Relax, relax, relax… you are drifting into a deep calm with every breath you take in and out you will find your mind relaxing.

Mumbo jumbo hey. That’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about Hypnobirthing after enquiring around family and friends. I wanted an empowering birth second time round and I wanted to be in more control. Not only that but I was scared like no tomorrow and did not want a repeat of the first time. So after looking into different sites and talking about others experiences I decided to order Katherine Graves second edition ‘The Hypnobirthing book‘ that came with a CD. When we first sat down to listen to the CD we couldn’t stop laughing, it was like a block over our minds of how crazy this sounded. a few words were going to make us have an amazing birth? yeah right!

But it was right. After reading the book it actually all started to make sense. Training my mind was definitely the way to go (the mind is so powerful as it is) and with my pain threshold of -100 I needed anything that would help even just a bit. From week 34 I started my training, followed all the tips and tricks and listened to the CD whilst lying in bed. The breathing techniques were great, as in my first labour I did not know how to breathe correctly which hindered the birth length and caused more pain – during and after.

With our first birthing experience, we went along with TENS machines at home, gas and air at the hospital and voila baby will be here. We didn’t think of anything else or how an environment affects the birthing. We just went along the ‘norm’ and hoped it would be the best. It was the worst! It traumatised me for months and being in labour for 2 days nearly killed me. I ended up with a few complications and was being prepared for a caesarean until little miss Z decided it was time to come.

After one birth you gain enough experience to know what to do next time and what you want to change. This is exactly what we did. As I was more confident on the experience side of things it gave me more mind space to concentrate on other aspects of the birth that were neglected the first time round. Personally I didn’t feel confident in doing the entire birth at home. I knew I would in some way need some type of medical intervention and a birthing pool would not be enough for the pain. So opting for a stay as long as you can at home and last minute hospital rush was the way to go.

Through this process Hypnobirthing was amazing, like I mentioned the breathing techniques were taught in depth as well as mind control. During the birth process I listened to the CD at home but within the hospital I got my wish for a dull lit room and uses for lots of oils. We picked up a Clary Sage oil to sniff and a relaxing massage oil which had blends of Lavender, Geranium, Lemon and Clary Sage. These oils were recommended through many hypnobirthing sites, which was perfect a they were strong but wonderfully smelling. Smelling the Clary Sage on a face towel helped to relax and bring on contractions throughout the day and the massage oil was a real treat in the delivery room when the epidural failed to numb by right leg and pain kept shooting down it! Frankly I have used this massage oil even after birth to relax and soften my muscles that got worn out during pregnancy and labour.

The control around this technique helped my husband as well as he practised the sessions at home with me and also listened to the CD before bed every night closer to the birth. It gave a peace of mind to him as he felt more in charge as I was more confident.

To be honest I would have loved to have gone to actual classes but unfortunately they were out of budget so we did them at home, but a major recommendation would be that the hospitals should include these in their birthing classes as it calms a lot of nerves for first time mothers. Deep down I wish I had come across it with Miss Z but its never too late, this type of practice is going to stay as my number one for birth and I would say that to anyone going into labour.

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