Guest Blog – wriiten by Emma Riley
The mind is a powerful thing and when it comes to birth it can help to shape our experience into a positive one or hinder the process through fear.
We know how effective mindfulness can be in every day life. How to slow down and be present, to de-stress, to relieve tensions in our bodies and to manage our anxieties. Think how effective it can be in pregnancy and birth!
When we talk about birth it conjures up all kinds of negative connotations for a lot of people. Pain, rushing, urgency and lots of unknowns.
What if we stopped for a moment and learned why we are fearful. What are these unknowns? Then we can start to reframe how we view the idea of birth.
When we are scared we release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Our muscles get tense, our thinking brain takes over and we feel unnecessary pain in our bodies.
This is why antenatal education and mindful hypnobirthing techniques are so important for preparing for the arrival of a baby.
There are 3 Key Areas that Mindful Hypnobirthing is Centred Around:
1. Knowing Your Options The importance of understanding the physiology of birth and what our body is actually doing when we’re in labour. This also applies to understanding the abdominal birth process if we are planning for a cesarean. Knowledge allows us to be able to see the purpose and stages of what’s happening, taking away the unknown aspects. Informed decision making is something that can only be done if you understand the benefits, risks and alternatives of a choice or intervention. Knowing what your options are and how they relate to you personally and planning for different scenarios really helps to make the right decisions for you, especially if things take an unexpected turn.
2. Your Environment Choosing where to give birth, knowing what’s available to you there and adapting that environment to support the hormones of birth plays a really important role in your birth experience.
3. Mindfulness Techniques Relaxation and breathing techniques are fantastic coping mechanisms that we know work to allow our bodies to release tension. They also help to get us into a positive state of mind to help produce the birth hormone oxytocin. Alongside oxytocin, we can also produce endorphins our body’s natural pain reliever.
Birth can be unpredictable and everyone’s experience will be different. All of the tools, techniques and evidence based knowledge that can be learned through mindful hypnobirthing can be applied to all situations and modes of birth.
Emma Riley is a local Mindful Hypnobirthing teacher and used these techniques for both of her children’s births to have very positive experiences. A sceptic at first, she was surprised at how logical, scientific and powerful mindful hypnobirthing was.
She teaches online and in person courses for expectant parents to fully prepare and support them to take control of their birth experiences whatever path this may take them on.
PS: Please note this content and therapy is not provided by Woodside Clinic, please contact Emma directly.