Fearne Cotton is the latest celebrity to talk about the benefits of HypnoBirthing and here, taken from her latest column for the Norwich Evening News, Jackie Heffer-Cooke tells of her own HypnoBirth journey…
In a Facebook post Fearne Cotton writes “Having a natural, pain relief free birth was the most intense and euphoric experience ever… Although all we want is a healthy baby I think we should remember how amazing the female body is and the strength of a woman. Obviously there is no right or wrong birth and they can be magical in many ways I just feel blessed to have had this experience thanks to hypnobirthing”.
Yes, birth does come in many different ways, and no mum should feel judged on how she births. Babies are loved the same, and women are just as amazing, whether they HypnoBirth or have a C-section.
But HypnoBirthing really is a super cool way to birth, if your body ‘behaves’ in birth and if you ever get the chance.
10 years ago, (before I knew about HypnoBirthing), I birthed my daughter Megan. We had just finished the NHS ante-natal classes. I should say not all NHS classes are the same, and some midwives are brilliant at presenting them, but unfortunately my experience was not great. The three classes basically told us which drugs I should take and how much pain I could expect. At the end of the final session I asked the training midwife if there would be anything at all to look forward to when giving birth. The others giggled apprehensively, she looked at me sympathetically. I guess not.
And well, it turned out to be a pretty painful and disastrous experience. To be honest, James and I kind of panicked, and that never really stopped. I look back on that birth as ‘what the hell happened’, and promised myself I would never do it like that again.
One day, two years later, whilst working on a pitch for a programme in my old role as TV Producer I came across HypnoBirthing. And, well, without meaning to sound melodramatic, it changed my life.
Somehow, I ended up training in HypnoBirthing. We learnt about hypnosis. How it’s not about ‘turning people into chickens and laughing at their expense’, it’s more about allowing yourself to breathe and relax, to take yourself into a place where you are calm, centred and perfectly in control. Passing through your critical mind – the part that responds in a way it is ‘expected’ to and says ‘ow that hurts’ – into the subconscious mind, which is calm, without ‘expectation’ and open to suggestion. In this case the suggestion is that ‘Birthing is natural and can be enjoyed’. Yep, even enjoyed!
By the end of the course I found myself really believing, it is possible, “you can have a better birth!” and then happily I proved it to myself when I had my second baby, Sam, in 2009.
In my experience, and in the experience of many, many mums and dads who email me after their births, HypnoBirthing is birthing with confidence, and without fear, which is powerful. If the mind tells the body everything is ok, and you have a few tools, techniques and movements to help guide you, all of a sudden it is totally do-able, it might even be a beautiful experience you may cherish for the rest of your life! More than that, HypnoBirthing, as a philosophy, has stayed with me as a mum and trickled into our family life. Techniques to think positive, stay strong, to believe in yourself and relax and ‘let go’. Yes be warned, HypnoBirthing can seriously change not just your birth, but also your life – give it a go…
Jackie Heffer-Cooke teaches HypnoBirthing, is a teacher and the founder of YogaBubs Baby Yoga, YogaBumps Pregnancy Yoga and is a co-Directer of The Orange Grove Clinic. You can book a place in any of Jackies classes via our online shop, by going to our contact page or by calling Reception on 01603 631 900.