As a student midwife and hypnobirthing teacher, I’m often asked: "What's the difference between a hypnobirth and a non-hypnobirth?’, and the answer isn’t quite what you might expect!
Whilst a natural vaginal birth, home birth and waterbirth are more ‘common’ amongst hypnobirth
ing mums, and the chances of an instrumental birth or c-section are reduced, this isn’t where the difference lies. Many mothers have a positive, natural experience having not studied hypnobirthing, and some mums opting for intervention, use hypnobirthing very effectively. The difference to me, lies in the ‘feel’ of the birth.
There’s usually a calm sense of control in hypnobirthing mothers. In some instances it’s even hard to tell when they are having a surge and when they are not. Though even for the many mothers who vocalise their surges, this always seems to be an expression of power rather than fear.
There’s very rarely ever a sense of ‘panic’ amongst hypnobirthing couples. Decisions are made rationally and calmly, thanks to the decision making tools that hypnobirthing provides. Couples come to birth well prepared for any situation, and make their own decisions that feel right for them in that moment. This can be the difference between a positive and negative birth experience, regardless of how baby ends up entering the world.
One of the most profound differences I see in hypnobirthing, is in the birth partner. Very often in birth, the birth partner doesn’t know ‘how’ to help. Their role isn’t clearly defined, and though more often than not, they want to help, they often find themselves at a loss for practical tools. Hypnobirthing partners on the other hand have a set of tools at their finger tips, they feel a ‘part’ of the whole experience and make the same birth journey as their other half. The bond that you see between couples when they are hypnobirthing is beautiful. The preparation they have done together throughout pregnancy shows, the continuity of care that that birth partner offers has a tremendously positive impact and they well and truly birth TOGETHER in a way that you don’t often see.
When a hypnobirthing couple walks into the birth room, I feel excited, I feel grateful and I can’t wait to support them on this journey to becoming parents.
Megan Rossiter is a Student Midwife, KG Hypnobirthing Teacher and founder of Positively Birthing in Surrey.