It is natural to feel fear when thinking of giving birth naturally, especially if you live in western culture. In almost every TV show, movie, commercial, or book we are fed the message of fear, pain, and the unknown. I have been there, I totally get it. Even after having given birth naturally twice and having had a wonderful experience and a horrible experience I understand the fear. There are so many questions about the condition of the baby, the pain tolerance of the mother, and other circumstances that are simply out of our control.
What has surprised me more than anything is that my mind is a muscle and it can be strengthened in fear and it can also be strengthened in hope. Did you know that you can condition your mind to relax and TRUST your body to do what it was designed to do? That is the premise and foundation of Hypnobabies, a self hypnosis program that allows you as the mother to have fear clearing and relaxation so deep that pain is virtually erased. I will tell you that I was a skeptic, but after having had two deliveries where pain so present in my labor and I was still able to make it through on the other side, realized that perhaps there is a better way to experience my birthing experience.
I am now almost 34 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby and I am in the very beginning stages of preparing to go natural again. As I did my research and contemplated the option of going natural or not I realized there are a few key components that I believe are essential to a wonderful birthing experience.
You must commit to the process.
Hypnobabies is a process of training your mind to connect with your body in a way that allows for complete and total relaxation. It is not a passive program that you can try intermittently as you get closer to having your baby. YOU HAVE TO COMMIT to the daily routine of training your mind to relax and trusting that your body was designed to do what it has done thousands of years before us. I understood this more than ever when I interviewed a delivery nurse and she told me that this was the key to success. If you go into labor thinking “if’s” or “maybes”, chances are you will not follow through with it.
Surrounding yourself with support is essential.
I didn’t realize how much this held me back until my husband finally told me that he was on board with this process. He was scared too and was worried about the outcome and potentially his lack of being able to help me. One of the things that I love about Hypnobabies the most is that there is a program for the birth partner too. You are both equipped with tools and understanding of the role you play in the progression of labor.
It is also extremely important to have a doctor/midwife that is on board with your birth plan as well. You want to know that you have people in your corner when the going gets tough. I wish we could guarantee that we all would have nurses that are on board with our plan, but it happens to be luck of the draw most of the time. When I delivered my son I KNEW the head nurse was doubtful that I would be capable of going natural and she kept pushing the anesthesia papers on me. I wouldn’t sign them and it actually made me more resolute to prove her wrong! 🙂
Dodge the scary stories as much as possible.
Your Aunt Marge, neighbor Cindy, and cousin Kate will all want to tell you about their horrifying experience with labor. Stop them! As women we naturally want to share and commiserate with our stories, the good and the bad. But if you are preparing for a natural birth it is best that you avoid the types of stories that make you fearful or uncomfortable. Sometimes you cannot always dodge that bullet, but do the best that you can. I actually have cut some stories off before as politely as I could to avoid getting those fear filled thoughts from stirring around in my own mind.
As I prepare for the second time to use the Hypnobabies program I feel like I do need to go through the process again of overcoming fear and mentally preparing myself for the process of labor. I can tell you that once I finished the program the last time around I have never felt more excited than when I went into labor and knew it was “game time!” I was so pumped up and excited for the process. It remains to this day one of the most bonding experiences in my marriage.
What was my labor like? I will tell you more in detail in my next post, but for tonight I am going to go catch up on my next hypnobabies track because if I wait to do it too late at night I always fall asleep!
Please let me know if you have any questions!
I am an affiliate of Hypnobabies and receive a small commission if you decide to buy any of their products. I sincerely believe in this approach and would love to help you if you have any questions about my experience.
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