Updated: Feb 13, 2019
So... "What in the bejesus is Hypnobirthing?" I hear you ask 🤔. You may have read one of my recent posts where I state it as "your complete antenatal preparation course", yeah and that's totally it. If you know me and my career within the spa industry, you can understand why I was drawn to hypnobirthing like a magnet.
Don't get me wrong, I was just as nervous as any other pregnant woman as I trawled the internet in search of a solution that would help me stay calm and positive throughout my pregnancy. I found a local hypnobirthing course and thankfully, there was one quite soon. We were at 26 weeks pregnant, when we arrived at our venue for the course. As I 'click-clacked' through the corridor in my entirely unsuitable foot-ware (yes, I was one of those noisy buggers!). I started to feel slightly over-dressed for the occasion. I was expecting to walk into a room of hippies chilling out in a circle, envisaging myself and my husband having to squeeze in and make pleasantries whist finding our space in the circle, trying not to nudge anyone else's bump in the process.
Gosh... hello, reality check!! 😳 I couldn't have been more wrong...
As we nervously paced the Liverpool Woman's Hospital in search of our designated hypnobirthing room, we stumbled across another couple looking just as nervous. I suppose the nervousness came from the unknown. An anticipation of what was going to happen over the next few days.
I had already read 'The Mongan Method' on Hypnobirthing so I was slightly prepared but ya know what?... every new life experience gives you that slight 'butterfly feeling' in your tummy. This would be my first lesson. Would I let fear take hold and run for the door or would I simply walk in on this new adventure and embrace all that it could teach me?
Well, you already know how this story goes... We walked into our room and were greeted by the lovely Maureen. I admit, I scanned her up and down, as you do on any first meeting. Well, to my shock and disappointment Maureen appeared perfectly average ( sorry Maureen). Where were the smudge sticks and pendulums?!! No circle time in sight!
"Coffee or tea?", she asked. "Do you have ginger tea?" I giggled. Maureen pointed me to the hot water flask in the room and asked us to help ourselves. There was a lovely spread of biscuits and we took a seat around the prepped tables. It felt almost like going back to school. Maureen explained we were waiting for one other couple to join us and my guess was it was probably the similarly bewildered couple we spotted in the corridor earlier...
When they arrived we all sat and discussed our pregnancies so far as well as our expectations of the 'perfect birth'. Maureen talked us though the 'system' and the variations of birthing options from medical to non-interference. Together we learnt the most beautiful relaxation techniques as couples. Techniques that we would go on to practice for the remainder of our pregnancy.
The course was two days long and at the end my mind was blown. I learnt so much on that course that it allowed me to fully understand my pregnancy and the entire birthing process. We were given the tools and knowledge to understand the terminology, risks & benefits of any procedure, should I require medical assistance during my child's birth. The reasons they may offer such intervention was also made clear but most importantly was what I could do as a hypnobirthing parent to take responsibility for my birth.
This was such a lovely bonding experience for myself and my husband and he came away feeling more connected to the pregnancy and more aware of his role in the lead up to and the birth. It's easy for fathers to feel disconnected or excluded as the focus lies heavily on mum. However, we both gained a better understanding of how he could support and encourage me in the run up to birth and also after our child was born.
So no, sorry to disappoint you all, there was no hippy-dippy tree hugging, pendulum spinning craziness 😀
But... there was a room filled with love 💕, relaxation, understanding, education and confidence that was not matched by any other antenatal course that we had done (and we did a lot).
We came away with relaxation techniques that we used and practised throughout or pregnancy that bonded us. We still listen to the relaxation music today and our daughter loves to listen to it before bed. We came away with the most wonderful memories of our labour and we felt empowered.
This feeling of empowerment stayed with me well beyond pregnancy and was the driving force behind becoming a 'Breastfeeding Peer Support Volunteer' for Homestart. It also gave me the impetus that kick-started a journey, leading me to now have my own business supporting parents. To now be offering pregnancy massage and teaching courses in the not-so-hippy-hypnobirthing that brought me here!
I have a diploma in Hypnobirthing by KGH which is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. When you book onto our hypnobirthing course I promise to have the best biscuits! You will also definitely get oodles of relaxation techniques, acquire more confidence in your birth choice and gain all the knowledge & understanding you could ever need . All this in a room filled with love, laughter, excitement professionalism & passion! 🙌🏻
Owner & Founder
Time: Bump & Beyond