Hypnowhaaaat... Sounds too New Age for me, doesn't it?
Hypnobirthing. If I could change the name I would, why? Well it puts a lot of people (myself included when I first read about it!) off on first glance doesn't it. It screams "someone is controlling your mind", "space age nonsense" or "something to keep you distracted as you wait for the inevitable cascade of medical help required to bring a baby Earthside".
Well, here's a shocker. It is none of those things, but unfortunately it's too late for me to go about changing the name now! Hypnobirthing is actually a flexible, practical and effective antenatal education which gives you a set of tools to use to help you prepare your mind and body for birth. Additionally the golden rule of hypnosis is that 'all hypnosis, is self hypnosis' - you mind will not allow you to take on ideas which feel harmful or unhelpful to you, and you are always in full control of your mind and body.
When you get started on a course, you quickly realise that it is logical, evidence based and actually very similar to sports psychology approaches used by many many athletes today, to improve their performance during mental and physical challenges such as marathons, big tournaments or recovery from injury/setbacks. I find it hard to wrap my head around our reluctance to invest time and money into birth preparation* given that it is usually the biggest physical and emotional challenge we set ourselves in life, and that we would never approach a big interview, or race in the same way - because we know that practice, support and resilience are key to pushing through the challenge successfully. That's not to say that a hypnobirthing course it will guarantee you any particular outcome for you or your baby, but that your hypnobirthing education will help stack the odds in your favour of achieving your desired birth, and give you strategies to keep your experience positive if despite all of your practice, nature throws you a curveball.
* For the record, that's no judgement of you. I clearly remember being apprehensive about investing in it during my first pregnancy, and I'm still not entirely sure why I decided to go for it, but I can't express how glad I am now, that we did!
Hypnobirthing here at Supernova is a fresh approach designed to fill you with confidence in your own abilities as you understand how normal labour unfolds and how best to support that in a time and place where physiological birth is seen as untrustworthy and unachievable for most, whilst also acknowledging that the current maternity system and societal approach to birth, often makes achieving a natural or positive birth harder for people but that it can also be easily improved when you know how to. There are sooo many ways that you and your birth partner can work towards creating your ideal birth scenario. Ways to decide on your best birth location, to minimise pain, maximise choice, surrender to the power of birth and work closely with your care providers to get the best from your experience.
I love sharing this information because after having my first baby, I felt like the only person talking about having enjoyed my labour. It made me feel sad, angry and more than a little guilty that so many women felt failed by the exact same experience and systems which we had passed through together. I had learned to own my power and thrived despite the challenges, when so many other didn't know there was an alternative. I realised I could help other families come away feeling how I did - one top of the world and proud of myself, instead of feeling vulnerable or traumatised. (You can read my first birth experience here if you'd like to top up on positive birth stories, and if you have one of your own - PLEASE let me share it here by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org to help others get their fill too!)
As a thorough antenatal course, we also go over the What If's so that you're prepared for all situations, not just a typical expectation of a Hypnobirth (which lets face is unfortunately still seen as: will birth outside of a medical setting at all costs, decline all medical intervention, no pain relief considered and little interaction with care providers). The reality is that most of my clients over the years have not fallen into this stereotype and neither did I. Most women's experience will fall right in the middle ground of the stereotypical extremes 'free birth in the woods, with the local unicorn providing calming songs and ethereal experiences' and 'highly medicalised, out of control, birth was done to me not by me'. I have had clients who have happily and confidently hypnobirthed in a hospital or birth centre, used more or less drugs than they planned during labour, and who have moved from their Plan A of a home water birth, right through to their Plan C of a calm, positive, emergency C-Section because it was right for them I the moment... and THAT is the bit that matters. Being able to make informed decisions as you go, staying in control of what you can, and accepting what you can't, knowing the whole time that you are simply INCREDIBLE, however your baby is born.
So there you go - I won't be controlling your mind, filling you up with false expectations or promising you a pain free birth as a chant to your vagina whilst wafting incense around the room! The word Hypnobirthing may bring to mind snake oil, hippies and pocket watches, but all you'll find here is logic, empowerment and information!
More information about the courses on offer can be found on our Courses page.