The Key to a Great Birth Experience
When hypnobirthing was suggested to me during pregnancy, I made fun of my friend: “What on earth is that?” I said to her in a sneering tone of voice. “What are you trying to get me into now?”
The truth is it sounded ridiculous! The word ‘hypnobirthing’ conjured up a multitude of different images in my mind: being in a psychedelic trance, vagina whispering, people clucking like chickens – the list goes on.
My friend is assertive and persevering, so she proceeded to tell me that hypnobirthing was a great birth preparation course for women and their partners and that it was entirely based on logic and science. However, I didn’t really pay much attention to her. After all, hypnobirthing sounded like it was wacky, weird, and too alternative for me.
My friend was trying to help me. I had experienced a fair bit of anxiety and stress during my pregnancy. Some of this was linked to pregnancy itself but I was also dealing with my mum dying of cancer which had added to my stress.
“I really think you should look into hypnobirthing”, my friend said. “You know that I had a great birth experience, and it was only possible thanks to hypnobirthing.”
To be fair to my friend, her birth story did sound good. She laboured at home for 7 hours, travelled to the birth centre, got into a birth pool there and, an hour later, her baby boy was born. She had no vaginal tears, and she did it all with a bit of gas and air.
I was still sceptical though. I thought that maybe she had just been lucky, and that hypnobirthing really had nothing to do with her having a positive experience of labour and birth.
Two weeks later, I saw my friend again and she gave me some hypnobirthing relaxation audios to listen to at home. “Start listening to this CD every night before you go to bed.” “Ok”, I said. “I will give it a try.”
At first, I thought it was just coincidence. I was sleeping better; I was feeling more positive each day (even when visiting my mum in the hospital) and I was starting to feel excited about giving birth…WHAT!???
“Sounds like the hypnobirthing relaxation audios are working their magic”, said
my friend via text. “Maybe you are right”, I replied. I continued listening to the CD for a few more weeks and felt increasingly positive, happy, relaxed and at ease. “Ok, now you need to book onto a full hypnobirthing course as the audios are just the beginning”, my friend said.
A few weeks later, my partner and I started a hypnobirthing course, and it was then that the real transformation occurred. I couldn’t believe how much we learned! We especially loved learning about the role of the birth partner, what would be happening in my body during each stage of labour and how to deal with it calmly and confidently. We were blown away by the end of the final session and we felt even closer as a couple. We couldn’t wait to meet our baby!
2 months later, I gave birth peacefully and comfortably at home in a birth pool and I know, for certain, that without hypnobirthing, it would not have been possible.
The reality is, the word hypnobirthing put me off and had it not been for my friend, I would never have done a course, but I am so glad I did!
6 years on, I am honoured to be a qualified hypnobirthing teacher imparting my knowledge to expecting couples worldwide.
If you are pregnant right now, feeling curious about hypnobirthing and would like to find out more about it for free, I run hypnobirthing taster sessions on zoom twice a month. You can sign up to my next one by clicking my website link:
You can also check out my YouTube channel where there are lots of hypnobirthing relaxation audios and other pregnancy and birth tips:
Maybe, like me, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you discover!
Anja Moncrieff is a hypnobirthing practitioner. She teaches hypnobirthing online and in-person to couples all over the world. She lives with her partner and her 6-year-old daughter in Manchester, England.