ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYPNOBIRTHING

Guest Post - Kerry Sutcliffe, The Hypnobirthing Mum

As a pregnant woman hopefully you are feeling excited about the upcoming birth of your baby but you may also feel nervous, worried or even fearful of childbirth. We often hear how painful or scary birth is from TV, movies or from family and friends, but what if you were told it doesn’t have to be this way? What if you could give birth in a calm, positive and empowering manner! Well hypnobirthing can help you achieve this!

WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing is an approach to birth that prepares the mother, baby and birth partner towards a positive birthing experience.

The hypnotherapy aspect of hypnobirthing concentrates on eliminating any fears we associate with birth in order to break the fear-tension-pain cycle. Alongside the self-hypnosis skills that hypnotherapy teaches, techniques including relaxation, breathing and visualisation are also incorporated so that both the psychological and physical elements of birth are covered. These techniques are designed to reduce the level of stress hormones and act as natural pain-relieving methods in order to achieve a calmer, gentler birth. In fact, did you know that endorphins which are a hormone naturally released by a woman during birth is up to 40 times more powerful than morphine – and hypnobirthing can show you how to condition yourself to release these!

WHAT ARE THE OTHER BENEFITS OF A HYPNOBIRTHING APPROACH TO BIRTH? 
Hypnobirthing is viewed by some as an unscientific or hippie-like thing to do. However, a recent study evidenced a range of benefits from this type of approach to birth, which showed advantages to both mother and baby including:

• Significantly reduced rates of epidurals and caesarean births
• Less perineal trauma
• Shorter second stage of labour
• Shorter hospital stay following birth
• Reduced need for pharmacological interventions
• Decreasing the fear associated with childbirth
• Less likelihood of newborn requiring resuscitation

So hands up who would like a birth like this!!!

WHEN SHOULD YOU DO HYPNOBIRTHING? 
Pregnant women can attend hypnobirthing classes, such as those run by The Hypnobirthing Mum, at any point during your pregnancy. The ideal time is between 20-30 weeks so that you have time to practice the techniques and alter your mindset towards one that views birth in a more confident manner, however with the right level of determination and enthusiasm a mother can attend anytime up to 37 weeks.

WHAT IF THINGS DON'T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN?
Sometimes there are special circumstances that mean you may not have the birth you wished for - but hypnobirthing mums are great at managing this! Mums who undertake hypnobirthing classes are provided with information regarding the choices they have during birth, giving them the comprehensive knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their birthing experience. When you are informed and educated you are more able to make good, considered decisions about changes to your birth preferences (should the need arise) during your birth.

Hypnobirthing mums and birth partners are prepared to calmly manage whatever path their birth takes and can positively approach any given situation ensuring they know that they gave their baby the best possible birth from the circumstances they were given. There is even a course from Hypnobirthing Australia™ specifically designed for caesarean births!

When a mother and her birth partner can approach childbirth feeling prepared with the right knowledge, information and tools this results in a positive and confident mindset that can lead to the beautiful births that so many women hope for – and which CAN be achieved!

About the author
Kerry Sutcliffe is a Certified Hypnobirthing Practitioner and Childbirth Educator (HPCE) based in Sydney. She is a hypnobirthing mum to 3 gorgeous children – Hollie, Bethany and Jack – and doing a hypnobirthing course was “without doubt the best thing I did to prepare for birth and welcome them into the world!” Three calm and positive birth experiences led her to being a passionate advocate for this approach to birth and she now runs ‘The Hypnobirthing Mum’ where she delivers the Hypnobirthing Australia™ programmes to pregnant women and their birth partners. Kerry loves teaching this approach to other women and would love to hear from you if you are interested in hypnobirthing so that you too can start your journey towards a wonderful and beautiful way to meet your baby!

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