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Coping with pain in labour...

Something which really worried me during my first pregnancy was how to cope with pain during labour.

A notorious 'wimp' when it comes to physical pain (I passed out in Claire's Accessories whilst getting my ears pierced...!) and having only heard the 'bad stuff' about birth - how painful and dangerous it could be... I was terrified!

About half way through my pregnancy someone gifted me a hypnobirthing book & I read it, thinking it might be a 'nice' thing to read in pregnancy.

What I read blew my mind. I had NO idea that for many women, far from being a horrible experience - birth could be positive, empowering and even enjoyable.

But somewhere, at the back of my mind I still wasn't entirely sure & would often wonder 'does hypnobirthing really work?'

I read & re-read this book... devouring this information & deciding that I wanted our son's birth the be the BEST experience of my life, not something simply to 'get through', or dread.

But there was still the small matter of coping with labour pain.

Everywhere I turned it felt like there were people, tv shows, online articles to remind me that labour would be the 'worst pain of my life', and that it was like 'breaking 20 bones at once'. Crikey...!

So is it true... is labour like breaking 20 bones at once? Well - for me - a self confessed WIMP... NO! Absolutely not.

In fact, this ridiculous comparison really grinds my gears. Breaking bones is the result of physical injury/ harm; the pain you experience during a physical injury is there as a message from your body to your brain that something is 'wrong', and as a reminder not to use that part of your body.

During labour, the physical intensity you're feeling is exactly that - intensity, not harm. Your uterus is made from muscle, and by the time you're 41+ weeks pregnant, that muscle is taking up the majority of your torso! SO a BIG mass of muscles working REALLY hard.

When you're fearful of birth (and especially when we're fearing contractions/ pain itself!), those muscles tense up. This in itself makes the contractions SO much more painful.

It's something I refer to in my hypnobirthing courses as the fear-tension-pain cycle.

If, however, you're able to allow yourself to relax or succumb to those contractions, rather than fighting them...the uterus is able to do it's job of bringing your baby down & out! This usually makes for a much LESS painful and often speedier labour. Win win!

For most women, however, it's not as simple as 'OK - I'll relax then'. We've had a LOT of conditioning over the past few generations which has made us fear birth on a very deep, subconscious level.

In order to get to a place where we can let go & relax during our contractions, most of us will need to 're-program' our subconscious - clearing out old limiting beliefs (such as birth being the 'most painful experience') and replacing them with new ones.

THIS is where Hypnobirthing comes in.

I like to think of hypnobirthing as a 'toolkit' for birth, rather than a particular 'method' or 'type' of birthing. The Positively Pregnant course has been carefully created to give women a variety of different techniques and tools to draw on during labour.

I've utilised my expertise as a hypnotherapist and birth educator to ensure that the Positively Pregnant hypnobirthing 'toolkit' has something for everyone. You don't have to be good at meditating, concentrating or anything else for that matter.

In both my in person hypnobirthing courses (Northumberland) and my award winning Online Hypnobirthing Course I've ensured that you have all possible tools available to you un order to go into labour feeling strong, confident and powerful.

There's visualisations, meditations to listen to during pregnancy to help build your confidence, calming breathing techniques to help you ground yourself (as well as relax those uterus muscles!) as well as all of the more practical elements - like learning about how birth actually works... understanding your options and your rights during pregnancy & birth.

Feeling confident in understanding birth & knowing what feels right for you in terms of interventions is crucial when it comes to being able to relax during labour. If you're clueless about what's going on and what's being suggested/ offered - you're going to naturally feel tense and anxious.

The online course is a 'self study' course, made up of 10 video classes (varying from 15 mins to an hour) which you can watch at your own pace in the comfort of your home. Alongside your video classes there are digital chapters to read, thought provoking exercises to complete with your partner & 10 MP3 tracks for you to listen to.

As well as that, you'll receive a gorgeous Hypnobirthing Box filled to the brim with luxury pregnancy products and your class workbook in the post within 5 days of signing up to the course.

If you'd like to learn more about the Positively Pregnant Online course, head here:

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