Hypnobirthing: Is it all in your head?

We are conditioned from childhood to believe one thing about childbirth…
It will be the most painful experience in a woman’s life.
We’ve seen it in tv shows, movies, and heard it from generations of mothers all of our lives. But is this the truth for everyone? Is it the only way?

Hypnobirthing has changed my entire belief system of child birth and what it CAN be.

I am an admitted hospital phobe. I get faint being in and around hospitals. I get faint thinking about needles and giving blood. My blood pressure shot up thinking about getting pregnant and having to go through all of the routine procedures involved in pregnancy. I told my midwife about my fears and she thought I would be a good candidate for a hypnobirthing childbirth course.

When I heard the word hypnobirthing I thought about being in a trance and a watch being dangled in front of my face. Again, this was just ignorance. But wanting to have a smooth childbirth, I was willing to try anything.

Turns out it was the perfect thing for me.

In the last 5 years of my hubby and my life journey, being positive kept popping up. We had our own anxieties while we were living abroad in Greece. One of the things that helped us and that we worked on daily was being positive. Trying to put a positive spin to anything and everything. We realized that you have to retrain your brain to be positive.

We came across some information somewhere that estimated that our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day. Of those 50,000 thoughts, it is estimated that 70-80% are negative. So I am not crazy for having some fears. But how to change that?

You DO have control over those thoughts. If you are having a negative thought, you can stop it. If you are having a positive thought, you can stop it.

Hypnobirthing has changed all of my thoughts about childbirth from negative to positive. Through the lessons I have learned in class, I have released my fears and anxieties. I have completely transformed my visions of what childbirth can be.

Will people think I am crazy?
Yes.
That I don’t know what I am talking about? Yes.
That I am in for a rude awakening?
Yes.
Well, what do I have to say to that?
They are just being negative!

You’re using a midwife? WHAT #@?

“Are you crazy?”

“Are you having your baby in a bathtub?”

“Good luck with that! (sarcastically)”

“You have no idea what you are getting into!”
These are just a few of the responses I got to my plans to use midwives for the birth of my first child.

I am five weeks away from the birth of my first baby and I plan to have natural childbirth, use hypnobirthing techniques, and midwives. (possibly water birth if it’s available)

It might sound strange that I haven’t really talked to any one close to me about my plans to use midwives and natural childbirth methods.   But not really.   Would you talk to people about your childbirth plans if these were the responses you got?

I think it’s really sad that there are so many misconceptions in the U.S. about midwives and the role they can play in childbirth.   But because I was met with such judgement, I found it easier to just not say anything at all rather than have it thrown back in my face.   I also didn’t want people to think that I was belittling the way that they chose to give birth, through the choices I am making.

Reasons my husband and I chose midwifery:
1.   Watching the movie “The Business of Being Born” : I highly recommend this to anyone newly pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or even thinking about getting pregnant.  It was truly eyeopening about the “business” of childbirth in America’s hospitals.  It helped us decide that midwives were aligned with our goals and hopes for childbirth.

2. Fears and Anxiety:  I have had many phobias about hospitals, needles, and blood.  The thought of pregnancy and childbirth scared me enough, that we kept it on the back burner for years.  I liked the idea of a midwife being with me for the long haul of labor, and not for the 10 minutes before the baby’s arrival like a physician.  This helped to quell some of my hospital fears.
3.  Mothering approach: From my personal experience, midwives have a more nurturing approach to patient care and the childbirth process.  From day one, I have felt comfortable telling them about my fears/anxieties, as well as goals/hopes for childbirth.  I felt the opposite with my physician.

Now as I approach the arrival of my baby, I think maybe I should have been more vocal to friends, family, strangers about my choices for childbirth.  I guess that’s why I am writing this now.

Maybe people would benefit from hearing about my plans.  Maybe people would become more educated and informed about birthing options.  Maybe people would become less judgmental.   Maybe they will be supportive of my choices.  Maybe they would understand.

Maybe…  Until they hear about hynobirthing!