Tag Archives: Hypnobirthing

You are so brave

Posted on 07. Jan, 2011 by pinky in Pinky, Uncategorized

I would be rich if I could have a Rand for every time someone has said this to me about home birthing.
I don’t blame people for saying it and I am not upset at any of my friends who have said these words to me, it is how they honestly feel. With the way we have been conditioned to think about birth, I don’t really blame them, but it makes me sad.

Bravery according to my good friend Wikipedia means the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

To say that I am brave to have a home birth implies that it is something you would need courage to face as it must be inherently dangerous/painful or horrible. We have been so conditioned into thinking that birth is something that needs to be medically managed and controlled that the thought of anything different gives the idea of risk.

This idea is concreted in our minds when we see TV shows about woman on their back screaming in pain and the medical staff being the ones to save the day. The mom looks like she is being tortured. We buy into this, birth looks scary and we expect it to be sore. The amazing thing about our minds is that the more you tell it something is true the more the subconscious start to believe this.

But what if this is not true, what if we are perpetuating a lie. But the more it happens, as we have been taught to expect, the more the idea of anything different becomes harder and harder for people to believe. After all either their own birth, or that of the mother, friend, granny, colleague is a testament to the fact that birth is painful and goes wrong a lot.

Given this belief it is easy to see why most women are not keen to take this perceived risk. They want to be in hospital where they can get help if all of the horrors happen, or even better yet they can totally avoid all this unpleasantness and have a planned day in theater with a Dr in control and the idea that less can go wrong.

If we look at the history of birth and the statistical facts about risk and safety we soon scratch away this layer of horror that surrounds birth and we see that the truth might actually be something very different. I had 2 home births and while they were wonderful they were painful and quite difficult. In a way being a midwife and a normal person exposed to media I was also convinced it was supposed to be sore. This time I am birthing not only at home which is statistically still very safe but I am trying to challenge the subconscious perception that it is supposed to be painful.

My births were amazing. I did them drug free and statistically for a low risk pregnancy the outcome for baby and mother is still better for normal birth with minimal intervention. Yet I am considered the brave one, when if you look at research I actually had the safest births.

I think it is sad that birthing normally has become equated with bravery. As I said I understand why and I don’t blame people for the way they feel. I just think it is sad.

My next post I think I will do on why birth does not have to be painful and traumatic. Maybe as the number of people that have calm comfortable births increase the idea that it has to be agony can be challenged.


Posted on 23. Nov, 2010 by geek in The Geek

I’ll be honest, my first thoughts when Pinky mentioned hypnobirthing was: “Yes dear, whatever hippy stuff will make you happy.” Scepticism was rife of course, that’s just who I am.

Tomorrow is our second class and it has taken me a week to sift through my opinions and thoughts on the matter, but the outcome is oddly positive. (Blogging about it might have been more delayed had Pinky not pointed out how sporadic my posts are already, but I prefer to think I digest longer before raising an opinion…) I truly think this works.

You read correctly. It’s still early in the process, but from what I’ve heard and learnt so far makes perfect sense. Birth is not and was never meant to be painful. The pain stems not from the birth itself but the fighting of the body’s natural process. It’s uncomfortable to be sure, but the female body is beautifully engineered to achieve this pinnacle of procreation. There is no physiological reason for pain.

Pain stems from our ingrained belief that it should be present. Think about the last birth you saw in some tv show, there was lots of anguish and screaming right? I know that was my only perception. Imagine now, for our male readership of none, that you have to start the journey of pregnancy knowing it will culminate in this arduous seperation of baby and mother. I’d be tense and panic stricken too, at the very least.

That’s where the videos (so many videos!) and self-hypnosis comes in. Not to brainwash the pain away, but to help keep you calm and let the fantastic machine that is your body just do its job. I was flabbergasted and, I’ll admit, my mouth was agape in considering this gap in my knowledge. Apart from from the little common knowledge we all pick up, I too had accepted that it hurt, and that was just how it was.

Learning and realising that pain was self induced from fighting the contractions, was an eye opener. To that end, the very shy geek will gladly help share the video in the hopes that the message can be spread. Apart from some names for birthing that avoid making birth sound like a design flaw in us, hypnobirthing made sense.

And to a geek, that *really* matters ;) I’m looking forward to helping Pinky achieve the birth she wants.

PS #Koos is kicking like a pro :D