One of my highlights this month was meeting the beautiful newborn baby of a fertility client. Julie came to me last year for hypno-fertility sessions to create the optimum conditions for fertility and conception, and for support alongside the medical assisted reproductive treatment she was undertaking – which in itself can be pretty stressful.
One of the great things about being a Hypnotherapist is you get to share in your clients joys and successes. I was thrilled when she told me her wonderful news, they were expecting a baby! And even more delighted and honoured when only a short time after his birth she contacted me to arrange a visit for me to meet her gorgeous son Sahan.
Before his birth, she came to see me again, but this time as a birth client! Because Julie had already completed the hypno-fertility sessions with me and had been listening to my pregnancy relaxation audio we were able to condense two sessions into one. Unfortunately in the late stages of pregnancy Julie experienced complications and severe pain from pelvic athropathy – making it virtually impossible for her to walk (which I imagine was especially hard for the usually very active and energetic mother and business women) so we never got a chance to do another birth hypnosis session.
Not all childbirths go to plan
Sometimes medical intervention is vital for the health and safety of the baby, mother or both – this was the case for Julie.
Not all births go to the desired plan – no matter how much you prepare (with birth hypnosis, pregnancy yoga, etc), however these preparations can help you remain calm and clear headed when faced with decisions and be more accepting of the necessary changes to that plan.
In Julie’s case the pelvic athropathy required her to be induced, which she knew not only would make the contractions more intense on top of an already extremely painful pelvic condition, but more so it meant a deviation from her birthing plan of having a natural birth.
Julie’s labour was not easy and, added to the excruciating pain from the pelvic athropathy,her baby was in a posterior position for most of the labour (so the babies skull was pressing against her pelvic bone). Julie shares in her birthing story that the techniques she learnt during our birth hypnosis session were of great help, saying that “As things really started to intensify these techniques proved invaluable”. However,given the uniqueness of her situation (rare even by the standards of her midwife’s 20 year’sexperience) it was clear the techniques alone were not going to be enough and this exhausted labouring mother would need medical intervention in the form of an epidural. It’s surprising she got this far without any pain analgesics (drugs). Julie and her husband Vijay had a difficult decision to make, especially as Julie had wanted as natural abirth as possible – some would say the circumstances already made the decision for them, but at the end of the day they put the health of their baby and Julie first and the epidural was administered allowing Julie some much deserved rest before her beautiful son, Sahan, was born.
Coping with changes to the birth plan
I’m thrilled Julie found the hypnotic techniques invaluable, but what I’m really proud of is her post birth attitude – she accepted the need for the epidural and isn’t as disappointed as she thought she would be at not having the natural birth she had hoped for.
It is sad that many new mothers will experience guilt, shame or disappointment when medical intervention during childbirth is necessary, yet most of us won’t blink an eyelid when the dentist says we need a little numbing solution for a simple procedure. The best support we can give these new mums is not judgement or comparisons over how much pain relief was required, but to support them to be empowered to make the best decision for them and their baby – and in some births this can mean choosing to have pain relief or a caesarean.
Julie’s acceptance echo’s other clients whose birthing plans deviated due to required medical intervention – they are quicker to come to peace with it and feel less disappointment and more satisfaction than those who haven’t prepared birth with hypnosis.
Natural birth if nature allows is obviously a wonderful and beautiful thing, but at the end of the day what’s best for Mum’s and Bub’s safety and health is paramount.
Julie’s testimony – how hypnotherapy helped
I first meet Rebecca when my husband and I were just starting to see a Fertility Specialist after having experienced a miscarriage when trying for our second baby (I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome). I was a bit unsure at first about seeing a hypnotherapist for fertility but after talking with Rebecca I could quickly tell she was very experienced.
Fertility is a sensitive issue and a hugely emotional journey. I found my sessions with Rebecca provided a significant source of support during this time and drastically reduced my stress levels. Most importantly Rebecca taught me ways to condition my mind and work through the impact my miscarriage had. We were extremely lucky to conceive during the time I was seeing Rebecca. Our journey did not stop there. Having gone through a miscarriage, early pregnancy was both a anxious and exhausting time. Again my work with Rebecca here was invaluable. Her 20 minute hypnotherapy audio-sessions was something I did daily through out the course of my pregnancy which helped give my body much needed rest when I was not able to sleep.
It was only natural that I again went to see Rebecca for some birth hypnotherapy sessions prior to our son being born. Although I was only able to see Rebecca for one session (I needed to be induced early due to having sever pelvic arthropathy) our previous work together still meant even one session was invaluable. My labour was a lot more intense due to a combination of factors including being induced, my pelvic arthropathy and having a posterior baby).
All the techniques Rebecca taught me enable me to hold off using pain relief for as long as possible and keep my mind calm so that when I did end up having an epidural, I was still able to push my baby out without assistance. I would recommend Rebecca for any one going through fertility treatment and as part of your preparation for birth. Not only will you get the benefits of hypnotherapy but also the care and empathy that you really need during such a time of change.
You can read Julie’s Birth Story on her website The New Mum’s Nutritionist