Avocating

There is so much more to a hypnobirthing course than just breathing and science!

One of the most important aspects of antenatal education is learning about informed choice and how to advocate for yourselves.  This is something to think about long before labour starts and understanding what is a ‘good’ source of information is also very helpful when you are making important decisions together. As part of the birth planning process we will look at the pros & cons of different situations and what, why and how different interventions might be offered to you. 

‘Offered’ it’s one of the key things to understand.  It means exactly that… Offered. We are suggesting this course of action. We are recommending this course of action.. The decision is yours as to whether you think it would be right for you at this time.

Using the BRAINS tool is a good way of working out whether the course of action is for you.

Benefits – What are the benefits of this test or procedure for me and my baby?

Risks – What are the risks of this test or procedure for me and my baby?

Alternatives – Are there any alternatives to this test or procedure?

Intuition/Instinct– What do I think about this test or procedure,  Does it worry me, make me happy, do I need to ask for another opinion?

Nothing – What would happen if I did nothing?

Smile! – Because it makes every difficult thing seem a little easier.

Here are a couple of scenarios to show how to use it.

Example one

Your partner is being offered an induction because an USS has said that there may be a Large Baby on board. And you have been told about the risk of your baby getting stuck.

Benefit – Your baby will be born soon. If your baby is compromised then an expedited delivery may be beneficial for the baby.

Risks – Your baby will be born before s/he is physically ready.  This may affect their well being and their ability to feed.  It will affect your mental health as your body is not ready yet to give birth.  

Induction of labour is a medicalised procedure that uses synthetic hormones to attempt to kick start your body into labour before it is ready. It is a painful process to go through when your body does not have the right hormonal balance in place to deal with the sensations. 

The artificial hormone drip will force the uterus to contract and the baby will move down through the pelvis in a forced manner.  The risk of dystocia (baby getting stuck) increases.

There is a much greater need for intervention, greater use of pain relief is often needed, Epidurals are commonplace when syntocinon hormones are in use.

This leads to a higher chance of needing a cesarean.

Alternatives – What alternatives are you being offered?  Has a sweep been suggested?  Has an Elective Cesarean been suggested.

Intuition – what is your instinct telling you to do?  Wait?  Proceed?  Do you need to take some time out to think about it and talk it through together? You know that ultrasound scans can be 2lbs out either way when measuring your baby. You are worried about having a syntocionon drip and forced surges. Failure to wait is often a significant reason why babies get stuck.  Pulling a baby with instruments, that has not turned fully in the pelvis is another reason for the baby getting stuck. 

Nothing – If you do nothing you will go into labour naturally when your body is ready.  Statistics show that mothers do not generally grow babies that do not pass through her pelvis.  Many 13lb babies are born at home physiologically with no intervention. If a baby is genuinely too large for your pelvis labour will often stall and an alternative delivery method may be required at that point.

Smile – Smile! Its a great stress reliever and will help you make your decision.

Example Two

Your partner’s labour has stalled, she is getting upset and is in pain.  An Epidural has been suggested along with a Syntocinon Drip to restart the surges to come more regularly.

Benefit – An epidural will go some way to relieving the pain that your partner is in and the syntocinon drip will help the labour progress to delivery of the baby.

Risks – Epidural Anesthesia is known to have many risks which will be explained to you by the Anaesthetist before the needle is sited in your Partner’s back.  These include, spinal cord injury, severe headaches, and paralysis.  

  • An Epidural main effect is making it very difficult for a birthing person to move freely around, this in turn makes it difficult for them to move into optimal birthing positions to help the baby move through the pelvis, thus making Instrumental and Surgical Delivery of the baby more likely.
  • Syntocinon Drips, increase the level of oxytocin in a mother’s blood stream and this in turn ramps up the contractions,  this can lead to the baby becoming distressed and an emergency surgical delivery may become necessary

Alternatives-  There are a few things that you can try to get the labour back on track.  First of all identifying what has caused the raising of the Adrenaline levels in the first place is so important.  Were the lights put on?  Was there a change of staffing?  Does she need her bladder emptying, food and fluid may seem obvious, but are often forgotten as labour progresses. What doesn’t she like? What is upsetting her?

Most important of all, is the need to reduce the amount of Adrenaline in the birthing person’s system.   Movement and gentle swaying in an upright position can help align the baby’s head more firmly on the cervix.  Using the visualisations, Affirmation and the Easy Breathing Techniques can all help align the hormone balance back in favour of birthing naturally. Privacy will help, lock yourselves in the bathroom for a little while to re-engage. These things may take a little while to help, so patience is key.  

Intuition-  Listen to your partner, what does she think is wrong, and what does she think needs to change.  Is the baby moving?  How have the surges changed for her.

Nothing –  What will happen if you do nothing?  Will the pain and fear resolve on its own?  Will the baby become distressed?  Is the baby distressed now?  These things should help you inform your decision making.

Smile – As before! Smile, you’ll feel so much better for it!

A hypnobirthing course with Medway Hypnobirth, will look at how birth happens and when you know how birth works, it makes it much easier to make decisions based on facts rather than fear of the unknown.  Trust your instincts and get yourselves informed for birth.

Published by Medway Hypnobirth

My name is Gill and I am the founder of Medway Hypnobirth. I am a former Midwife with over 10 years experience in antenatal, labour and postnatal care. I have a passion for birth and hope to share my passion for birth with you. I have 3 grown up children (the first of whom followed a long journey of infertility and IVF) who were all born in hospital. I followed my birthing plan which literally stated that I wanted a 'homebirth in hospital'. Throughout my Midwifery journey, I have been present at a fair few homebirths and seen many more babies birthed in hospital and in theatre. Birth follows its own course and I have seen hypnobirth techniques helping many women stay in control of their birth however it happens. After thoroughly researching different hypnobirthing schools, I settled on Calm Birth training as a calm birth is what we all want to happen. I hope that a Hypnobirth with me will aid your personal journey to a calm birth too and I am really looking forward to meeting you.

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