Pregnancy story by Georgina and Nigel, 07/03/2018
During my pregnancy, to help me relax and sleep, I downloaded an app to guide me through breathing techniques and to clear my mind to stay relaxed, calm and present. My husband, Nigel, and I would do this together to relax.
When we found out the NHS ran a hypnobirthing class we jumped at the chance. It was a helpful day with lots of hints and tips and the best thing was it another excuse to spend the day relaxing during pregnancy!
As we had been practicing relaxation (or meditation/ mindfulness/ hypnobirthing techniques, whichever you relate to) at home, the course gave us extra time to practice but more importantly space to talk about how we’d use it in labour.
Nigel noticed that I raise my shoulders when I get tense, so in labour he gently reminded me relax my shoulders and the rest of my body would follow suit.
When he reminded me to relax I found the intensity lessened.
He even made me a relaxation album to use throughout labour and pregnancy. It really helped me to find calm serenity in the clinical hospital environment. I would highly recommend mums (and their birth partners) find the triggers that help them to relax and make their birthing experiences extra special.
I used hypnobirthing when having both my children. In my first pregnancy I had a lot of pre-labour, with my body slowly getting ready for the big event. Using hypnobirthing techniques helped me to feel empowered when my labour properly started. During my first labour I continued to use the techniques when I had to have medical intervention.
Both labours were incredibly positive experiences for me. My second was completely drug free with no interventions. I had the most positive experiences at both births but my second was so amazing because of being able to relax throughout and be present and enjoy the experience drug free. I’m also convinced it helped me to recover faster too.
Nigel’s thoughts on hypnobirthing as a birth partner
I found helping my partner give birth using hypnobirthing very rewarding. Learning the techniques together meant I was able to talk her through the wave of each contraction, reminding her to stay focused and relaxed and that she was in control of the experience. It made so much difference being able to do something positive during her labour and to see her managing the pain herself.
'I just kept breathing and focused on anything I could find, which ended up being a clean flannel!'
Hypnobirthing is a method of pain management that can be used during labour and birth. It involves using a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques.