The name "HypnoBirthing" may conjure up of all sorts of weird, whacky and nonsensical images. When I first came across it for the birth of my third baby 13 years ago, I was in all honesty ready to try ANYTHING - after the medically managed births of my first two babies. Fast forward to 2018 and I've been teaching this program on the Sunshine Coast for 6 years and have had the pleasure of meeting over 300 couples who have taken the plunge to discover and learn!
For many couples, the events surrounding birth can be overwhelming and dis-empowering; as we move through a time of actively managed labours, where women no longer trust their bodies or their deeply intuitive mind.
At 36 weeks Ebony contacted me to enquire about joining a HypnoBirthing course. At this late stage, I offered to take her and husband Tom through the program week by week - just in case baby came before the full program had finished. As it turned out her daughter waited - and gave Ebony another week to ensure she had chance to practice her techniques of remaining patient and calm!
At 42 weeks, medical induction was looming and we kept in touch during the lead up. The threat of induction made her feel anxious, stressed and very emotional. Ebony was induced; waters broken, syntocinon administered, constant foetal monitoring, scalpel monitors that failed, a busy hospital room with interference and minimal privacy or intimacy. Not what physiological birth is all about! But this is what can happen in the modern way of birth management. However, Ebony and Tom came away from that experience feeling empowered, positive and at peace from what they had learned through their sessions with me.
From what could have turned into another horror birth story, instead husband Tom had the confidence to suggest non-invasive alternatives that helped Ebony find her focus and the trust in her body that she needed to birth her baby calmly and in control.
This is a crucial element of the HypnoBirthing program - teaching partners about their role in birth, how they can advocate, speak up and protect their women amidst all the activity in a hospital setting that goes against natural, physiological birthing. Partners that trust and believe in birth, in their woman and their baby can guard the birth space with confidence. Tom did this perfectly and had he not - then the birth of their daughter may not have been as empowering as Ebony writes:
"I just wanted to thank you for all of your help with preparing Tom and I for the birth of our beautiful little girl, Callie Eve McGrane on 06.06.2018.
My pregnancy lasted for 42 beautiful weeks. After trying EVERYTHING to start labour naturally I was booked in to get induced on Wednesday, 6th June. The threat of being induced made me feel very stressed in the few days beforehand however you were so supportive and helpful throughout that time which helped a lot.
Following our hospital appointment on Tuesday 5th, they booked us in to get induced that night. The sudden change made me feel very anxious & super emotional but thankfully my hypnobirthing techniques kicked in to help me come to terms with it.
The midwives broke my waters that night and started the drip the following morning. Your classes and the skills you taught us helped immensely. We were able to stay calm and we welcomed our beautiful little girl 7.5 hours after the drip started, without any other intervention or pain relief.
Due to being induced the midwives were monitoring our bubs heartbeat the whole time. The first fetal scalp clip didn't work consistently, so we tried a heart rate monitor around my belly. This also didn't work consistently so we tried a 2nd scalp clip. This one also kept dropping in and out & there was a period of time when the midwives couldn't find our bubs heartbeat. Because of this the head midwife suggested we try a 3rd clip. This was in the midst of quite intense surges.
Your classes gave my hubby the confidence to ask the head midwife to have a discussion outside (as I had 3 midwives asking me questions whilst I was trying to breathe through my surges). Tom was able to make an informed decision and requested we try the shower for a little while as I knew in my heart that our little girl was OK. Thankfully the shower helped and I was able to peacefully focus back on my breathing. This worked wonders and within another 1.5 hours we had our little girl in our arms.
Throughout the majority of my labour, someone was constantly touching my belly to monitor our little girls heartbeat. Because of your wonderfully thorough, supportive & educational classes, I was able to stay in my zone with the confidence that Tom completely had my back.
I am forever grateful to you for empowering both of us & helping us achieve our goal of a positive & peaceful birth experience! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Tom & Ebony Xx