We need strong, effective and efficient contractions in order to get our babies out - parents can decide to make the absolute most of each one by:-
Rehearsing their hypnobirthing breathing whilst listening to their practise contractions / affirmations audios.
Choosing to sink down into a focused, hypnotic state of physical release and deep breathing for each surge. The more they breathe and flow through their contractions, the more oxygen and nutrients the muscle fibres of the uterus receive; enabling them to work at optimum efficiency.
Working with their body, listening to their instincts ~ I've included some suggestions below, but I don't prescribe a particular pattern because we're all different. Parents need to discover what works best for them...
First stage... Abdominal / belly / up breathing: The belly rises and falls with the breath whilst the chest and shoulders are relaxed. The diaphragm extends fully...
As each contraction begins, get ahead of the sensations by taking a big, deep, slow breath and relaxing the rest of the body. Perhaps focus on being heavy and floppy like a rag-doll. Continue breathing calmly, deeply and slowly in and out throughout each surge. Some people find counting beneficial:
"On the in-breath I counted up to 15, being aware of my expanding belly and imagining the uterus muscles also lifting up to stretch open my cervix. On each out-breath I counted back down more rapidly, and looked forward to another in-breath. I found this to be a great focus and it really kept my mind occupied" Megan, Scotland
- continue the above
- or pant
- or go with the powerful urge to bear down ~ doing 5 or 6 'mini pushes' during each contraction, followed by a rapid deep in-breath after each one (avoid holding the breath for more than a couple of seconds)
- vocalisations on the out-breath are a great release too
- If she's in doubt, advise her to just breathe and try to avoid 'forced pushing'
Turn up your sound and listen below (select full screen).
Watch Natal Hypnotherapy's Maggie 'mini pushing' in 2nd stage - note her rapid, deep in-breaths: click here
Myth busting - hypnobirthers should be silent and serene
Nonsense. Using adrenaline in transition / 2nd stage can make all the difference between having a frightening or empowering birth. When a parent is soon to meet their baby, adrenaline is power!
"The explusive surges took me by surprise as I'd been 'zen-like' until then. I began to feel overwhelmed so I confronted them, opening my mouth wide, hollering and swearing my way through each one, it was very primal! My husband was encouraging and reminded me that these surges were pressure, warmth and power - this helped a great deal" Daisy, Chicago
Hypnosis is about focusing, not necessarily being sedate. Vocalisations on the out-breath are a wonderful positive release. Some call this the 'warrior's cry'. Personally, I was very loud during transition and 2nd stage: It was a great catharsis to yell the house down as for me it felt wild and intense! It's absolutely fine for a parent to do whatever you want: be that silence, or mooing, or roaring their baby out!