see your midwife and manage your labour and birth in these new situations.
Then I had to get my skates on and learn all the technical aspects involved in delivering live online courses and classes. I’m not hugely skilled in this area so this has been a steep learning curve.
But, with the help of colleagues and family I got up to speed quickly – talk about hitting the ground running! I held my first online yoga class two days later and was so happy with its success.
I have also been talking to my current hypnobirthing clients about how we can continue to work together. It’s now even more crucial that these mums learn the techniques to manage their anxieties. So, even though couples can no longer come to my house for their sessions we are still able to work together using platforms such as zoom. I have adjusted the material so that couples can still work through the steps and learn the tools and techniques to have a positive birth experience.
My course is still 1:1. So, that’s just you, your birth partner and me but we now communicate using technology. It’s private and confidential so you can ask me any questions. I can tailor the course to suit whatever particular concerns you have. The only main difference is you now provide your own refreshments!
Staying calm is so crucial in influencing how your body progresses labour and how your baby copes. But its more than just telling yourself to be calm during the process. Preparation is the key – as it is for any big event in your life (and this is THE big one!).
I teach you how to manage your mental and physical response to the intensity of labour using self- hypnosis (which is perfectly safe and, in your control,). You also you learn loads about labour and how your body works. Knowledge is power right?! If you and your birth partner understand what happens in labour it’ll help you cope so much better with what is happening.
I am always going on about how my course is as important for the birth partner as much as the pregnant woman! Time and time again women come onto my course with their partner who confesses they’re not sure why they are there. Am I going to put them in hypnosis and make them cluck about like a chicken? Am I a hippy midwife with hippy ideas? How on earth can hypnosis work in labour?
Well let me tell you that time and time again birth partners come away so impressed with what they now know. They understand all about the advantages of using self-hypnosis. They realise that they are crucial to supporting their partner to stay in a helpful head space, able to deal with the contractions that can often be happening for many hours. They get what they must do to help her release the helpful hormones and keep the unhelpful hormones away. They learn the questions to ask the midwife looking after you and how to be the most effective gatekeeper.
So, you go into labour as a team. You no longer worry about them! Having practised the techniques together and having a plan in place you will both feel so much more prepared and ready. We can’t guarantee that you will have the birth that you have pictured in your head, but you CAN control the way you respond to the contractions. Which means being more confident to let go and allow your body to get on with the job of birthing your baby. And that means a calmer baby too.
This week I have been busy making changes to my course times now that we will be working together via laptops and phones. The course is going to be split into smaller chunks of 2-3 hours rather than two half days. We have more flexibility to hold the sessions in daytimes and evenings as well as weekends. Ideally, we start when you are around 28 weeks. But you can book much earlier than that and start benefiting straight away with the first download I send you. In fact, I recommend that you get in touch to discuss dates as soon as possible so that we can get you booked in.
If you are left with questions, want to clarify something before committing or simply want to find out more please do get in touch. I am very passionate about my course and the benefits it will bring you, but I won’t be giving you the hard sell. That’s the last thing you need right now.
I hope that everyone who is pregnant at the moment can access some support to help them through this difficult time. If there is anything I can do to help, please do get in touch.
Happy World Hypnobirthing Day to you all.