Hypnobirthing. It sounds a bit airy fairy when you first hear it but I have come to learn it really isn’t. Todd and I finished our classes yesterday and although slightly uncertain at first, we walked away feeling revived and excited about the birth, and I would say it even bought us closer together as a couple.
So what actually is hypnobirthing? Well for me, essentially it is a tool to help our bodies do exactly what they were intended to. It is a way of letting go of our overthinking minds and reengaging nature to take over. Through relaxation, guided imagery and an exploration of the concepts of natural birth we are encouraged to do just that – learn to let go.
Todd has always said that he struggles with guided relaxation. If someone was to ask him to imagine walking on a beach his mind would go anywhere except to the said beautiful beach, but after he was so deeply relaxed that he fell asleep twice in one session he has embraced the concepts with open arms. For me, regular yoga makes slipping into deep relaxation a welcomed practice.
Our instructor has an interactive way of teaching, and we were lucky enough to have one-on-one classes, which felt as though the learning was tailored to our needs. Todd found he was really involved and learnt practical ways to help me through birth. Our confidence in each other to be able to navigate our way through the path of labour is increased, but it is easy to see how the practice will be beneficial in life not just in birth.
It’s hard to describe exactly what we learnt. It solidified everything I have been reading and learning along the way. I liken it to another form of training like martial arts. It is linked to similar concepts of the power of the mind and energy and using your mind to control your body which is probably why it resonates with me so clearly. We were shown ways to demonstrate the physicality of the power of your mind but I think the best way to describe it is we were shown again how to believe. Now I sound airy-fairy, but it is hard to describe these concepts without using words like believe, power and engaging.
During ‘homework’ sessions we were encouraged to explore our fears surrounding not only birth and labour, but parenting or finances or the future, anything that came up. The point wasn’t to work through each problem in the session – it is not counseling, but it was to become aware of some of our own tigers that lurk beneath – fears waiting to raise their head. We talked about our fears and gained a better insight into each other, in the session we were encouraged through deep relaxation to let them go. What better way to prepare for our new family?
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