“Wouldn’t it be better to prepare myself for the worst?” I asked my hypnobirthing instructor during our first session, when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. Giving birth to my eldest had been a very traumatic experience and the road to overcoming it, had been long and difficult. In my mind, although I was ‘giving everything a go’ and hence stumbled upon hypnobirthing, preparing for the worst case scenario made more sense…
I went on to have a hugely positive (not perfect) hypnobirth with my second that inspired me to train as a hypnobirthing instructor myself and set up my own hypnobirthing business (Nova Vida Birthing – Hypnobirthing Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge). If you are like me several years ago, and feel like you should be preparing for the worst when it comes to giving birth, allow me to shed a different light on the matter.
It is normal to have negative feelings and thoughts about birth. In our society, birth is often portrayed and thought of as medicalised, painful and scary. Whenever we see a birthing woman on TV, she’s lying down on her back, screaming in agony, whilst crushing her poor birth partner’s hand. Rarely do we see a different picture. No wonder that, by the time a woman gets pregnant, the thought of birth feels scary and sends her into panic-mode. Or, just like me, you might have had a previously difficult or even traumatizing birth! It’s hugely important to acknowledge these feelings and thoughts and recognise them as a natural part of getting pregnant in this day and age. BUT… the next step, is to address these thoughts and then let go. Why?
1. Preparing for the worst case scenario, is a thought that comes from a place of fear, being terrified of X, Y or Z happening. The cornerstone of hypnobirthing is breaking the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. (thoughts of fear create tension in the body, which in turn creates pain) If we break the cycle by replacing fear with confidence, we will have a relaxed body, that will be able to birth in a much more comfortable way. You want to be working WITH your body. Not against it.
2. Preparing for the worst case scenario means that we will start to turn our negative thoughts into actual beliefs! (Our brain is clever like that). ‘My birth will be a negative experience.’ Thoughts are extremely powerful. I’m sure many of us have heard the following quote before ‘If you realised how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a bad thought again.’ (Peace Pilgrim). There is so much truth in this!
3. The Law of Attraction. Simply put, this means what your mind dwells on, will happen. The more you think about something, the more chance it will happen. When feeding our mind thoughts, our brain will send signals to our body, which will make it react in a certain way. Remember that you don’t want to obsess over an outcome you don’t want.
Feeding your mind good thoughts, by reading or watching positive birth experiences, positive birth affirmation and using visualisations, means using the Law of Attraction to your advantage. It will help replace fear and anxiety, with confidence and trust.
4. Being pre-occupied with negative thoughts about birth means you aren’t enjoying your pregnancy as much as you could. You will most likely feel (even more!) tired, because worrying in general is time-consuming and exhausting!
Of course birth wouldn’t be birth, if there wouldn’t be any unexpected ‘plot twists’. A very important part of hypnobirthing is the knowledge and information aspect. Knowing your rights & options, understanding the process of birth which will leave you to feel confident and trust in your own body and your birth partner. This is what will make you feel prepared to go into birth. So that you will be ready for whichever way birth will unfold.
Here are my top tips for replacing negative thoughts with positivity:
· Stop yourself when you realise you are thinking a negative thought. Tell your mind something positive instead, even if it you don’t really believe it (yet).
· Listen to your hypnobirthing relaxation scripts.
· Read and repeat your positive affirmations daily. (several times a day)
· Read/watch positive birth stories.
· Prepare yourself by practicing your hypnobirthing breathing techniques, reading your hypnobirthing book and surrounding yourself with everything positive birth related.
· Stop anyone from sharing negative birth stories with you.
· Talk about it with your birth partner(s), friend, family member,… If you think you need more help, you can get in touch with specialised charities or organisations.
If you're are pregnant and are scared, anxious or worried about giving birth, get in touch to learn more about the benefits of hypnobirthing and how it can help you to feel calm and confident and look forward to giving birth. Nova Vida Birthing - Hypnobirthing Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge