I run hypnobirthing classes in Stratford-upon-Avon.
If you are seeking techniques to help you have a calm and more comfortable birth, free from fear and worry, then hypnobirthing may be just right for you.
It is perfectly normal that concerns can develop during pregnancy about giving birth to your baby - we have often been conditioned to believe that labour is an excruciatingly painful experience; from things that people say to us, or from TV programmes or films that we see. But birth doesn't have to be like that. You can experience your birth feeling relaxed and fully in control. But don't just take my word for it, read some of the comments previous clients have made! And for the birth partners, hypnobirthing offers many skills and techniques to help you be the best birth partner, staying calm yourself and helping your partner to feel relaxed and safe.
Hypnobirthing is as much about believing in your ability to birth your child easily and comfortably as learning breathing and relaxation techniques. Given good preparation you will totally relax and let your body work naturally and well, as nature intended.
What You Will Learn
- Special breathing techniques for relxation and childbirth
- Visualisations to enable you to work confidently with your body
- Massage techniques to release endorphins
- Fear release methods to overcome concerns about giving birth and parenting
- Birth affirmations to increase confidence and trust
- Skills and knowledge to build confidence and calmness
- A calm and peaceful birth experience
- A special integral role for the birth partner
- Eliminate or greatly reduce the need for chemical painkillers
- A more enjoyable pregnancy and birth
- More energy for birth
- Calm and happy babies
- A more rapid postnatal recovery
The uterus is an amazing muscle. We must understand the way in which the uterus functions naturally in order to understand how fear can throw a monkey wrench into the workings of this smooth birthing muscle.
There are three layers of muscle in the uterus. The two layers with which we will be concerned are the outer layer, with muscles that are vertical, and the inner layer, with muscles that are horizontally circular.
The circular muscles of the inner layer are found in the lower portion of the uterus with the muscle being thickest just above the opening, or neck, of the uterus. In order for the outlet of the uterus to open and permit the baby to easily move down, through, and out of the uterus into the birth canal, these thicker muscles have to be drawn up and back.
The stronger muscles at the top of the outer layer of the uterus are vertical fibres. They go up the back and over the top of the uterus, drawing up the relaxed circular muscles. In an almost wavelike motion, these long muscle bands shorten and flex to push the baby down, through, and ultimately out of the uterus.
When the labouring woman is in a comfortable state of relaxation, the two sets of muscles work in harmony, as they were intended to. The surge of the vertical muscles draws up, flexes, and expels; and the circular muscles open and draw back to allow this to happen. Birthing then goes smoothly and easily.
Babies are born with innate and instinctive survival behaviours which are intended to ensure we survive and eventually reproduce so that, in turn, our species survives. During labour and birth this survival behaviour is especially important to ensure a healthy baby is born, that its birth is as untraumatic as possible and that giving birth is, not just physically possible but also rewarding so that we are happy to reproduce again. The birth process is governed by a delicate balance of hormones which are designed to promote safety and encourage successful outcomes. Hypnobirthing is about preparing for childbirth, understanding how these hormones can hinder, or promote, normal birth and learning how to relax to allow the body’s normal physiological response to labour to work. It also teaches how fear that causes tension prevents this normal process working and how this fear can be removed. The three main hormones involved are oxytocin, catecholamines and endorphins.
Oxytocin is a very important hormone for labour. It has often been referred to as the hormone of love. It is released from the posterior pituitary gland in response to stimulation of the reproductive areas including the vagina, cervix and nipples. In labour it causes the uterus to contract and maintains the progress of labour. As the baby moves down against the vagina and pelvic floor more oxytocin is released. Even more is released as the baby crowns and the perineal tissues are stretched. This final surge initiates the separation of the placenta.
After birth oxytocin is released during breastfeeding. This causes the uterus to contract aiding its return to a pre-pregnant condition. It also raises the mum’s temperature so that the baby stays warm when next to her skin and it induces maternal, nurturing behaviour.
Fear or anxiety can inhibit oxytocin production resulting in a slowing of labour, slow dilatation of the cervix and a prolonged second stage.
Fear also creates other chemical changes in the body. When we are stressed catecholamines, such as adrenaline, are triggered so that we immediately experience a 'fight or flight' response. In labour these catecholamines cause the muscles within the uterus and elsewhere to tense. This prevents further dilatation of the cervix.
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. They modify pain, create a sense of well-being, and alter perception of time and place. During pregnancy a woman’s body undergoes a natural state of stress as it copes with the extra workload due to the needs of the developing baby. As the months pass, endorphin levels gradually rise in response to this stress. When in labour endorphin levels will continue to rise and remain high. As soon as the baby is born the woman will experience the characteristic euphoric state of high endorphin levels. This is essential to ensure bonding and survival.
Through relaxation, self-hypnosis and guided imagery taught in Hypnobirthing classes you will be able to tap into these natural tranquilizers – endorphins – and prevent catecholamines being triggered.
Hypnobirthing classes usually take place on Saturday mornings from 10am to 12:30pm. Classes run for four weeks. However, I can be flexible and if this time does not suit you then let me know and I will fit in with you.
Group classes are £225 and one to one sessions £325.