I am directing this blog not just to our family/friends and regular readers, but to all those first time moms out there looking for a great birthing experience, or those who have given birth previously but were not happy with their experience.
This series of blogs will be about my hypnobirth. There a lot of misunderstandings about this method that I would like to shed some light on. First and foremost, all women should know that they DO have a choice in birthing and that they SHOULD make that choice and not leave it in the hands of some randomly-chosen medical professional. This is YOUR birth, YOUR body, and YOUR baby! It is so amazing to me how many choices and options we have today. Medical advances have led to greater survival rates for both babies and mothers, which is wonderful! But with those medical advances has come an attitude that birth is a “medical condition” or “illness” that must be “treated” in a hospital with drugs, IV’s, and dozens of other devices. I feel that this is a false attitude fed to us through media, stories from friends and family, and our own personal fears of the unknown.
The truth is that birth is a completely natural, beautiful part of life that has happened to billions of women over thousands of years, and only recently have those women had the option of drugs, hospitals, and modern interventions. I’m not saying that all women should have their babies at home with no drugs!! I’m simply stating that our bodies have been designed for this purpose and we are capable of birthing in any way that we wish and should not be afraid or let others tell us how it should be!
The most important thing I did, and that any new mother can do, is to EDUCATE yourself about birth and the different options available. Ask your doctor/midwife about the different methods and options. Research them. Read experiences of women who have used them. The internet is an excellent resource in this process. If, during this process, you find that the method that appeals to you is not something your doctor/midwife will support, do NOT be afraid to switch care providers! THEY are working for YOU and if they are not meeting YOUR needs, it’s time to find someone new!
While I am on the subject of care providers, let me just say that the midwives at Mt. Timpanogos Women’s Health Care are EXCELLENT! If you are in Utah county, please look them up and consider using them for your care. Long before I got pregnant, I read an article on them in a magazine. They seemed to have a view of birthing that felt right to me. I went to my next annual exam at their clinic, and I was very pleased with the general atmosphere and way I was treated. When I found out I was pregnant, I already knew who I was going to “hire” for my pregnancy and birth. Claudia, Melissa, Abby, Amy, Kathryn, and Mindy were all wonderful, and as I got to know each one of them, I realized that they truly were a team. Any one of them could have delivered my baby, and I am positive I would have had the same end result. They all have similar ideas about pregnancy and birthing–that is that the mother should choose how she wants to have her baby, and they are willing to do anything in their power to help her achieve that goal. They are also much more “hands off” than an OBGYN and try to intervene as little as possible throughout pregnancy and birth. They are usually against inductions, episiotomies, artificial rupturing of the membranes, forceps/vacuum deliveries, and many other common practices for OBGYN’s. However, contrary to popular belief, they deliver in hospitals with all of the modern equipment available in case of an emergency, and they are not anti-drugs or anti-epidurals. They want you to have the drugs if that is what you want! They are so supportive and caring and I recommend them to everyone I know of who is expecting!
Abby was the first to recommend hypnobirthing to me. At first I thought, “hypnosis–yeah right! That’s for weirdos!” But she quickly explained that hypnobirthing is simply a way to use self-hypnosis, or deep relaxation and imagery, to achieve a calm, peaceful, unmedicated birth. I thought that sounded like exactly what I wanted, so I did a bit more research. I found dozens of stories online of women who had birthed their babies with little or no pain, calmly, and quickly and loved their birth experience. I wanted to be able to look back on my birth with the same amount of joy and satisfaction. It didn’t take long for me to choose to pursue this method. I took an excellent class from Monica English, and in the end I would not change one single thing about my birth. It was a huge success!