Bad Mum 2B

Bad Mum 2B

Friday, 23 February 2018

Next To Go into Room 101….Hypnobirthing

Yes, I would love to put hypnobirthing into room 101 ( and I’m a hypnobirthing teacher!). I shall explain why.

First of all it isn’t because hypnobirthing is “hippy nonsense” or because doing a course sets you up to have unrealistic expectations of a perfect birth (both are untrue by the way). It’s not because it’s overpriced because actually it’s worth every single penny and more, so to be prepared and confident for your birth and there are affordable online options, free nhs courses and you can teach yourself.

It is true that hypnobirthing helps a woman step into her power in pregnancy and birthing but I just want to make it clear that Hypnobirthing does not give a woman her birthing power. It doesn’t empower her. To believe this is to mis-understand where the source of the power lies and the source of the power is always the woman. The power exists already within her to birth like the badass she is. Sometimes, and here’s the tragedy, she needs help to find this power of hers and step into her awesomeness.

Hypnobirthing teachers bring to the table an unwavering belief in a woman’s ability to birth and an unshakable support for their wishes, no matter what those wishes might be. But why are women hiring hypnobirthing teachers in the first place? 
From my experience as a teacher, i have found that by far, the dominating reason is not fear of pain (which is what might be assumed) but it is a desire to be in control of their own birthing. That’s the biggy…..control. Control when it comes to coping with the sensations of labour but also control of making their own decisions and having those decisions respected by their caregivers. Control over what happens to their own amazing body and baby.

So here’s the big question….why the fuck don’t women feel in control already? Why isn’t it a given that whatever happens, everyone around them knows who makes the choices and who deserves the utmost respect? Why aren’t they unshakably confident that they can cope well with whatever labour throws at them because they are strong and the support is there?

There are long and complex answers to these questions which I won’t go into now but there is undeniably something very wrong with our birth culture. Doubt is way too prevalent in our society when it comes to women and their power. Here’s what it should be like:

Women should be surrounded by people who believe unquestionably in their ability to frickin’ rock their birth and just in case you are wondering this is not exclusive to a natural birth because you can absolutely, totally rock a c-section/induction etc. but here’s the thing, if women were believed in more there would be fewer medical interventions...that’s the truth). 

At every single antenatal appointment women should be greeted by a midwife that takes it as a given that this woman is awesome, completely autonomous and worthy of the highest respect. Everyone: her partner, mother, sister, brother, the baker, shopkeeper, neighbour should all be bowing down to the sheer awesomeness of HER (okay, maybe not literally as that would be weird). What if instead of people saying “I’m glad I’m not doing it” (yes, I have heard many partners say this), they said “wow, you are going to birth a human, that’s awesome. I’m so jealous”. Imagine the impact of that on us….the level of confidence we would have in ourselves, our bodies and the extent to which we would be listened to and honoured with the most compassionate care, allowing us to emerge from birthing feeling victorious and celebrated for our achievements (We grew a frickin’ actual human being and brought it into this world...that’s no mean feat, right?).

So yes, I wish we could put Hypnobirthing into room 101 forever. I wish we had no need for it. I’d be out of a job but hey.

Emma Culley-Morgan
Birth Coach

Founder of Awesome Mama Antenatal @awesomemamaantenatal


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