I did a two day course on hypnobirthing with my sister in law, mostly at her suggestion. I quite liked the idea of a course focussed on natural childbirth though, because I’m a bit of a hippy, and I was planning on doing the whole drug free childbirth thing if I could, however I couldn’t really imagine something called hypnobirthing making a particularly dramatic difference to my approach to the whole shebang.
My probably very innacurate summary of the heart of the course could be summed up as:
1. Women give birth all the time all over the place;
2. So let’s not freak out about it; and
3. Mostly, try and relax. Like, really try and relax. Let’s meditate. And also do a bit of self hypnosis. And talk about surrender. And then watch some videos of people giving birth while looking like they’re peacefully meditating. Would you like a cup of herbal tea?
I wouldn’t say I found the thought of giving birth particularly traumatic, but I was nervous about it – mostly about how well I would deal with the pain, and the thought of tearing and things like that. And I must say, after two days of hearing the phrase “your beautiful birth” about 200 times, doing relaxation exercises while listening to someone talking about surrendering to your body, and watching quite a few videos of some extremely relaxed women giving birth (breathing deeply while smiling beatifically, which really has to be seen to be believed), that nervousness has entirely dissipated. I’m not sure I’m going to get to the stage where I can essentially meditate while silently giving birth, but you never know I suppose.
During the next two months I have a bit of hypnobirthing homework to do – mostly listening to relaxations and practicing a little hypnosis style stuff with the husband. I’m also supposed to be doing affirmations, but honestly, I just feel like a dick telling myself earnestly that “my body is surging and bringing my baby closer to me” (or something of the sort). I’m going to be open minded and try them out, but I just don’t think I’m an affirmation kind of girl.