Deciding which sort of course to attend when you want to get prepared for a new arrival is pretty tough. I’m a first time “mum to be” and I knew that I wanted to gather as much information as I could to help me. I’d heard about NCT and Hypnobirting; both had positive reviews amongst friends however hypnobirthing for me appealed the most. I knew I wanted a calm environment for our baby to be born into.
I was lucky enough that one of my friends knew Charlotte and so put me in touch with her. Charlotte has a natural ability to make you feel calm and empowered. There was never a time when I felt I couldn’t ask a question or waffle on about something I’d heard. Charlotte was really clear, honest, calm and enabled us to build our knowledge and understanding of the options and choices we have without any judgement. She made me feel like I could make any decisions necessary and they would be the right ones for us and our baby.
When we first started I had a pretty calm and open approach. I wasn’t too bothered about birth plans as I felt our baby and the hospital would kind of dictate what would happen. The biggest shift for me has been building my understanding that in absolutely every situation or circumstance there is a choice or an option. Something they don’t necessarily tell you within other courses. I found our antenatal class was rather limited. I could see faces around me in the room becoming more anxious as the midwife went through pain relief and c-sections. Whilst I smugly remained calm knowing it didn’t have to be like that and even if a c-section was a decision we made there was a way to continue to use the hypnobirthing techniques we had learnt to make it as calm as possible.
Moving forward I feel empowered to write a birth proposal for every eventuality. My previous idea of a “birth plan” was pretty basic and more like a “I’ll accept anything” with the medical professionals being “in charge”. I’m in control now, I know my body and I know my baby. Together with my partner I know we will make the right decisions for us and our baby.
At the start of the course my plan due to Group-B Strep was phone the hospital, go in, do as instructed. Now the plan is changing; we’re exploring home-birth, writing down a birth proposal for each possible outcome. The beauty of hypnobirthing is the knowledge it gives you to make informed choices. Every couple is unique, every baby is unique but we all have the ability to birth our babies in the best possible way.
The relaxations have helped me more than I realised initially. I have seen a noticeable difference in my sleeping. So far the relaxations have helped me to become more confident and all whilst I fall asleep. I already feel more relaxed and less anxious.
It also made me more self-aware; like my avoidance of packing a hospital bag…I have been putting it off for weeks. The list is written but I’m yet to put it all together. I don’t have a phobia of hospitals but subconsciously my instinct appears to be to stay at home in my safe environment. As an organised person normally I have to listen to that instinct. I may need to go to the hospital so I know now how to do that in a way that keeps me in my hypno “bubble”.
We haven’t had our baby yet but I feel excited about giving birth. I never thought I’d hear anyone say that let alone myself! We don’t know whether we are having a boy or a girl and interestingly I have been so excited about the labour and birth experience I’d kind of forgotten that we will finally get to find out what sex our little one is!
I highly recommend not just hypnobirthing but Charlotte as teacher and mentor!
Lucy – first time mum