What a great question…
Wouldn’t it be great if I could tell you that doing the hypnobirthing class was like waving a magic wand and “voila” – it guarantees that you’ll get everything you want from your birth.
I’m sorry to disappoint you here, but that’s not exactly the case. There are no guarantees to anything.
Plus I would never ask you to have any set in stone expectation as to what type of birth you might have.
Yes – expect to learn some incredible tools and techniques that will help you relax, work with your body and baby, feel more comfortable and enjoy an empowering birth experience.
Yes, we do talk about imagining how good your perfect birth feels. Yes we talk about and work with the Law of Attraction to help you understand that what you focus on can influence and attract your desired outcome.
Yes we teach your birthing partner to support you and help you deepen your sense of relaxation and how to help facilitiate all the things you need to feel safe, secure, supported and calm which makes it easier for your body and baby to do the work they are designed to do together.
But no you can never really fully control the type of birth you have.
The simple fact is we cannot control all aspects of our birth. But the good new is, we can influence them.
For example; we can choose a lead maternity carer who is on the same page as us and who will support us in our desire to work towards the type of birth we’d like to experience, whatever that may be. But you cannot control outside circumstances that may result in your chosen midwife having a weekend off, or is unwell the day your baby decides to arrive.
Just like you will never be able to control your baby. First rule of parenting – you cannot control your child. Yes, you can influence them, but you cannot control them.
Even in the womb babies display their own personalities and behaviours. Some babies move a lot, kick hard, squirm around. Other babies are more placid and gentle. Some babies will prefer to settle into a position on the right hand side of the mother, some on the left. No matter how hard we try to get them into the “perfect” position for birth, some babies will just not play ball. Some are easily influenced. For example if your baby is not in an ideal position (eg they are favoring a slightly posterior position) and you’d like to encourage them to move more to the front of you; you can place a hot water bottle on the part of your stomach you’d like to encourage them to move to, and a bag of frozen peas on the area you’d like them to move away from. This as well as moving into different physical positions can encourage baby to move. It certainly worked for one of my babies, but I know of some babies that simply refuse to budge.
Some babies are ready to arrive into the world at 38 weeks, some babies are not ready until closer to 42 weeks. That is a factor we can not control. Frustrating though it may be. Yes we can influence this with supporting and encouraging our body to go into labour with herbs, hypnotherapy and accupuncture etc, but we can not fully control the timing of our labour.
Because this is ultimately baby’s decision.
So sometimes we just have to accept we are not in control.
But we are always in control of how we respond to situations.
Our response – that is a factor we can control.
Do we respond to a potentially stressful situation with fear, anger, negativity and hopelessness, jumping into fight or flight – the sympathetic response state? Or do we respond with a calm relaxed approach, mindful of our breathing and ensuring we are operating out of the parasympathetic state, which is an optimal state for our body to comfortably allow labour and birth to progress.
Yes, you can always choose to remain calm, and that is the most important factor that will influence your birth.
So, to answer the original question – what type of birth can I expect to have if I use hypnobirthing? The answer is, if you use the tools and techniques you can expect to feel more calm and relaxed in any given situation than if you didn’t do hypnobirthing.
And simply put, being calm and relaxed is exceptionally beneficial for our body and our baby.