It’s likely you’ve heard of the term hypnobirthing before, but have you ever wondering what it’s all about? On the journal this week is Lillian Beth, registered midwife, pilates instructor and hypnobirthing practitioner - a real powerhouse in the birth space, to explain the ins and outs of hypnobirthing from her perspective.
You might have stumbled across this because you are planning to bring a baby into the world or possibly already pregnant ~ big love wherever you are in your journey. Hypnobirthing tends to get an immediate eyebrow raise and ‘woo woo’ alarm bells and to be perfectly honest I had the same thoughts initially too - it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the concept particularly because it’s completely rooted in evidence around optimising birth for women and their experiences. I am deeply passionate about creating space for women to feel into their own power, abilities and intuition on their journey into motherhood.
I love to blend my knowledge as a Registered Midwife with my skills as a Pilates instructor to infuse my education as a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner with a holistic and health-conscious mindset. I have a little business called Woven, my goal in my work is to guide my clients with love and encourage our society to bring back the ritual of birth. I feel birth is such an incredible, primitive and transitional time in a woman and her partners life ~ it deserves reverence, space and respect.
There are plenty of different and incredible options for birth education. In my opinion doing some sort of education whether that be online, in person, a hospital course or private education is a powerful investment in a families preparation for parenthood.
I teach the Hypnobirthing Australia course with a focus on positive and supportive practices that are useful in the birth space. I love when I have finished the course with a couple and they feel excited and beautifully prepared for their birthing journey.
The course is designed to connect birthing women and their partners with techniques to help achieve a deep state of relaxation. With a foundation in understanding the normal physiology of labour and birth we also focus on creating a calm state, with these tools we can encourage the birthing mother and baby to navigate the dance of labour with a combination of strength and softness.
Hypnobirthing Australia provides tools to navigate if birth takes a different turn to expected or if difficulties or variations arise. Birth is beautiful and complex so from a midwifery perspective it is important for me that my clients know and understand that birth can look different for everyone. A few small and intentional rituals can completely evolve a couples experience in the birth space.
Birth partners are included in everything throughout the course and learn ways to help the birthing woman throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond. Each class is made up of theory around the normal physiology of birth, the science of the subconscious mind and understanding the process of labour and birth. As well as practical tools, which includes active relaxation and breathing exercises, hands-on massage techniques and hypnosis practice components (I could go on and on!)
I run the course in a 1:1 capacity as well as in a workshop setting and a combination of both, I can also teach the course online for couples who live a little further away, I’m based in Brisbane and often travel up and down the coast (any excuse for a swim and some sea air).
My five favourite tips for the birth space are around optimising oxytocin which is our clever love and connection hormone. It’s in charge of carrying the labour, so her role is vital ~
1. Stay at home for as long as feels right to optimise your beautiful birthing hormones, allow your surges (or contractions) to become strong regular and rhythmic like waves in the ocean. Oxytocin will build when you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed, your home is your own little oxytocin bubble.
2. Make the space yours ~ we want you to feel like a birthing goddess (at home and in the hospital/ birth centre) dim the lights, drop the blinds, use a diffuser to fill the room with a scent you love & play your favourite music.
3. Spend time connecting in with your partner, let the love flow between you ~ this is a magical time, you are bringing your beautiful baby into the world together. Oxytocin is our love and connection hormone, the more we can support and optimise it the more we help your labour.
4. Use the water, if you can access the shower and/or a bath or a birth pool the water can be an incredible tool to soften the intensity of labour and mobilise to help your baby navigate the birth path.
5. Have deep and connected conversations with your partner prior to the birth, create some clear preferences around your labour and birth. This can ensure you feel safe and your needs and wishes are met wherever possible and your partner can advocate for you if needed.