I can, and I will. Watch me.

Ok so don’t actually watch me. Or anyone else. Giving birth that is, that would go against all the principles of hypnobirthing, inviting a crowd of naysayers into your space.

But watch these mamas emerge like Queens, Goddesses, all round legends. Know that however their birth experiences unfold, they will feel secure in the knowledge that they had the best possible birth for themselves and their babies.

What does ‘best’ mean? Something different for everyone, depending on their circumstances, condition, past experiences, ideals. And that may well change over time.

I’ve watched women adapt from home water birth intentions to planned and unplanned c-sections, augmentation, instrumental deliveries, with confidence and peace, because they’ve got their sh*t together- they are CHOOSING the best birth.

I’ve watched many others sail through, ticking almost every box in their dream birth plan- a sprinkling of good luck on their diligent preparation edging them over that line.

I’ve had women tell me that no matter how the birth pans out, the strength and positivity they have found in their pregnancy is enough to make them shout from the rooftops about hypnobirthing.

Often, I’ve had women, men too actually, tell me that what they’ve learnt has changed their lives, either through their experiences, or simply that shift in perspective.

Why do we (not me, obvs, a collective cultural ‘we’) have such a hard time supporting couples who choose to believe in women’s bodies as a starting point? Those who adopt a positive attitude, actually looking forward to giving birth are routinely teased, laughed at even. (One of my gorgeous mama gang has endured this over the weekend, prompting my ranty musings during this mammoth feeding session…But she’s not alone- many of the alumni were quick to share their own similar battles, as well as the satisfaction they felt afterwards).

Birth is often compared to running a marathon- would we tell someone in training not to get their hopes up? That they’re mad for trying? Not so much. We would encourage confidence, energise them, commend them for taking on this mental and physical feat with enthusiasm.

So why not the same, supportive approach re birth? Lots of reasons- largely, I think, fuelled by women’s own experiences, when they haven’t known what they haven’t known, and they cannot imagine it any other way. This is a great sadness in our society, and the resulting lack of sisterhood is almost as tragic.

Surrounded by this sort of attitude, women could be expected to drown in this ocean of  negativity (lower your expectations, nothing you do will make a difference, just do what they say, your dignity is out the window- some of my *favourite* waves).

Not my mamas. They will retreat to their tribe. To a group of women who KNOW how it goes when you take responsibility for your baby and your choices. How “I can” doesn’t have to mean “I can have a drug free home water birth and smile silently throughout”. It may mean “I can roar my way through it”, “I can embrace a c-section and tweak it to give my baby some of the benefits of vaginal birth”, “I can choose to hold off on induction because I understand the risks and benefits”, or a thousand other specifics.

It means, “I can assess my situation, and make an informed and empowered choice. I can believe in my body and mind. I can be capable. I can feel good about it. I can do what’s best for us both. I can be proud of myself. I can rely on my partner. I can influence my experience. I can maintain my dignity. I can be well supported.”



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