Words by Christy
The consensus of opinion seems to be that a hospital induction is scary. It’s accepted that it tends to be faster than spontaneous labour but the price is that the contractions are more painful. As a hypnobirthing teacher, and a mum who has birthed with and without syntocinon, I can confidently say, it can be a whole different ball game. Whether an induction has come about as a ‘speeding up’ of labour or you’re planning on it before your labour begins, here are my 5 top tips to hypnobirth the s**t out of it.
1) The worst part is the fear - fear of it being more painful, fear of it being more drawn out if your body wasn’t ready to go into labour and the whole thing ending then up in a c-section anyway. (I hasten to add, if you need a caesarean, that’s what needs to happen and therefore it can be a very positive experience too - yet no one likes these things sprung on them at the last moment!) So here is the catch. If you believe it’s going to be a long, painful labour, then that’s probably what you’re going to get.
That may sound harsh but it’s a fact – if you focus hard on something, positive or negative, you are expecting it to happen and your mind and body work together to bring that expectation about. It’s like when you’re driving a car and as you turn a corner, you catch sight of the kerb and in your mind you repeat “I’m going to hit the kerb, I’m going to hit the kerb” then at that point, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get what you focused on, simply because your body responds to what your mind believes.
So how do we deal with that fear? You can start with a positive affirmation and repetition is the key here to persuade yourself into believing it! Start with telling yourself over and over, “I birth my baby smoothly, calmly and easily” and see how you start to feel.
2) Make the decision and go all in. Once you have made the decision that an induction is the right choice for you, give it everything. There is no point in choosing to accept the induction and then resist, grit and whine the whole way (just me then?!) I get it, it’s that fear again, creeping in and you’re bracing your body ready, gritting your teeth and expecting the worst. This is what resisting physically looks like, and a muscle trying to do its job when it’s tensed and braced for impact is not going to be comfortable! Going all in means, RELAXING in every way you know how.
Massage, music, movement, love and acceptance of the process will keep your muscles tension free and your body soft and the whole experience is going to be a damn sight easier and less painful. If in doubt, have your birth partner briefed to watch for you clenching your jaw, hunching your shoulders or bunching your fists. It’s not the time to fight, let them remind you to shake the tension out and you will feel the difference.
3) Ride the Syntocinon like a mother. Let’s get real here. Giving birth is no walk in the park, regardless of how you do it. Syntocinon speeds up the process, so it feels intense because there is less of a build up, you’ve had less time to adjust to the sensations because they’ve ramped up quickly. Does this make it more overwhelming than spontaneous labour? Not necessarily, as the surges still come from your body and will build to the level your body needs to be able to push the baby down.
So the question is how DO you cope when it gets very real and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed? BREATHE!!! Count your breath in and count your breath out. Every one is a second closer. And KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE. This is another way your birth partner can help, by talking about the baby in those moments. "Our baby is nearly here. Think about cuddling our baby really soon, I think they'll have brown eyes like you, you are doing amazing! Tonight our family will be complete.” You are reminded of your purpose in that moment and it can help you keep your focus.
4) Overwhelm is your finish flag – Nine times out of ten, if you are feeling that overwhelm, it is because you’re almost there. It’s called ‘transition’. The time when your body switches from having surges, to the fundus muscle kicking in and beginning to push the baby down. Many women decide at this point that they’ve had enough, can’t go on, want an epidural, would rather have a caesarean or they’re packing it in and going home. Yes it’s real and you absolutely mean every word, but it won’t last and it signals the best bit is waiting for you.
5) Bask in the oxytocin glory! You did it!! Be super proud of yourself, you earned those precious first cuddles with your little one. And know that it doesn’t matter if you roared at the top of your voice or declared a celibate life after this baby, you birthed exactly as you needed to and you absolutely should love yourself for it.
If you’d like to know more about how you can prepare for an awesome birth, check out our website here for a class near to you.
All the love