Words by Sophie
We have an incredibly sad and unfair chicken and egg cycle in the birth environment now. We are conditioned to fear birth, we come to our birth with fear, we hold back our body’s natural flow with fear, we end up with a traumatic birth, we then take this story onto our friends which in turn creates more fear of birth. Since attending my own Hypnobirthing course and subsequently training as a Hypnobirthing teacher I have come to see the genuine power there is in positivity. Positive birth stories, positive thinking, positive people, positive words (the list is endless).
This is in no way me choosing to restrict women from sharing a traumatic birth, a lot of healing comes from a good debrief (I know I needed it!). But if you are pregnant, and even before, by immersing yourself in a positive birth world (which is vast by the way!) you can begin to focus and expect the positive, and understand that every birth, just as every individual is totally different and unique. You may also be able to unpack why some (although not all) of these negative stories went the way they did, you may be surprised to learn how often the answer has more to do with our minds than our bodies not being up to the job.
I can see, now I have been enlightened to many things that I did not seek in my first pregnancy, why I ended up with a birth that was so far from what I wanted. It was predominantly fear and a lack of tools to pull myself out of where fear took me and my mind back on track to birth inhibited as nature intended. I never even considered the power my mind would have over my body- for me it was all about losing control. I did not want to do this, I worried and fretted. Would I poo? Would I scream? Would I embarrass myself?
This is all perfectly normal stuff to worry about on a normal day with your rational thinking mind (who wants to scream and poo in the freezer aisle in Tesco) but when you are birthing and allowing yourself to truly go into your ‘out of it’ birth zone honestly who the hell cares?! You WANT to be able to let go, you WANT to allow your body, and TRUST your body enough to go, “OK Sophie don’t think too much about this, just relax and go with the flow”.
Now all this, if said to pre-Hypnobirthing me, would have caused me to exclaim, “are you mad! I find my period painful enough to writhe around in agony on the bed, how on earth am I supposed to trust my body and let go?”
For me this door was unlocked when I learned how my body worked in labour. Not the barely existent sex education style learning, or the biased, sometimes fear inducing teachings of some antenatal classes but truly honest and in great detail. Suddenly, like someone turning on a light, it all made so much sense. In all the years of my life so far nothing had made me think, yes nature has totally got this. But Hypnobirthing did. I am a changed human, I feel that the key I was handed and that I then used to enter a new dimension of thinking is how we were ALL created to be. It is how we are born, when we are a blank canvas. We are sadly so spoilt, so ruined by the media, our teaching, our culture’s views, and this awful chicken and the egg birth cycle.
But we can step out of it and off the conveyer belt. By taking control, by educating ourselves, and by preparing, in an informed and balanced way, for birth we then change how we feel about all other aspects of our lives. When I saw my body in action, birthing Esther and so incredibly strong, I knew that I trusted my body. I suddenly saw how capable I was, how amazing being a woman is, and how incredibly happy I am to be able to pass this new way of thinking onto my children, other women, and men.
‘Imagine what might happen if women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of the strength and power of their bodies, and of their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth’ – Dr. Christiane Northrup
Our bodies are not broken, or failing us. We are not too tall, too skinny, too fat, too old, too young, too short, too clever, too loud, too quiet. We are beautiful, amazing, powerful, strong, interesting, individual, and worth so much more than we get a lot of the time in our normal birthing system. Therefore, it is SO important, I cannot stress this enough, that we take control ourselves. Why we educate, prepare, and focus on eradicating the fear and step into a positive way of thinking.