Here is Pippa’s story …..
My son was born in 2010 after over three hours of pushing. He was born in the water, which is what I wanted but I sustained a third degree tear and felt like I’d been hit by a truck afterwards. Muscles I didn’t know I had ached! When I was pregnant with my daughter and thinking about the kind of birth I wanted I knew that this time needed to be different.
I remember chatting to my partner a week before our daughter was born and telling him that I didn’t want to push this time. He looked slightly bemused by this but I knew what I meant. I knew that this time I would listen to my body’s impulses and work with them, I didn’t realise what I had to do with my son which I feel led to inefficient pushing and the tear.
When I went into labour I was 9cm dilated when we arrived at hospital. I found a position which helped me to deal with contractions (standing with my arms against the wall and leaning my head on them) and managed well until I could get into the pool. I used gas and air when I was in the pool and, instead of pushing, just breathed down with each contraction. I really feel like my body, and my baby, worked together to deliver her. The only push I gave was to free her body and allow her to swim up to meet us. My partner remarked on how quiet I was. I remember being inside my own mind for most of the time, I feel that I could have done it on my own as both the midwife and my partner were really peripheral. I absolutely got the birth I wanted after the struggle of my son’s. I felt absolutely euphoric afterwards!
I have a beautifully calm, relaxed little girl who has always been an easy baby. I am sure that her lovely birth has contributed to this. While I didn’t formally undertake hypnobirthing I do believe that many of the techniques I used are part of it .and, were I to have any more children, I would definitely be finding out more.
Pippa’s gorgeous daughter arrived safely into the world weighing 9lbs 3.5oz.
The first time I heard about birth affirmations, I have to admit to being a little sceptical but the theory of affirmations is to say them repeatedly so they become part of your subconsicous and ultimately a natural part of your birthing relaxation.
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition) suggests repeating the affirmations below (amongst others) regularly throughout the last few months of pregnancy:
- I am relaxed and happy that my baby is coming to me.
- I am focused on a smooth, easy birth.
- I trust my body and I follow its lead.
- I feel confident. I feel safe. I feel secure.
- My muscles work in complete harmony to make birthing easier.
- I feel a natural tranquility flowing through my body.
- I relax as we move quickly and easily through each phase of birth.
- My baby is perfectly positioned for every phase of labor.
- I fully relax and turn my birthing over to nature.
- I feel my body gently sway with relaxation.
- I turn my birthing over to my baby and my body.
- My baby moves gently among its journey.
- Each surge of my body brings my baby closer to me.
- I deepen my relaxation as I move further into labor.
- My body is at ease.
- I welcome my baby with happiness and joy.
These are not all the suggested affirmations but I personally didn’t feel comfortable saying ones that talked about my cervix and womb but every mum to be is different and it makes sense to tailor your affirmations to the strength and confidence that you need.
I recall repeatedly saying “this is what my body is designed for” over and over again. I am quite sure that having confidence in my own body enabled me to have the birth I wanted.
Choosing the right affirmation for you is what will make them work. You have to be able to repeat them and believe in them, so that your belief becomes a reality.