One of the first activities we run through on all the Positively Birthing courses is a list.. a list of things we ‘do want’ and things we ‘don’t want’ in our births.. it’s something that’s always incredibly personal from couple to couple, sometime’s its very practical things, sometimes much more emotional, but there’s something that almost ALWAYS comes up- CONTROL. And this is one that takes a bit of unpicking.
But, what is it we want control of? Our bodies? Our decisions? The events of labour? It’s important that we make this clear within our minds.
Control of the decisions
100%, THIS is where we want control. Whilst we gladly accept the support, advice and expertise from our Midwives, Doctors and health care team, taking responsibility for and control of any decisions made in pregnancy and birth can be the ONE thing that flips our experience from negative to positive. HOW to take control of your decisions can be found HERE!
Control of labour
To a point. By understanding the hormones of labour and the physiological journey your baby goes on then YES, we can potentially impact labour. We can take control of where we are, who’s there, what the environment looks and feels like, the positions that we adopt and things we ‘do’ during labour, which are all likely to have a HUGE impact on what happens physiologically. But sometimes babies have other plans, sometimes there’s other influencing factors, and no amount of essential oils or bouncing on a ball can change them. This doesn’t mean it can’t still be an utterly wonderful experience, but knowing that if things take a turn we weren’t expecting, it doesn’t make it our FAULT, but simply a twist and turn of our journey.
Control of our bodies
Now this is my sticking point! YES we can help our bodies out, sure- by adopting positions to aid birth, by encouraging the production of oxytocin, by keeping adrenalin at bay.. but control of our bodies, can we have it? More importantly.. do we want it? What hypnobirthing gives us, is control, not over our bodies, but over our minds. Actually, our bodies know EXACTLY what to do in labour, it’s our brains that get in the way! In humans the neocortex or ‘thinking brain’ is 8 times bigger than in any other mammal, which in many ways is brilliant- it’s exactly how you are sitting here, looking at your phone or computer and taking in all this information. It’s ALSO the part of our brain that enables us to ‘empathise’ (YAY) and catastrophise (OH!).
A question that comes up (without fail) every time I teach is ‘How do you know when to push?’. My answer is always the same. How do you know when to sneeze? Is sneezing something you’ve ever questioned your ability to do? Did anyone ever teach you how to sneeze? Apply the same school of thought to ‘pushing’ and you’ve got it.
What we need in labour ISN’T control over our bodies, it’s trust in them. Trust that they will show us what they need us to do. Trust that they will get the job done in their own time. Trust that the surges cannot be stronger than us, because they come FROM us. Did you know even women in COMAS can give birth thanks to a little something called the ‘fetal ejection reflex’, magic HUH!
If you’re ready to start BUILDING this trust (and taking control of all that ‘practical’ stuff), you can find out more about our group and private courses here.
If you are interested in taking the next step to a positive birth, Positively Birthing Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Classes run throughout Surrey and SW London- areas including Surbiton, Esher, Teddington, Cobham, Twickenham, St Margarets, Thames Ditton, Molesey, Richmond, Wimbledon, Kingston, Sunbury, Epsom, Ewell, Chiswick, Ealing, Notting Hill, Virginia Water, Egham, Staines, Woking Barnes, Mortlake and beyond. All bookings can be made here.