People say that becoming a parent is life-changing. I was prepared for this. I just hadn't known exactly how this change would manifest itself.
In the run up to Johan's birth-day, Dave and I practised something called 'Hypnobirthing'. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's becoming more widely talked about in the media. Granted, it's not yet mainstream, but **** me it should be!
Why doesn't everyone know about Hypnobirthing?! Why aren't all expectant parents enrolled onto Hypnobirthing courses immediately?! Why isn't Hypnobirthing public knowledge?!
Because they don't; because they aren't and because it's not, classes aren't easy to come by. We had to travel for over an hour to meet our teacher, but I'll tell you this: it was TOTALLY worth it. During the 10 hour course, which we took over two Sundays, we learnt the basics of hypnotherapy; deepened our understanding of the physiological process of birth; learnt guided visualisations; practised massage techniques, breathing exercises and birth preparation; built up our confidence; learnt to release fear and perhaps most importantly: we were given information about our choices for birth.
We learnt so much more than just 'a few techniques to use during labour'.
Armed with our Hypnobirthing book, MP3s and course notes, Dave and I read, listened to and practised, practised, practised. You see, that's the key to Hypnobirthing: you put in the work - you get the results. There's no magic wand. Although, having said that, there's no denying that the results are truly mind-blowing.
You are likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes pain free birth;
Your baby will arrive in a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended;
Length of labour is often much shorter with Hypnobirthing births;
Less drugs and medical intervention are used in Hypnobirthing births, allowing your baby to develop naturally and easily after they arrive;
Mums often bounce back quicker after a Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced;
Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth. A truly shared and loving experience;
Hypnobirthing babies are often calm, content and sleep really well. They seem to thrive better. It may seem miraculous but this is how Hypnobirthing is designed to be.
And that's how it was for us. Except for the shorter labour *mutters something about 36 hours, giant baby, a power cut and carpets being fitted...* but you can read more about that here.
Following Johan's birth, I kept hearing myself repeating: why isn't Hypnobirthing public knowledge?! People need to know about this! Someone needs to tell them that birth doesn't have to be like all the horror stories! It doesn't have to be all sweary and yelly and frightening.
Birth can be relaxed and calm; birth can be free of pain; birth can empower you. Birth can be all these things - and more!
And that's when it hit me: be the change you want to see in the world.
It's true: 18 months can change a person - in ways they least expected. Not only do Dave and I now have the most incredible 9 month old son, I also have a completely new direction in life.
After spending the last 15 years teaching in some of the toughest schools in Kent and East London, I made the bold decision to resign from my role as Assistant Headteacher and dedicate every sleeping hour of Johan's young life to retrain. I am now a registered KGHypnobirthing Practitioner, having completed an in-depth training course accredited by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), with the inspirational Katharine Graves, founder of KG Hypnobirthing: the original UK Hypnobirthing.
And so, as this phenomenal year draws to a close, I am so proud and excited to publicly announce the birth of baby number 2 - my new baby business: BirthWright.
And please - feel free to like and share the love!
For more information or to book a free clarity call, email Helen@BirthWright.co.uk
Your body, your baby, your birth
Helen Wright: Double Mama to two gorgeous little humans; Positive Birth Coach and Postnatal Revival Expert, is on a mission to support parents achieve the right births for them and their babies and help them to thrive in the precious postnatal period and beyond.
Helen is an experienced KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, Positive Birth Coach and Creative Genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards; she's also a Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist with the Placenta Remedies Network, a Registered Breastfeeding Helper with the Breastfeeding Network and she co-hosts a monthly Family Meet Up & Support Group in the East End of London where she lives.
For more info visit: www.BirthWright.co.uk and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.