How do you like your coffee? There are options, choose wisely!

How do you like your coffee? There are options, choose wisely!

Over the years Babies in Waiting has seen a huge rise in the number of people becoming aware of Hypnobirthing. 10 years ago it was a predominantly American course and people in Essex thought you were a mad hippy to be teaching it whereas today the NHS are attempting to add their version of it to maternity care. ‘Hurrah’ you might think but let's consider this further…

The reason the word 'Hypnobirthing' is so popular today is because of the success of those original courses and the beautiful and positive births that were a result of a specific program of teaching, practice and reconditioning of the subconscious. Expectant couples didn’t want to fear birth and Hypnobirthing gave them the solution for a calm and comfortable experience. It provided them with a sense of ownership over their experience.

Babies in Waiting are passionate about sticking to the traditional philosophy of Hypnobirthing and we make no apologies for that. We are horrified to see the word Hypnobirthing being banded around by so called practitioners who obviously have no idea about the way in which the mind works and are offering it as a way of birthing alongside pain relief! If they had a proper understanding of the philosophy of Hypnobirthing, they would realise that pain relief does not even enter into a woman’s mind when she is truly Hypnobirthing. The fundamental belief that women are designed to give birth naturally and that it is only a painful experience if a woman is afraid is completely lost on these teachers. This is extremely worrying and damaging to the reputation of Hypnobirthing. If you teach someone about pain relief and tell them that they might need it during labour you are in fact creating a fear in that woman. She is bracing herself for an event that you told her would hurt therefore of course it does – it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It goes against the core principle that Hypnobirthing was originally designed for – to boost a woman’s confidence in her natural abilities.

However, because the word ‘Hypnobirthing’ is now trendy and widely interpreted we have people running mainstream courses that are slowly undoing the original aim of Hypnobirthing.
The Babies in Waiting Hypnobirthing course is unique in terms of its tools, techniques and course material but it is grounded firmly in traditional belief systems. We do not discuss pain relief. We do not discuss interventions. We do not want our parents to have all of the knowledge of a midwife in their head because that stops them from fully trusting nature. It is the midwife’s job to have the education and training in case of an emergency. The mother needs to be in touch with her primal self. We talk about nature and the natural gifts that your hormones give you during labour. We talk about creating the right atmosphere for birth and having an informed, supportive partner.

For us the most important element is the reconditioning of the subconscious. We all have years and years of negative programming about birth and labour being a painful event. We have all heard horror stories, watched awful Science videos at school and seen labour dramatised on soap operas like Eastenders. Our subconscious has been taking on board messages about birth ever since our own birth experiences. When a woman finds out she is pregnant, she has to work hard to remove any of these negative messages in her subconscious so that they are not retriggered when she is labouring. Triggers can occur by the language that is used around her, things she sees, hears and even smells. Her senses all behave as doorways to memories that are deep within her subconscious. It is vitally important that a woman ensures that her subconscious is cleared of negativity as much as possible and boosted with confidence, positivity and calm. She needs to go into her labour with her mind fully focused and with no doubt about her capabilities. Doubts are like poisonous plants for a pregnant woman. They start as potential seed within a pregnant woman’s mind and then if labour is challenging or long in duration the seed can grow and flower with its poison. Babies in Waiting exterminate the poisonous seeds and teach women how to protect themselves from doubts during their pregnancy. All of this however takes time! You can’t recondition a subconscious towards something as momentous as labour and birth in a single session or by simply reading a book about Hypnobithing. Neither can you possibly do it effectively via Skype!!

The process of educating the conscious mind while removing the negativity of the subconscious and boosting positivity should be done over several weeks. Babies in Waiting teach our courses over 4 weeks and then strongly recommend that mothers return for weekly pregnancy relaxation sessions for the rest of their pregnancy. Learning should also take place in an environment that is conducive for retaining information. All of our class locations are relaxed home from home, natural settings.

When considering your antenatal education, do your research and make sure you know exactly what you are getting and the philosophy behind the course. A simplistic analogy for you…
There are many different varieties and ways in which to drink coffee. Just as there are now many different ways to learn Hypnobirthing.

A sip of instant coffee at home is like the reading of a Hypnobirthing book – you get the taste of it but it’s not really going to make much lasting change to your birth belief systems.
A coffee out of a vending machine – is like an NHS course. It’s cheap and cheerful (not always free by the way). It’s playing lip service to improving standards in maternity for women by teaching them about the wonders of ‘Hypnobirthing’ but you don’t really know what you are getting and whether it is actually authentic. Courses are being taught by people who do not have freedom of speech because they have NHS guidelines at the forefront of their minds. Some NHS practitioners are telling women you can Hypnobirth and have pain relief at the same time! This is NOT Hypnobirthing in the true sense of the word. This is confusing, misleading and damaging for women who sign up on the basis of all of the good things they have heard about Hypnobirthing from birth stories of couples taught by private practitioners! In addition, an over stretched NHS can’t possibly sustain an additional antenatal class therefore predictably the coffee machine will more than likely be on the blink!

A freshly brewed coffee in a comfortable, serene environment served with a freshly baked cake – this is like a Babies in Waiting Hypnobirthing course. It is more money and a greater investment in time but you receive a wholly nurturing experience and supportive package. Babies in Waiting provide continuity in their support with regular meet ups, 24/7 telephone support, pregnancy relaxation classes and refresher sessions. We are passionate about empowering couples to own their birth experience and to know that they do not have to consent to certain examinations or constraints during labour. They can opt out of things if they choose and not feel emotionally blackmailed by their healthcare provider who has to tick a box on a piece of paperwork. Why? Because they have the Babies in Waiting confidence!

How you want to birth your baby is a huge decision. How you prepare for birth will set you up for the rest of your Mothering journey. Invest your time and efforts wisely and without naivety. Birth is beautiful, trust it.