We asked Amy some questions about Hypnobirthing and her beliefs around awakening the mother instinct through birth.
You’re a HypnoBirthing practitioner and doula, what initially drew you to this alternative birthing approach?
From a very young age, my mother always told me just how beautiful birth was so when it came to the time for me to have children, I just knew that I wanted to have as much of a natural birth as possible. When my husband and I decided to have a home birth with our first child, Harper, we went searching for courses that would teach us more about the birth process and that would give me the techniques and knowledge I needed to birth her unassisted at home. We then discovered Hypnobirthing and were blown away with just how positive and inspiring the course was. A couple of months later, Harper was born into my arms in the comfort of my own living room and this was where my obsession with Hypnobirthing started!
In your years of experience working with so many women in this birthing process, what has been the most common feedback or reflections from them about their Hypnobirthing experience?
Every couple that completes my course always comments on just how relaxed and confident they felt as they approached their birthing day. I find that all of my ladies have been able to labour for a long time in the comfort of their own home because they had trust and confidence in their body and the birth process. Once at their birthing place, Hypnobirthing mums are able to remain calm and relaxed, even if their birthing takes an unpredictable turn. The Hypnobirthing course also heavily involves the partner so I am often told just how great the dads go in labour too. I am yet to meet anyone who has completed one of my courses and not raved about how helpful it was!
What’s your top tip for women who will be experiencing HypnoBirthing for the first time in their pregnancy?
Practice, practice, practice! A Hypnobirthing course will give you lots of tools and techniques that you can bring into the birthing room but it is really up to the couple to practice and incorporate them into their daily routine. The course really does seek to condition the mind for ultimate relaxation so the more you practice, the easier it is to slip into that wonderful place on your birthing day. It is such a beautiful course though so it’s really not hard to want to just immerse yourself in it.
If you don’t mind sharing, we would love some insight into your own personal birthing experiences?
I have had three incredible birthing experiences. My first, Harper, was born at home after a challenging but very beautiful 27 hour labour. Her birth changed me completely and really set me up for my next two births. My second baby, Archie, was a planned homebirth but unfortunately I was told just before I went into labour that my fluid was on the lower side of normal. Because I was on a government funded homebirth program, this meant that I was told I had to birth in hospital. I left this appointment feeling a little deflated but as soon as I walked out of the hospital, my waters released! I then went home and laboured very comfortably for another 7 hours. I was feeling so at ease at home but I knew it was time to start getting to the hospital. I then hopped in the car and realised that I was starting to push! My husband managed to get to the hospital in 10 minutes and as soon as I walked through the front doors, I birthed him in the corridor while leaning over a photocopying machine! Although not the homebirth I had planned, I still look back at his birth and feel so empowered and happy that I did it all myself. When it came to the time to have my third baby though, I just knew that I wanted to have a private midwife because I didn’t want to risk being told at the last minute that I couldn’t birth at home. I then went and had the most incredible (and dare I say – easy) birth with Mabel. She was born on a sunny winter’s day in the middle of my lounge room after only 2 hours of active labour.
We have heard about birthing being pain free (or at least much less painful) in ancient cultures who were very much in touch with themselves and their natural environment. What’s your thoughts on this?
There is absolutely no secret that birth is intense. It will probably be one of the most physically challenging things you will ever do, however, I don’t ever like to use the word painful when describing birth. Pain to me is something unwanted and constant like a broken bone. When a woman is in tune with her body and her baby, she is able to go within and enter an almost amnesiac state. This together with the correct breathing techniques means birth should not be excruciating. I never look back on my experiences and say they were painful, rather, I see them as the most rewarding and empowering thing that I have ever accomplished. I can honestly say my last birth was easy too!
What is the most rewarding part about being a Hypnobirthing practitioner?
The most rewarding thing by far is all the birth announcements I receive from my ladies telling me just how incredible their births were and how empowered they now feel. Hearing how a HypnoBirthing course changed their life, just like it did mine all those years ago, really does makes my heart so happy.
As a Mama, do you have any self-care rituals that nourish your mind, body, soul?
To be honest, being a mama to three young children and living on the opposite side of the country to my family means that I rarely set aside time for any proper self-care rituals. I do believe that mamas deserve some well-earned alone time though so I do love it when I get a chance to spend it with my mama friends whether that be over lunch, wine or a spa night.
In your practice, you speak about the importance of letting go of fear and connecting to the feminine… at Eye of Horus Cosmetics we feel strongly about this and would really love to hear any comments you have on this topic.
Birth should not be feared. When a healthy woman, carrying a healthy baby, trusts birth, is free of fear and is appropriately relaxed – her body will function normally, gently and calmly – just like nature intended. Birth to me is such a mind game. If your mind is in the right place, your body and baby will be there too and your innate feminine birthing power will be able to shine.
What does it mean to you to be both a woman and a Mother?
I am in my early thirties now and have never felt more like a mother and a woman that what I do now. Motherhood has changed me completely and has made me grow in so many ways. I now feel so confident, powerful, knowledgeable and completely happy with where I am in my role as a woman and a mother. Motherhood is certainly one hell of a crazy and loved up rollercoaster ride. It ain’t easy but it’s so, so worth it xx
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