The Birth that Changed My Life
This week Lex turned 5, I don't quite understand where 5 years have gone, but here I am, now teaching women to take control of their birth, educate themselves and labour fearlessly.
Growing up all I wanted was to fall in love and have a family. Cheers Disney! Fortunately enough, a Frenchman swept me off my feet and my dreams came true.
As strong as it was, my desire for a family was rivalled with my fear of giving birth. I absolutely dreaded it. I don’t do pain. How the hell would I push a human being out of me?!
It was at 7 months pregnant that I discovered “hypnobirthing”. It is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Although I’m 6ft tall, I didn’t realise I would have such a big baby (naive or what?).
Hypnobirthing enabled me to listen, relax and breathe my baby out. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt. It really hurt. But I went into it fearless which meant I had already achieved the impossible - removing fear and going into labour confidently.
Now I’m no earth mother; I don’t dance around trees or burn incense sticks. I am just a woman who embraces anything, including hypnobirthing. I really threw myself into it. Let’s face it, reading a book and practising a couple of times at home doesn’t really cut it. You need to fully immerse into a course as a couple, take home what you’ve learnt, and integrate it into your everyday life.
Hypnobirthing starts with a scientific approach – when we fear something the human body goes into fight or flight mode. This means our blood rushes to the arms to punch and the legs to run. But if we are relaxed, our blood and muscles work as they should do. With your rational cap on, you realise that the female body is designed to give birth, the uterus muscles are designed to push the baby out. If we are relaxed, this process can happen naturally. Geddit?
Unfortunately though, our fretful society still has an alarming amount of unnatural births. Unnatural births cost the NHS millions each year. An epidural costs the NHS over £700 and a Caesarean section costs the NHS over £1,700 with mothers staying in hospital for days after. Trust me, when you’ve had the baby no matter how unwell you feel, all you want to do is get home.
It’s no surprise then, that I harp on to anyone and everyone about birth choices. Mothers have a choice, they can listen to the horror stories and dread their labour or they can embrace relaxation techniques and own it.
The only stumbling block I found is that many expecting parents can’t justify the cost of a hypnobirthing course (mine are £250). Especially when there’s so many other things to buy in preparation for the little one’s arrival.
But what if I tell you these are skills for life. My husband fell into some nettles the other day and was in so much discomfort he couldn't sleep. He asked me to put my relaxation MP3s on and boom! He was out within seconds.
Don't forget family, friends and colleagues can contribute to the cost - it's the perfect, most life-changing gift. By attending my hypnobirthing course expectant parents will sleep better, birth confidently and go into parenthood with a positive start. And that's the key.
You wouldn't run a marathon without training, so why go into labour without training? It's just as physically enduring.
Once I made my birth choice to do hypnobirthing with Lex, I practised three times a day for three months and developed the tools to have the labour I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, but I felt in control and didn’t need drugs or gas and air.
If we can increase the amount of natural births, either at home or through relaxation techniques, imagine what we can achieve. Women will make wise decisions, they will gain control and they will have a positive outlook on their birthing experience. Just imagine what that can do to society.
Giving birth will no longer be feared. It will be something we enjoy, something we look forward to and something we can be thankful for. Thank god I am a woman! It’s a new age of empowered women – we’ve got this!