Tonight was our last Hypnobirthing class. Five weeks of classes really flew by! I won’t go into the full details of Hynobirthing since I did two years ago on this blog but the brief summary is that it is a natural birthing technique using hypnosis/imagery/relaxation/meditation, to stay relaxed during natural child birth. The theory behind it is that our bodies instinctively know how to birth children however in our culture, we have been taught that birth is associated with fear and pain. These associations create fear causing our body to tense up and fight itself inducing extreme pain with each contraction. If a woman can instead stay relaxed, the body knows the drill and natural childbirth becomes a very doable, perhaps even pleasant experience.
The class was actually pretty slow moving and relaxing and once I got over my initial instinct that we were wasting our time since we probably could have covered all of the content in one or two classes, I really started to enjoy the relaxation of the classes. The main point of the class was to change our perceptions about birth. All of the preconceived notions about birth that we have learned from horror stories and television we had to unlearn and instead see and embrace a different, natural birthing process. No screaming, no epidurals…tears are tears of joy at the conclusion of the process….much different than the dramatic birthing images on tv.
Again, I will keep this short and go more into hypnobirthing later, but I do feel it is an amazing philosophy that really resonates with me. For thousands of years, we, as women, knew how to give birth and passed this down from generation to generation. Then somewhere along the way in recent history the medical community took over with some really crazy ideas about birthing (think putting mom under and pulling baby out with forceps) and we lost our way. Classes like hypnobirthing attempt to show women there are other options besides drugs and cascading medical interventions. If nothing else, I feel like we are going into birth very educated about the options we do have.
Anyway, the class is finished. Now I need to read the Hypnobirthing book again to refresh my memory on all of the techniques and details of the birthing process and we also need to start practicing the relaxation every night. Relaxation is not exactly my strong suit so it’s not easy for me to make the time to do it. It’s really kind of sad it takes a concentrated effort for me to relax, but alas, this is who I am.
So, starting tomorrow, we will pull out the lavender essential oil, imagery scripts, birthing playlist and relaxing music and forge ahead down the path towards easily being able to achieve relaxation. Andy, as my birthing partner will remind me to relax my face muscles, read to me and massage and caress, all in an effort to make me relax so completely, little Eloise can come into this world in a natural, drug-free manner.
And then we will just need to hope for (and coax) her into a head down position. She actually may have turned already but I cannot really tell which position she is in right now. We are eager to find out on Friday.
How do you relax? Do you often achieve an extremely relaxed state?