For some women, giving birth can be a traumatic experience, but one mum has found the use of hypnobirthing to be a more relaxing way of delivery.
Elise Hutchinson was dreading giving birth to her second child, following a difficult time three years ago. But through attending three sessions with Gemma Webster at Ribby Hall, she found her second birth in June much easier and is encouraging other women to try hypnobirthing.
Elise, 31, of Fulwood, said: “I cannot stress enough how much impact the classes have had on the rest of my pregnancy.
“After a very long first labour, and a rather traumatic postpartum experience, I was dreading this labour and was hoping that hypnobirthing would help me feel more positive about birth.
“What I didn’t expect was the immense change it had on my pregnancy. I acknowledged my fears, but was able to deal with them and even started looking forward to the birth.
“After just one class, I decided to exercise again and took up daily yoga. After a week, all the aches and pains went away, and I started to feel good in my pregnant body, which had a huge impact on my morale.
“Hypnobirthing provided me with the perfect opportunity to make some space during my week to focus on relaxing, and it helped me put things in perspective. I started to feel a lot more confident in my abilities and decided that a natural birth might help prevent tearing, which was what caused a hemorrhage after my first labour.
“When I was first pregnant, I read everything there was to know about labour, and thought I was prepared. But this time round, I actually prepared myself mentally and physically, and felt more in control.
“I did change my mind when I got to the hospital, as my contractions got very intense very quickly, but thanks to the support of the midwives and my Hypnobirthing practice, our little boy, Charlie, was born three hours later, with no epidural. Six hours later I was already home, and feel so much better, more calm, and more confident than I did after my first daughter was born.”
Hypnobirthing is a method of pain management that can be used during labour and birth. It involves using a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques.
Gemma, who runs Calm and Contented Hypnotherapy, working across the Fylde area, said: “Hypnobirthing is a therapy close to my heart as I gave birth using hypnosis with both of my children. Hypnotherapy for birth really helps to mentally prepare for labour. It can have an amazing impact on the wellbeing of pregnant women. It helps to dispel anxiety, reduce fears, helps mum-to-be to bond with their unborn baby, as well as improving physical wellbeing by dealing with issues such as fatigue and high blood pressure.
“Hypnotherapy can be used for relaxation at any time during pregnancy and can help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness.
“The actual birth preparation takes place at about 32 weeks, giving ample time for couples to practice what they have learnt and prepare for a positive outcome.
“Hypnobirthing is an excellent way to prepare for a normalised birth.
“It tends to appeal to women who would prefer an unmedicated and more natural approach. That said, there is no reason you can’t have pain relief when hypnobirthing and some women use hypnosis when preparing for a caesarean.”