Hypnobirthing Cheshire – The Wise Hippo at Mother Nature Sanctuary – Session 3
Hypnobirthing has seen a surge of popularity recently and I’ve decided to give it a go for the birth of Mini Mumbler 3.
After reading about the different Hypnobirthing courses offered in Cheshire (Macclesfield, Knutsford,Congleton, Sandbach, Wilmslow, Poynton, Alderley Edge and Prestbury) and with the help of the Chat Group, I decided on The Wise Hippo course at Mother Nature Sanctuary in Bollington.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from a hypnobirthing course and so decided to blog about my experience to give other mums-to-be an insight into what they can expect if they decide to try it. To read about my previous sessions check out my first 2 blog posts here and here.
To find a hypnobirthing course local to you check out the listings here.
Those of you who have read the first 2 blog posts about my hypnobirthing journey will know that I’ve been pretty surprised by how much I’m enjoying the sessions and how much I’m getting out of them. My innate fear of birth – made worse by my experience with Mini Mumbler 1 – is being reduced and gradually replaced with an understanding that birth doesn’t have to be horror show and is a perfectly natural event. The fact that I’m going for a VBAC is I think complicating my experience a little since I have terrified myself through excessive use of Dr Google. I’m certain that if there wasn’t a VBAC in the mix, I would be feeling entirely confident in my abilities to have a straightforward, safe birth. However, the Wise Hippo programme concentrates not on some universally ‘perfect’ birth but on the ‘right birth on the day’ for the individual and even with the niggling fears I’m harbouring about a VBAC, the course is giving me the tools to relax to such a degree that those fears are being managed and, to some extent at least, overcome.
The third session was a mix of theory and practice with an emphasis on theory this time. Siobhan spoke to me about the value of prenatal bonding exercises – I’d done lots of these with Mini Mumbler 1, less with Mini Mumbler 2 and pretty much none with poor Mini Mumbler 3! Siobhan told me about women noticing that their babies became calmer when the Eastenders theme tune came on the TV and that those women admitted that sitting down to Eastenders was the first time in the day they had truly relaxed when pregnant. Their babies appeared to have learned that the theme tune represented relaxation. She also told me about research showing that mums who were early risers often had babies who were early risers too, and those who slept later often had babies who did the same. At this point I made a mental note to take every single opportunity for a lie in between now and D-Day. Unfortunately my son seems to have other ideas…..
During the session we also talked about the perfect position for our babies to be born and how our thinking can influence that position, the different places where we can give birth, medical interventions, birth plans and other things to consider before the big day. As a third time mum I’d been through a lot of this in the past so Siobhan only focussed on the things that were really important to me – namely how I could use my hypnobirthing techniques in the context of a VBAC and all the medical bits and bobs that go with one. One of the things I really like about Wise Hippo/Siobhan is that the sessions are tailored to me and my situation/concerns – we aren’t confined to discussing matters or ideals set out in the programme if they’re not relevant, and Siobhan always goes the extra mile to give help or advice where she can, drawing on her own birth experiences, things she’s seen work well, not work so well etc.
The practical aspect of this session was a ‘Fear Release’ – a script through which it is intended you will let go of the fear you hold about birth and approach the experience positively and with confidence. As Siobhan talked through the ‘Cove of Confidence’ I felt myself begin to relax as the now familiar Wise Hippo music started. That music, coupled with a bad night with Mini Mumbler 2, meant that before long I found myself almost asleep and wondering if it would be inappropriate to ask Siobhan if I could take a nap on her massage bed. I decided it probably would be, so just enjoyed the feeling of complete relaxation and had a nap when I got home.
I would be lying if I said that one listen to the Cove of Confidence had completely alleviated my fears, or that I think they’ll ever be completely eliminated. After each session however, and with the practice I’m doing at home, I feel increasingly positive about my (now imminent!) third birth experience and am confident that even if things don’t go to plan, I’ll be well equipped, with the relaxation mechanisms I’m learning and perfecting, to cope with most things thrown at me…..we’ll soon see!