As the weeks and days pass by (ever so quickly) and the arrival of BabyN gets closer and closer it would be normal for me to feel nervous. After all, this is my first child and I don’t really know what awaits me. It would be normal for me to feel anxious.
In all honesty I can say all I feel is excitement and I do feel totally prepared and ready to take this on using only the breath, affirmations and meditation. The reason behind this confidence is the Hypnobirthing course I attended with Joymamma on the Sunshine Coast.
The idea behind Hypnobirthing is simple, birth is a joyful experience and our bodies are designed for easy, natural birthing. By using the breath and self hypnosis the mother taps into her body and works with the muscles by actively relaxing and removing tension to allow the body to do what it is designed to. Throughout the course I felt so many parallels with yoga and with each week felt more grounded and confident within myself to face this amazing and challenging experience.
Taught by Carrie, who is also a yoga teacher, this course is the only birthing course I have taken and I CANNOT express how amazing it was for me. To shed a little more light on Hypnobirthing and why it is so awesome, I thought I would introduce Carrie as a Modern Yogi Mama.
How long have you been teaching Hypnobirthing and why did you decide to train to become a teacher/practitioner?
I used self-hypnosis to birth my third child. The techniques were simple to learn and Charlie’s birth was very easy – especially compared to his sisters’. I wanted to share these skills with other mothers. I wanted partners to be involved in the process. Birthing calmly is one of the most sacred experiences a woman can go through. We can’t always control the events which shape our birth, but we can determine what happens on the inside. HypnoBirthing is based on physiological and medical evidence. It is a toolkit of physical and mental skills which empower couples to welcome the events of labour and birth, however they unfold. For two years now, I have felt privileged to be part of the excitement. Joymamma is my passion.
Why is a yoga practice is so beneficial for expectant mums?
Yoga postures help to tone the muscles which are used for birthing. These poses or asanas awaken vital energy within the body. The poses feel natural and offer relief from many pregnancy-related aches and pains. When the body is in an asana, breath becomes quicker and sharper if discomfort surfaces. An expectant mum learns to notice this stress and her awareness is a useful tool: rather than shying away from discomfort, yoga teaches her how to relax into it and to surrender to the pose. Just like she will need to surrender to the birthing process. By breathing properly, she will stay calm, focused and in control of what happens on the inside.
Prenatal yoga classes create a warm, supportive environment. Expectant mothers can share confidences about the challenges they expect to face; a mum can focus on herself; she can bond and communicate with her unborn baby. All classes end in Svasana, a fifteen minute relaxation, which makes room for the stillness that is within us – that part of us which already knows how to have a baby.
What do you feel are the similarities between Hypnobirthing and yoga?
HypnoBirthing and yoga are a partnership. They complement each other perfectly. Together, they fully support the birthing woman. Both pay particular attention to breathing and how breath can be used to cope with stress. The HypnoBirthing course also prepares the birthing partner in these breathing techniques. Their emotional support is vital in helping mum to remain calm.
Your best piece of advice to women nervous about giving birth?
Read books. Get educated. Attend birth education classes with your partner. Talk to women who have had good experiences and avoid those who haven’t! If we educate and train ourselves, birth need not be scary or traumatic. It’s what our bodies are designed to do and, for some women, it doesn’t even have to hurt. Find a prenatal yoga class and attend at least once a week.
The ecology of the womb is affected by a mother’s emotions, energy and attitude. The self- nurturing practice of pregnancy yoga creates a physical and spiritual wellbeing in mother and un- born child. The seamless combination of HypnoBirthing and prenatal yoga prepares a woman for the natural process of birth to move through her.
Carrie suggests reading anything by Ina May Gaskin, Janet Balaskas, Sarah Buckley, Marie Mongan and Pam England.