My name is Margaux and I am a mother and qualified KGHypnobirthing teacher (Katharine Graves Hypnobirthing). I decided to train after I had my son as practising the Katharine Graves Hypnobirthing techniques during my pregnancy allowed me to have a brilliant birth. I firmly believe that I should not be in the minority to have had the experience I did, but sadly, this is the case.
I was raised in a happy, open family where birth wasn’t presented as the scary, terrifying process it is so incorrectly portrayed to be today. Yes there can be complications and I do not profess to be able to replace the expertise of the highly experienced medical staff who are trained to deal with these situations. But if all is well, I strongly feel that the female body is built to birth and that we are designed to do this. Regardless of how or where you give birth, you should be informed and knowledgeable about the processes and procedures on offer. It is your right to have a choice to anything that is offered to you.
I knew nothing about Hypnobirthing when I became pregnant, zero. I had a wonderful pair of midwives who suggested I take a closer look, but as I was busy finishing a term of teaching at school, I took a second to consider the term ‘Hypnobirthing’ and quickly wrote it off. However, it was my husband who said one evening, “Maybe it would be good to learn something else about all of this?” Considering this voice of reason, I thought that yes, one more trick up my sleeve couldn’t hurt.
The reality is, the short Hypnobirthing course we took part in couldn’t have prepared us any better. We did the standard antenatal classes, which were OK, but they felt light, lacking in depth and after a 10 hour day at work, there was only so much information we could consume! I also felt they gave information about breast-feeding, and paediatric first-aid, but there was very little content about the birth itself. In contrast my husband and I left the Hypnobirthing course astounded! We had learnt more in that short session than we had over 6 antenatal classes. It suddenly all seemed so logical, so simple. We understood how everything would work. I fortunately had never been afraid of labour but I certainly hadn’t had a clue what to expect. Now we knew!
And then came my estimated ‘due date’, and miraculously my labour. Although was it miraculous? I’m not so sure. I was prepared, calm, I knew not to panic when the sensations came and so maybe my ‘due date’ was always going to be ‘the day’.
It all happened on a very hot Wednesday in July. My girlfriend was breaking up with a guy and so I thought I better do the right thing and honour the dinner date we had planned. I travelled in to central London on the tube and mentioned to her that I was in the early stages of labour. Admittedly she was a bit shocked, but I explained that I felt fine and wasn’t worried and that we should just enjoy the evening. I started to feel the contractions more frequently during supper and whilst it was slightly surreal to be having these sensations on a night out in Soho, I knew that keeping calm was important and that some laughter and relaxing conversation would only help me. Hypnobirthing had taught me about how my body would work and so at no point was I anxious or panicked. I left at the end of a great evening, listened to some comedy podcasts on the way home to raise those all important oxytocin levels, and after a bath and a few hours of different positions, at 3am my beautiful baby was born.
I say none of this to boast, but to highlight how powerful Hypnobirthing can be. Despite being on our own for much of the birth, my husband and I knew what to do and how to work together to help my body and our baby. I cannot tell you that there was no discomfort - there was- but I always had in the back of my mind that my body was built to deal with it, it could handle it. And it did.
We as women are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for and I shall always feel extremely fortunate to have had the experience I did. But that shouldn’t be the case. If our babies and bodies are healthy, we should all have the opportunity and right to a calm, informed birth. That is why I trained to be a Hypnobirthing teacher and if you will let me, I would love to help you.