I’m talking about Dads…. They’re in this too.
When I first researched hypnobirthing, it was because my pregnancy bubble had been significantly ‘popped’ by an antenatal class that described birth as painful, long, full of screams, and not in my control. I didn’t know a lot about hypnobirthing, but it certainly sounded more positive than that!
However, approaching my husband I was nervous, he is a practical, matter-of-fact kind of guy and I thought hypnobirthing sounded a bit too ‘hippy’ for him. But his exact reply was “I’ll do whatever babe- you’re the one that’s pushing it out!” I know it wasn’t the most encouraging support of hypnobirthing but it wasn’t knocking it either! And low and behold after our first class of hypnobirthing he was more than on board- he was an advocate and promoter, telling anyone that would listen about it- “It just makes sense!” he would say!
And so, with Father’s Day upon us, I thought I would ask some Dad’s about their take on hypnobirthing; before, during and after their baby’s birth.
“I thought it had something to do with having a hypnotist present to hypnotise your partner into not feeling any pain and then do a sort of “3, 2, 1, you’re back in the room,” once it was all done 😆”
This is what Lewis (father of two) said when I asked him what his first impressions of hypnobirthing were before starting a course. Perhaps his answers sound familiar to you. A lot of people listen to the ‘hypno’ part and think hypnosis. And quite rightly- we do use hypnosis to help educate your subconscious about birth, but not in the famous Daron Brown, pendulum swinging way, many of us think of!
Oli (father of 2) had a bit of experience with hypnotherapy, but was;
“Slightly sceptical as to how it would translate to birthing.”
And when I asked George (father of 2), his thoughts, he admitted,
“I didn’t really think it would be up my street. I assumed it would be very ‘earthy’ and ‘alternative’, though I must admit I didn’t do any research into it.”
Sounding familiar to you? Have you or your birth partner had similar thoughts to this? It’s not uncommon, in fact most people I speak to who haven’t heard of hypnobirthing say similar things, and that’s okay, it’s normal! But when asked about their experience of birth as a partner, and how they felt leading up to their baby’s birth, their stories change:
“My experience of hypnobirthing and the time leading up to the birth was transformative!” – Lewis
Many couples seek hypnobirthing after experiencing a traumatic or complicated first birth. And for Lewis and his wife, hypnobirthing was the key to learning how to take control of their labour;
“We applied the simple but very valuable techniques we learnt during our hypnobirthing sessions to really empower my wife to give birth – which was amazing to witness. Watching Jess in a calm and positive state of mind, always in control, strong and with no distractions was incredible!”
For some Dad’s it gives them the control and knowledge to be able to be a part of the birth. Hypnobirthing equips them with information to be able to ask the right questions, make the right choices, and be the advocate of their partners birth. George says:
“I felt like I knew what was happening, how she was feeling and how I could help. The course encouraged me to be more involved and certainly made me more informed.”
George goes on to say:
“We smashed both births.”
Notice ‘we’. He describes the birth experience as being a joint effort- and not just that of a by-stander. George also describes the value of the course in the lead up to his wife’s labour;
For some though, the impact of hypnobirthing didn’t hit home until their labour itself. Oli says:
“Within about 10 seconds of labour starting (hypnobirthing) started to kick in. I instantly realised the need for a calm, relaxed and peaceful environment for the birth.”
And so, I ask these 3 wonderful Dad’s for their parting words on hypnobirthing, and what they would say to anyone thinking about joining a class:
If you do come across hypnobirthing, I would strongly urge you to go to the classes. They are invaluable and will steer you towards a more enjoyable and relaxed birth.
Oli- Father of 2 (Hypnobirthing for second labour- as a planned C-section)
It’s such an empowering class and you’ll get a lot out of it. You’ll feel more connected to your partner and understand things she may be going through during the birth – and not feel like a helpless bystander!
Lewis- Father of 2 (Hypnobirthing for second labour)
Do it! You won’t regret it. Not only is it interesting, but it will give you the confidence to be in control of your baby’s birth, to understand what your partner is going through and how you can help. Just don’t fall asleep 😉!
George- Father of two (Hypnobirthing for both pregnancies/labours)
With a huge thanks to George, Lewis and Oli for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing their stories- Happy Fathers Day!
For the full answers from the ‘boys’, please click on the attachment.