In our first guest blog, Natalie Qureshi, birth coach, guides us through the technique of hypnobirthing.
WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING?
It is training which teaches women how to instinctively tap into deep relaxation techniques. These proven methods can reduce fear and anxiety during pregnancy and also manage pain and stay relaxed during labour. Using self-hypnosis and guided visualisation, you will be able to maintain a relaxed mind and body to eliminate fear and tension during birth and also reduce pain.
I’M FEELING REALLY FRIGHTENED ABOUT THE BIRTH, WILL THIS HELP?
Yes. It’s not surprising that the first reaction for many women when we think about labour and birth is fear and anxiety. TV, films and other media can often portray birth in a very negative, frightening or dramatic way, not representative of women’s real experiences. Hypnotherapy works because it helps calm the part of the brain that stores these anxieties.
I’m also hugely proud of the work that I do with women that have had a challenging previous birth. If this is you and you are wondering how I can help, please get in touch to find out what I can offer.
WHAT TYPE OF BIRTH CAN THIS BE USED FOR?
Absolutely any. Hypnobirthing is not just for ‘first-time mums’ or women planning homebirths. I’ve supported IVF mums, twin mums, women planning a caesarean and women having inductions. Time and time again, the techniques have helped them stay calm and feeling more in control. It’s also equipped them with mental strategies to cope, even if the birth takes an unexpected path.
WHAT WILL MY PARTNER GET OUT OF A COURSE?
I have a warm, approachable and down-to-earth teaching style. I don’t like the way in which men are sometimes portrayed on TV births, i.e. usually clueless and bumbling. Partners can make a huge contribution to the birth once they understand the fundamentals. Many men say that they are really relieved once they have completed the course and have a better appreciation of how they can support.
WHEN SHOULD I DO A COURSE?
Any time from about 25 weeks onwards. The sooner you learn the relaxation techniques and understand how your body works to your advantage during the birth, the sooner you will start to feel more confident.
IS THIS ALL ABOUT HAVING A PAIN-FREE BIRTH? IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?
As a birth coach, I will support you to have the best possible birth experience. I absolutely do teach pain management but hypnobirthing is not about being ‘pain-free’ and it is also not opposed to drugs or pain relief when it’s wanted or needed. However, many women who do learn the techniques report less pain and being cope much better.
WHAT WILL MY MIDWIFE THINK OF ME USING HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing has never been more popular within the NHS. Some hospitals are even offering it as part of their ante-natal education. Years ago, water-births were seen as exotic but today are widely accepted within the NHS! Hypnobirthing is now exactly the same. Many midwives I work with say how much they enjoy seeing women using the techniques I teach and are impressed with their ability to stay relaxed.
SHOULD I BRING ANYTHING WITH ME ON THE COURSE?
No. All course materials will be provided on the day and there will be downloads for you to continue to practise at home.
I hold my group sessions in the beautiful Creative Calm Wellbeing studio in Prestwich. They have yoga mats, pillows and blankets for the relaxation sessions. If you have a particular pillow you like to use to support bump, you may like to bring that. Do wear something you feel comfortable in. I provide refreshments and snacks; there are lots of yummy places nearby for lunch.