While every labour is different, hypnobirthing has been credited as a natural way of preparing the body for labour. But for those who haven’t heard of hypnobirthing, or attended hypnobirthing classes, what is this peculiar technique all about?
Back in February, we attended a taster session with Tamsin Graham of West Cumbria Hypnobirthing. Before you all rush to conclusions, no, neither of us are expecting a baby! Six children between us is enough. So why did we go? Well, if you hadn't already noticed, Tamsin and With love photography are working together to ensure both our clients are well informed about our services. As a previous client of ours, Tamsin knows first hand about our newborn photoshoots and how important it is to capture this fleeting time in your baby's life. When Tamsin told us about her experience with hypnobirthing and how she was going to start teaching it, we knew she would be amazing at it. She is so friendly and easy to get on with and can make anyone feel comfortable.
So, what did we know about hypnobirthing before going? The answer to that is very little. Probably like a lot of you, we assumed it was about meditation, relaxation, soothing music and burning incense - a very spiritual experience. Whilst it can be all about those things, hypnobirthing classes offer so much more than that, and listening to Tamsin at the taster session, I was fascinated. The truth is, hypnobirthing is as much about science as anything else. How have I had three births and never heard about oxytocin? What is oxytocin? Sometimes referred to as the love hormone, it plays a role in the female reproductive functions - from sexual activity to childbirth and breastfeeding. During labour, oxytocin helps strengthen contractions and encourage dilation of the cervix to prepare us for birth, which is the body's natural way of encouraging labour. I also didn’t know that we can encourage the flow of oxytocin with a variety of activities. I was amazed by this and also a little sad that I had not known about hypnobirthing classes in Cumbria during my pregnancies.
What can hypnobirthing classes teach you?
How many times have you heard the bad birth story? If anyone knows me, then you will have heard my three bad birthing stories (possibly more times than you’d have liked to!). Each of my births went from bad to worse, with my daughter arriving into the world after an emergency C-section. I just thought I was unlucky. Don’t get me wrong, I ended up with three healthy babies so am very thankful for that, but unlucky in the sense that my births did not go as I wanted. They were frightening, stressful and very painful - everything hypnobirthing shouldn’t be. I also convinced myself after the first two babies that my body was just not designed for giving birth. I told people everything, I told them how I DO NOT dilate, I WON'T part with my babies and how I WOULD be in labour a long time with my next – I’d almost planned my next difficult labour.
But why does mental preparation matter? Well, if all you have heard are the bad stories and you don’t know the science behind encouraging a positive birth, how are you going to feel? Freaked out, right? Expecting the worse? Possibly. I know I was petrified going into my third labour. But looking back, I know that hypnobirthing classes would have had such a positive effect on me.
One of Tasmin’s topics during her hypnobirthing classes in Cumbria is, ‘why is stress bad when going into labour’. Simply put, when stress occurs and built up adrenaline and tension are not released, muscles stay tight. This is not what we want. We want our cervix to soften and dilate. After attending the taster session with Tamsin and listening to all the science, I can totally understand why my last labour went how it did. My body was working against itself, gruelling contractions were desperately trying to dilate the cervix but the stress hormone was keeping my muscles tight, awaiting fight or flight! OK, so I’m not a scientist and may not have all the info, but in a nutshell that totally made sense to me. It almost made me want to have another baby so that I could learn more about hypnobirthing and have at least one positive birth! Almost, but not quite.
So, if you’re pregnant and would like a positive birth experience, I would strongly recommend attending Tamsin’s hypnobirthing classes in Cumbria. If you have already had a difficult birth, it’s all the more reason to put your fears to bed and work towards an enlightened approach. Tamsin has already heard an influx of positive birth stories from clients who’ve attended her hypnobirthing classes, it really is amazing. What could be better than an amazing birth? How about a free newborn photo shoot too? Everyone who signs up with Tamsin gets a free Newborn photoshoot with us worth £85. What are you waiting for?
For more information about hypnobirthing classes and hypnobirthing teachers in Cumbria, visit: