As hypnobirthing hits the spotlight with Kate and William confirming they will be using the techniques again to deliver their third child, it's made me start to wonder if this means more women are going to start preparing for the birth they want, rather than the birth they think might happen. As someone who had very little clue about birth and babies before having children I can totally understand why women choose to bury their heads in the sand and decide not to know, or even understand birth until it happens to them.
The issue is that this creates a bottle neck of information and a bombardment of mixed messages as soon as we decide to open our eyes and ears to the facts. A hundred different stories flying at you as soon as you announce you’re adding a pair of paws to the pack is not what any expectant parent needs. Being so very British and female we tend to keep most of the gory details to ourselves about child birth until someone tells you they are expecting and then the flood gates open.
Though sadly, chances are these are unpleasant stories that fill the mum-to-be with fear. It’s strange and a shame that there is almost an embarrassment surrounding positive birth stories. We feel sorry for those that didn’t have a good experience and almost guilty that we did. Most of us will of heard countless stories about drama filled births that lasted days, or where women were in agony with a room full of doctors that ended in an emergency c-section, but how many lovely stories have you heard? How many women have said to you that they actually enjoyed giving birth, that the day is a fond memory, or that their partner also had a positive experience?
The breaking news here is most of the women that had positive births didn’t just ‘get lucky’ they decided what they wanted and went about achieving it through practice and education. After my daughters birth I went around saying it was “fine” or “not bad”, I rarely admitted that I enjoyed it, and I repeatedly used the word lucky. Until I was corrected that it wasn’t just luck but thanks to hours of hypnobirthing practice and ensuring that I knew what to expect and what my options were. In essence feeling in control of the situation through knowledge. A saying that I love is if you don’t know your options you have no options, and it’s so true in this scenario.
Second time around I’d say I’m even more relaxed about my options and my birth going to plan. Yes I’m a hypnobirthing teacher, so I’m more up to date on facts and figures than most, but also I went into my first birth pretty set on achieving a home water birth. With a pinch of accepting half of first time mums transfer to hospital, with 70% of these because the mum chooses to not because of a medical emergency. This time around I’m even more relaxed about going with the flow and just following my body, while knowing what is available to me.