What can I learn from a hypnobirthing course?

Are you planning to be pregnant, pregnant already or know someone who is pregnant? Have you heard about hypnobirthing but you’re not quite sure what it is? Have you wondered why you should do a hypnobirthing course? Then keep reading, as I would like to explain what hypnobirthing is and how it can benefit you (or any woman, for that matter).

If you’re a first-time mum, you are most likely wondering if hypnobirthing can help you prepare for labour and birth. Yes it can!

Maybe you have a family already, but you gave birth to them without using hypnobirthing techniques. Perhaps you want to know whether doing hypnobirthing classes could give you a better birth experience, because you have heard other people say great things about them. Yes it can!

Or maybe you know someone who is pregnant and you want to find out how learning hypnobirthing can support her.

Perhaps the road to pregnancy has been a bumpy one. Hypnobirthing can benefit each and every expectant mum, regardless of her pregnancy journey so far. If your road has had a few bumps along the way, hypnobirthing can give you the support that you need to reassure you through pregnancy and prepare you for labour with a calmer approach.

While the word ‘hypnobirthing’ can be misleading, a hypnobirthing course is a down-to-earth and practical approach to understanding and appreciating pregnancy and labour as a natural process. Statistically, very few women need medical assistance to give birth to their baby and thousands of women around the world are choosing to reconnect with their intuitive side and find a new approach to welcoming labour and birth with calm confidence.

Whilst a big part of hypnobirthing is about how relaxed the mother is, the other factors that also contribute to having a positive experience are:

  • being in control of your birth preferences
  • being listened to
  • letting yourself go
  • trusting in your instincts and understanding mother nature and your body
  • having a supportive and calm birthing partner who can advocate for you

I can confidently say that hypnobirthing works. I applied hypnobirthing to both my pregnancies and labour, and I can clearly see how it helped me deal with those experiences and allowed me to look back at those labours with fondness and happiness – understanding when hypnobirthing supported me. Yes it sounds a bit ‘out there’ but seriously it isn’t — the crux of it is straightforward, logical, natural and quite normal actually.

So if you’re still wondering whether hypnobirthing is for you or not, think no more. It is!

Despite the word being linked specifically to birth, hypnobirthing is a skill for life. You can use the relaxation and visualisation techniques in any number of situations such as: at the dentist, during breastfeeding, when trying to fall asleep and in stressful situations.

img_4162In my book The Power of Hypnobirthing: 10 reasons why it’s for you, I explain in detail 10 indisputable reasons why you should book yourself onto a hypnobirthing course.

By reading this book, you’ll understand how to bring your birth partner into the centre of this experience, so that they can fully support you and your baby during labour, birth and beyond.

You’ll also realise that the midwifery care that we receive, whilst mostly brilliant and supportive, can sometimes lead a woman down a path of care where she is not presented with the full picture. Unfortunately, overstretched midwives simply don’t always have the time to explain and offer options. A hypnobirthing course will give you the full picture — you’ll get all the facts and head into your birth with a toolkit of knowledge, options and techniques to achieve a calm and positive birth experience, no matter what scenarios/circumstances are presented to you, and if you want to do further reading around a subject, your instructor can point you in the right direction.

A hypnobirthing course presents all sides of the story and clarifies the risks and benefits of most situations. It explains that there are often alternatives too, which are not necessarily offered to you on your birthing day. This is why it is such a good idea to invest in a course — it enables you to explore most likely situations and make decisions, knowing all the facts beforehand.

Not only do my courses offer relaxation and visualisation techniques for labour and birth, but I also ensure that all my couples have a clear and balanced picture of the scenarios that might play out during labour and birth, so that they go into this experience with their eyes wide open, their research done and their choices respected. Unlike most hypnobirthing courses, Magical Baby Moments’ courses also offer top tips for looking after a newborn!

Now don’t just take my word for it, here are some testimonials from past clients.

Hypnobirthing is something every expectant couple should learn. There is so much to think about when preparing for the birth of your baby and this helps to focus the mind through an intensive course and with the relaxation scripts.’ Claire, expectant mum

The course has helped me understand the process of birth in greater depth. I feel more confident about dealing with the process in a relaxed and calmer manner.’ Zoe, mum-to-be

Christine created a calm and welcoming environment in which to learn. She is very knowledgeable and has made my husband and I feel more confident about our birthing experience. The hypnobirthing course is very inspiring and definitely prepares you mentally for a natural birth.’ Catherine, second-time mum

Following a significant amount of hypnobirthing research, Magical Baby Moments was recommended to me. I found Christine engaging and insightful…and she makes a lovely cup of tea! There was always space for discussion and questions or responses were never dismissed. The four weeks have increased my confidence massively. I feel I have the capability to be in control of my labour and environment and I can’t wait to meet my baby. Baby T isn’t due until June – so that will be the real test – but the classes have certainly educated us both about the pregnancy and labour process.’ Louise, first-time mum

The course is very different from what I expected it to be (in a good way!). It combines information with relaxation techniques which help exercise more control over your body and mind.’ John, first-time dad

If you want to know more about finding out if hypnobirthing is for you, regardless of age, pregnancy symptoms, BMI (Body Mass Index), lifestyle, beliefs, preferred place of birth etc, buy the book to change the way you think about birth and hypnobirthing, and quite possibly change your life!

Buy now in paperback

Buy now on the Kindle

Or if you are ready to take the leap now and you live close to Romford or Upminster in Essex, book your hypnobirthing classes.

Book onto a hypnobirthing course in Romford, Essex

Book onto a hypnobirthing course in Upminster, Essex

 

The impact of how your baby is born – what you need to know about the microbiome effect

This summer, I read The Microbiome Effect by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford. This is a fascinating account of emerging research that shows how vital bacteria are for human health. Our exposure to them during labour, birth and beyond helps kick-start our developing immune system. This book reveals the impact of babies born via Caesarean Section (C-Section) and how this potentially alters the course of their immune development and makes them more susceptible to non-communicable diseases.

Here is my synopsis, of what I believe is a must-read for all birth educators and expectant parents, to understand the intricacies of a vaginal birth and the vital components that help your baby thrive in the outside world.

Human bodies are comprised of trillions of human cells and microbes (bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi etc). These cells and microbes live on and inside us. The bacteria inside our body help keep us functioning properly and give us the ability to fight off diseases. However, modern ways of living, such as diet, antibiotics and C-sections – to name a few – are adjusting the diversity of microbiomes in the human body. Current research indicates that this alteration in the way we live is giving rise to many common non-communicable diseases such as allergies, asthma, auto-immune disorders, diabetes, obesity and more.

For a long time, antenatal educators have explained to its parents-to-be the benefits of a vaginal birth vs a C-section birth, in regards to babies breathing abilities. In a vaginal birth, the birth canal compresses the lungs to expel the liquid that has been in them during pregnancy; so that once earth-side, the lungs are fairly clear of liquid and breathing unassisted comes more easily.

The research conducted, which is discussed in this book, digs deeper. It looks into many other vital stages that a baby encounters during a vaginal birth, which can impact his/her long-term health positively. Other scientific tests are indicating that there is a link with an imbalance in the human microbiome (often caused via Caesarean section deliveries) and with chronic non-transmissible diseases.

It is believed that during pregnancy a baby lives in a near sterile environment and exposure to microbiomes is minimal. It is during a vaginal birth, once the amniotic sac had ruptured, that a baby begins to be exposed to bacteria. This is when it comes into contact with vaginal, faecal and skin microbes. These enter the baby’s eyes, ears, nose, as well as being swallowed through the mouth. This prenatal exposure is one of the main seeding events for the baby’s gut. Once the baby is born it will come into contact with more bacteria – from the air in the place of birth, from the skin of its caregivers and parents etc. All of these encounters help to colonise the baby’s gut.

Babies born via a Caesarean section (C-section) potentially miss out on this exposure, if the amniotic sac hasn’t ruptured, because they won’t come into contact with the mother’s vaginal or intestinal microbes. As a result the baby’s gut microbiome composition will be different.

Latest research favours infants that are born via C-section to have skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding where possible, because the second major influx of microbes is during these two events (babies born vaginally are also recommended to do this too).

During skin-to-skin contact, and when a baby is looking for milk, it will open its mouth and suckle or lick the mother’s skin. A mother’s breastmilk is incredibly rich. It provides essential nutrients for the baby’s growth and development, including key immune components and sugars. The sugars not only provide energy for the baby, but it also feeds the bacteria in the gut, quickly colonising it and preventing other harmful bacteria from taking hold. These events and opportunities to come into contact with the right bacteria kick-starts the continued development of the infant immune system. The bacteria teach the immune system to recognise friendly and harmful bacteria, and know what to attack, or not.

In contrast, a baby that is fed formula milk will only receive the nutritional benefits. This milk is missing prebiotics to feed the gut microbes. It also lacks the right bacterial species and immune components that the developing baby needs. These missing components could impact the training of the infant immune system, which could mean health implications later in life.

All the way through pregnancy, labour, birth and infancy things are supposed to happen at certain times. When the birth process is interrupted with medical intervention, the evolution of the immune system is disturbed, which could result in it malfunctioning later in life.

Research has also shown that the microbial profile of a baby born vaginally resembles that of its mother, and continues to do so with each generation that is born vaginally. However when this pattern is interrupted by a C-section delivery, the child may not match the mother’s microbial profile and the child may fail to inherit critical “keystone” species of bacteria to ensure good health. C-sections could be contributing to key microbe species being lost, making us more susceptible to pandemics.

Other evidence suggests a correlation in C-section babies having a higher risk of developing asthma, type one diabetes or coeliac disease, and of becoming overweight or obese. This is not to say that all babies born this way will go one to develop any of these, they are simply more susceptible. What we don’t know yet is the ongoing repercussions of this.

So what can we do about it?

As an antenatal educator, I feel it is my duty to inform my parents of the potential health implications of babies born via a C-section. Parents need to better understand the importance of vaginal births, as a way to ensure that their baby receives the necessary exposure to bacteria, which will help colonise its gut in the right way – to ensure a fully functioning immune system.

There will always be world in which some babies are needed to be delivered via C-section, therefore what steps can the caregivers take to help the baby receive optimal seeding and feeding? Mothers can be tested to see if they are suitable for “swab-seeding” (this is currently under a strict protocol). However for the feeding aspect, there is now no reason why babies cannot be passed to mothers straight away in all elective C-sections (and some in emergency C-sections); so that the baby can have skin-to-skin contact and have the opportunity to begin breastfeeding. This will allow the baby to be exposed to essential bacteria and microbes and helping to kick-start an immune system that could keep them healthy throughout their life.

This article only scratches the surface and highlights the key points of the book. I strongly recommend mothers to read it and learn more about it. Ask your midwife and/or obstetrician how much they know about this subject. If they don’t know too much about this subject, politely ask them to do their research. Your baby’s life is in their hands.

The Microbiome Effect book coverThe Microbiome Effect is published by Pinter and Martin and is available on their website.

If you would like to learn more about Magical Baby Moments visit www.magicalbabymoments.com

Looking for the right antenatal class, this book explains what a Hypnobirthing Course will offer

of The Power of Hypnobirthing: 10 reasons why it's for you

As your pregnancy progresses, you are probably reading books about how your pregnancy is progressing and how you can better prepare yourself for labour and birth.

These days there is a lot of choice. Some parents to be attend NCT (National Childcare Trust) classes, some choose ParentCraft, offered by NHS midwives and others choose hypnobirthing.

Each have their own way of explaining what to expect from labour and birth and offer slightly different things.

Hypnobirthing is a choice that many are turning to as the all-encompassing antenatal course. It teaches expectant parents:

  1. the medical side of what will happen to a mother’s body during late pregnancy, labour and birth
  2. practical, easy-to-do relaxation techniques that parents-to-be can begin implementing in pregnancy as well as reap the benefits of all that practice during labour and birth
  3. the options that may present themselves during this time, so that they can make informed decisions

If you would like to know 10 reasons what Hypnobirthing Course can offer you, you can buy this introductory book: The Power of Hypnobirthing: 10 reasons why it’s for you for only £5.99 (on the Kindle or in paperback*).

Buy now

If you can’t wait for the book to arrive, read the first chapter for free by emailing power@magicalbabymoments.com

*postage charges apply