The Blessing of Hypnobirthing


We all dream of a peaceful birth. One where we feel empowered, respected, and surrounded by only those we wish to be around. Unfortunately, for many of us, that is not the case.

I had high hopes of a natural birth with my first baby. “There’s no trophy for an unmedicated birth” some might say, but it’s not the shiny gold statue I desired. There are many reasons women choose unmedicated births. For me, I longed to exist in my most primal state with minimal interventions and interruptions simply because I knew it was possible.

Though my first birth was special in its own way (as every birth is!), my dream of having a natural physiological birth did not come to fruition. Not until my second child was born. My second baby soon turns one, and I’ve been reflecting on what made this birth so different. I learned a lot from my first. I realized I needed to actually prepare my mind, body, and soul for the birth I desired.

The game-changer for me was Hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing is both a philosophy and a technique. At its essence, it is centered on the belief that all babies should come into the world gently, in an atmosphere of calm and joy.

According to Hypnobirthing, severe pain does not need to accompany birth when the woman is prepared and trusts her birthing body. It is a deeply rewarding, relaxing, and stress-free method of birthing. Sessions involve education about natural birth, physiological birth, birthing affirmations, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, visualizations, and more.

During one of my first sessions, my practitioner asked me to recite affirmations of my choosing. “My mind is relaxed, my body is relaxed,” I said aloud to Julia, my practitioner, and then I broke down in tears. My pregnancy had felt like an uphill battle thus far. “Relaxed” was the last thing I felt at that moment. I knew there was work that needed to be done before the birth.

In between sessions, I recited my birthing affirmations daily. I listened to a relaxing birthing soundtrack each night. Visualizations and a calming breathing technique guided me as I drifted off to sleep. I made an inventory of all my limiting thoughts and beliefs that stood in the way of the calm, natural birth I desired.

Little by little I felt myself ease into the embodied sense that this birth I so desired actually was possible for me.

My second birth was scheduled to take place in a hospital setting similar to my first birth. I refused to believe that calm, peaceful births can only take place at home. I made sure to discuss my birth preferences with whomever I was meeting with, often and early. It was not always easy or comfortable to advocate for my birth wishes. But each time I did, I felt more confident and connected with the little soul I was soon going to meet.

When the big day arrived, I felt ready. I repeated “I am prepared for whatever turn my birthing journey takes” whenever doubt crept into my head.

Other affirmations I found useful were:

  • “I fully relax and turn my birthing over to nature.”
  • “I deepen my relaxation as I move further into labor.”
  • “I turn my birthing over to my baby and my body.”

Only once did the thought of an epidural come to mind, and when it did I instinctively visualized a rose opening, just as I had done for weeks prior, each petal folding back to reveal my baby blossoming from the center.

Hypnobirthing provided me with the reassurance that my body knew how to birth. It gave me the confidence to stand strong in my desires. It empowered me to know that I was, in fact, the expert of my own body. I went into this birth with a variety of tools to pull from whenever a surge came my way. Before I knew it, I was holding my baby boy in my arms. Is that not the best trophy of them all?

A big “thank you” to Julia Marcel, who supported me throughout this process more than she will ever know. Please check her out if you are looking for Hypnobirthing and Birth Doula services.


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