Did you know, we are the only species of mammal that doubt our ability to give birth?
It's down to the fact that the neo-cortex (the thinking part) of our brain is so much bigger than in any other animal. Which for most of human existence is GREAT news. It enables us to make decisions, hold conversation, negotiate, empathise with others and communicate in a way not seen in other animals.. BUT it also enables to to imagine things that haven't happened, catastrophise and feel irrational fear.
When our neo-cortex is active (whilst we are talking, or making decisions for instance), we may be creating adrenalin. Adrenalin is the ANTI-HORMONE of labour! It can create tension in our bodies- increasing pain, cause labour to stall, and affect the physiological process of giving birth.
The relaxation tools of hypnobirthing enable us to 'quiet' the neo-cortex part of our brain. We need this part of our brain to remain 'still' so the primal parts of our brain can do their hormone producing jobs! You may have heard women describe themselves in labour as feeling 'on another planet' or 'totally out of it', you may have observed women or felt yourself making sounds or adopting positions that you would feel inhibited to do day to day- and this is down the lower levels of activity in the neocortex- essentially, allowing your body to what it instinctively needs, rather than listening to any rational thoughts or preconceived ideas.
But, whether you are doing hypnobirthing or not- there are some super simple ways of keeping that part of your brain quiet!
1. Asking conversation to go through your birth partner initially. (There'll be some things- like gaining consent- where your midwife will need to speak to you directly) But if they're just checking your home address, there's no reason why this can't be directed to your partner!
2. Asking for handovers and conversation to take place outside the room.
3. Discussing your birth preferences in advance- and writing them down. So decisions don't need to be made mid-way through labour. (Of course you can change any aspect of your birth preferences whenever you like!)
Any more tips for quieting that 'thinking' part of your brain in labour?
To read more hints and tips for a positive birth experience read more 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, and beyond. All bookings can be made here.