Ok so I went for a Hypnobirthing Experience ! Do you want to know a bit more about it?? Here’s my story. I’ve decided to do it in three parts, as that’s the great thing about it, it helps you in all stages. Even post birth and also outside of the birth process altogether if you want it to. It can be applied to all sorts of scenarios.

So it all started when my husband, Will, came home one night from work when I was probably about 15 weeks pregnant and he mentioned it to me. We had talked about it before, as my sister in-law said it was really worth it, but I had only just got my head around the fact I was actually pregnant and starting to tell people. I think Will was a little concerned that I was a bit of a control freak and with birth being one of the few things in life you can’t control, he was a bit worried. So off I went and did a bit of research.

How to find a Hypnobirthing Experience practitioner

So I did the obvious and googled it. A few came up in the local Warwickshire area but I also wanted someone with qualifications through the National Hypnotherapy Society. Then I found Leonie Darch. Her website is called Happy Healthy Babies and I thought – Yes please I would really like one of those! I also mentioned her name to a few people and said how great she was too. So off I went and looked into classes. Plus she only lived around the corner.

Leonie offers either group sessions or individual. Now I can understand why the majority of her clients go 121 but I was interested in meeting other mums and being able to share our experiences so I went for the group option.


Best time to go to Hypnobirthing classes

To be honest you can go at any time. I felt that about 25 weeks was good for me as it wasn’t too early, I’d got past the dreaded 20 week scan and the birth didn’t feel too far away – over half way there, and it gave me enough time to practice too.

The course was over 4 sessions of 2 hours. When we arrived for our first one, I think Will was kind of a bit like ‘ermmm what have we let ourselves in for’, but as he suggested it he had to follow through now, ha.

I was also really curious as to what the other people would be like, would they be really spiritual and totally into hypnotherapy? Had they had a Hypnobirthing Experience before? But as soon as I walked in the room I met two lovely ladies with their husbands and we were all exactly in the same boat. Non of us had a clue what to expect. So basically you don’t need to have practiced it at all – just have an open mind and believe that this can help. I’m quite sceptical so this was huge for me.

Leonie immediately put our minds at rest. She’s such a happy lady, very chilled and softly spoken and I knew we had picked really well.


What Hypnobirthing sessions are about?

Leonie’s definition on her website is as follows:

“It’s about fully preparing you as parents to feel confident, calm and in control. It’s about making choices that are right for you. Quite simply, it’s about creating comfortable and positive birth experiences that are right for you and your baby”.

Well I’m not going to go into too much detail as that’s what the classes are for but the principle is that we follow a particular programme and learn various techniques to use in the build up and during the labour process. These can be anything from breathing techniques to visualisation. It took me a while to get my head around the visualisation but it really does work. Time does go by so quickly and before you know it you’re through a contraction (fake one of course!). We also watched some actual hypno births (which were an eye opener – especially for the men) and yes it really does work. I was literally in tears at how beautiful they were. There are plenty on You Tube to look at too. It also makes you think very positively about birth and trusting what your body is very capable of. Even just understanding how a contraction works in the body helped me relax. Before I went to Leonie’s sessions, all I associated with birth was the big fat word PAIN, but I came away from them with not only a zillion techniques to use on the day but I was actually looking forward to it.

I’m not saying it means you’ll have the perfect birth but it will definitely help to try and achieve it and if things don’t go to plan on the day, all the powerful techniques help you get through whatever is thrown at you and help you to remain calm and relaxed throughout e.g. if you need to be induced for example as you would always put the needs of the baby first or a non planned c-section.


Benefits of Hypnobirthing

There are a number of benefits and for more info please head to Leonie’s website but the main ones for me were as follows. Eliminating the fear out of birth….I was literally petrified at the thought of squishing a human being the size of a large football out!! Especially as it was growing like it was going to be an 8 pounder!! But I felt relaxed and couldn’t wait for the day to arrive and meet my little one. I never thought I would feel like that in a million years. It’s also said to help reduce the need for intervention and medication, as I really didn’t want to have any pain relief if I could help it. And finally it could help towards achieving a shorter labour. I’d heard horror stories of four day labours, once I’d announced my pregnancy, as everyone loves telling a good old birthing story. Eeeek!

I was also surprised to find that I could actually use the techniques in other areas of my life. I was quite stressed and busy towards the end of my pregnancy at work, as I left it less than 3 weeks before starting maternity leave. I was so conscious that I wanted to make sure everything was handed over properly before my maternity break. Using some of the breathing techniques and visualisation or just giving myself permission to have time out on my lunch break, really helped those last few days.

Would you run a marathon without training?

I don’t think so – so why on earth would you not want to put some kind of prep into something that will change your life forever? Especially if it’s your first. So okay you’ve been to classes and learnt all the techniques but it wont just happen unfortunately. You have to put the time in to practice them, so that when the day finally arrives you are so prepared, you’ve already visualised the birth, and its easy peasy!! Leonie provides you with MP3’s to help practice the techniques too.


The husband or birth partners role

Whoever you choose to have along to your birth, in my case, my husband Will, there is a role for them to play but I often imagine they feel like a spare part sometimes. The woman could feel immense pressure too, as at the end of the day we’re the one which needs to get the bundle out!! This is where hypnobirthing really helped us. Going along to the classes together really helped Will understand the process, but also learning the techniques together meant Will could fully contribute on the day and make sure I was doing it right. It also gave me confidence that I had help there. Also practising together up until the day meant it really made us focus on what was really going to change our lives forever and prepped us for our little arrival. Leonie helped us prep a birthing plan and a few hints and tips as to what to take on the day.

So how was I feeling now?? Calm, relaxed and ready for the day to arrive, like I said I was genuinely looking forward to meeting my little one. So yes I was sceptical about the whole thing but after Leonie’s classes I became a big believer in it. I thought what have I got to lose, it’s got me this far already, given me heaps of confidence that I can do this and I’m not even at the birth yet. Amazing right?? And I would 100% recommend it even if you’re as sceptical as I was.

Has anyone reading this had a Hypnobirthing Experience before or thinking about it?? Please tell us about it or comment or ask any other questions. I’d love to help in any way I can. Look out for Part 2: The birth!!

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All photographs taken by Little Beanies Photography.

I am a photographer and founder of Little Beanies Photography specialising in bumps, babies and families. Little Beanies Photography is a fun, natural, relaxed experience using only natural light to capture the real moments in life.

I would love it if you had a look at my work here and if you would like any further information please contact here

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