My Informed Birth, Leeds
As a scientist and soon-to-be mother, I had heard of hypnobirthing but didn't know much about it.
Katie from My Informed Birth is an experienced NHS nurse, turned hypnobirthing practitioner who is keen to emphasise the scientifically proven and evidence based benefits of this practise. She was interested in some scientifically focused illustrations and positive affirmation statements to reflect and support her sessions.
In order to learn more, my husband and I took part in a four week course prior to our daughters birth in order to truly understand the content needed.
Hypnobirthing is based upon the central idea that the physiology and anatomy of a women's body is inherently evolved to give birth efficiently.
However, due to many modern factors and influences this autonomous process is often hindered when a women's previously learned beliefs and emotions surrounding the birthing process result in a panicked, fear driven labour experience and the production of an adrenaline based response.
Adrenaline inhibits the key neurotransmitter oxytocin which is central to the successful progression of all stages of labour. Additionally, a mothers fear or misinformation may subconsciously manifest as counter-productive bodily actions. This can lead to increased bodily tension, unnecessary strain and heightened levels of physical exhaustion for both mother and baby. All in all, this can increase the likelihood of a longer, more difficult and potentially traumatic birthing experience.
Hypnobirthing courses challenge women and their birthing partners to confront and unpick their own preconceived thoughts and fears around the birthing process. Using scientific knowledge of the stages of labour it provides a basis for women to understand more accurately the upcoming events of labour. Through the identification of potential emotional and physical triggers, it allows women to discover and practice in advance various ways in which their body and mind may cope with each phase without panic or adrenaline, whilst promoting the production of oxytocin.
Visualisations are one of the key components used in hypnobirthing to allow women to tune in to the various sensations, movements and changes occurring in their body during each stage of labour. Anatomical imagery is often subjected to simplification and romanticism in order to communicate complex processes to non-scientific audiences.
Language has a huge influence on the emotional