Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hypnobirthing and Me

I am a great believer in the power of hypnobirthing, or simply using relaxation and breathing techniques to get through any pain.

When I was around 28 weeks pregnant with my first child in 2011, I started researching about hypnobirthing but at the time I didn't consider classes as I reckoned I could save myself some money by doing it myself at home.

I downloaded a few tracks by Hypnobirthing practioner and doula Callie Copeman-Bryant who has a lovely, velvety soft voice just perfect for relaxing to. I can no longer find them, but one is simply called Birth Affirmations and one is called Warm Heart which encourages you to imagine you are in a super cosy chalet in the Alps whilst snow begins to fall. I still have these tracks on my geriatric Creative Zen mp3 player, so I was able to use them again. I dedicated a few evenings a week to listening to my music, whether it be in bed or in the bath. Rob would often listen to it with me, or listen to a radio show using headphones whilst he gave my light-touch massage on my back.
I gave birth to Lily naturally at 36 weeks (spontaneous labour) and I didn't use any pain-relief. I just got myself into the zone and imagined a blooming rose when she started crowning.

With my second child I started hypnobirthing techniques around 30 weeks and this time I downloaded the Mongan method on the Kindle which I read at least twice. I certainly took on board some things, but I generally went with the flow. I also downloaded 'Rainbow Affirmations' but my hypnobirthing playlist was on my Spotify account on my ipad which I don't think made it to hospital once I was transferred from my planned home birth. So I just had my trusty Creative Zen (good name,considering the circumstances) and the one track which made me zone out so much, so much so that the theatre doctors thought I was already spaced out on drugs, was ironically by a band who I don't associate chill out music with. Aqueous Transmission, by Incubus. Wikipedia tells me that the idea of this particular track was to make the listener 'pee their pants with relaxation'. It is 7 minutes and 46 seconds long incorporating Chinese instruments and at least a minute at the end just comprising of the sounds of frogs croaking outside their music studio in Malibu. I find the lyrics good to reach relaxation and create images in my head.

The first verse:

I'm floating down a river
Oars freed from their homes long ago
Lying face up on the floor
Of my vessel
I marvel at the stars
And feel my heart overflow

I will absolutely be listening to this during Baby Bee's labour and I have just added a few tracks to my existing Spotify playlist, namely M83's Outro and a few string quartet pieces. I need to find my Creative Zen! A significant difference this time is that I was kindly sent a Wavhello BellyBuds kit which is a specialised speaker system allowing both myself and the bump listen to the same piece of music using adhesive speakers. I think the very idea of Baby Bee being able to hear the same piece of music in utero is a bonding, relaxing experience in itself, especially knowing that memories can start forming from 30 weeks. Conveniently the kit comes supplied with an audio splitter. I know I have one somewhere, but they are little things which can go missing pretty easily with two young children around!


I will publish my complete hypnobirthing soundtrack as soon as I can. Thanks for reading.

Have you used hypnobirthing techniques?
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