Birthing With Confidence
Hi I’m Sarah, a qualified midwife of over 7 years and a doting mum of 1. I started my hypnobirthing journey following the delivery of my little girl. I, like many others suffered a pregnancy loss before my successful pregnancy and found that right from the moment I knew I was pregnant my fear and anxiety levels were constantly high. These fears and anxieties sometimes would be so consuming that there were days that I would wish I wasn’t pregnant just to have a rest from it all. The day my daughter was born, honestly could not have been more straightforward. However, I remember once the labour commenced feeling so fearful that I literally screamed with each contraction. I felt so out of control, so scared of what was happening, so overwhelmed by it all, that when my daughter arrived, healthy and crying I struggled to process that she was really there. I felt completely and utterly shell shocked.
It was after that I realised that my birth has been completely ruined by fear. I had my mum and partner with me, two of my best friends were my midwives, who I trusted would do all in their power to keep us safe. The doctors that were on, were in my eyes the best I could have had on shift should I have needed them, yet I was petrified. My labour was done and dusted in 1hour and 50minutes. I used gas and air and I birthed in water. This is what most people dream of when I go through their birth wishes with them, yet I felt traumatised following it. I felt annoyed that I felt this way, knowing how wonderful on paper it seemed.
I began to look into fear and childbirth, the reasons why women are fearful and what goes towards exacerbating these feelings. One huge reason I believe is birth stories, women love to share every detail, to describe the pain, the struggle and finish looking like a warrior that survived and returned from battle. Get a group of mum’s together and you suddenly get birth stories being told, each more gruesome and traumatic than the one before, its like a one-upmanship on who’s tale is more heroic. Women seem to thrive off this, over coffee and cake and with their new beautiful babies in their arms, however for the pregnant woman in the group, who is yet to write her story, these tales can be so damaging and cause a huge unnecessary increase in her anxiety and fear levels. I found many more reasons in why women are so fearful of childbirth and touch on them all throughout the course.
Fear and anxiety are the most unhelpful things to have when it comes to pregnancy and birth and this is because of the detrimental affect it has on the body. If you are full of fear you release the hormone adrenaline, useful if your about to run away from a predator, but not useful in labour. Adrenaline in large quantities can be responsible for the delay in progress in labour or even halt it all together. The hormone oxytocin, the love hormone, is needed in abundance to have an affective labour and delivery. This is where hypnobirthing comes into play.
Hypnobirthing is not a form of pain relief as it is so wrongly regularly described. But is a whole host of education, techniques and tools to allow you to have a smooth, effective, shorter, less painful, less fearful birth. KGhypnobirthing, is the method which I teach. This has been formulated by Katherine Graves a qualified hypnotherapist. Katherine has developed the KG course to be much more than just visualisations and breathing techniques. The course is a complete antenatal education on the physiology of labour and birth and how the mind and body work together. We also concentrate on releasing fear and building confidence through asking questions, relaxation techniques and breathing techniques. KG is accredited by the RCM and is seen as the premier hypnobirthing course for professionals and parents alike. At KG birth partners are also at the forefront of our mind and we teach them how to be actively involved in the labour and birthing process and become the ultimate support to you during this time.