How fathers can get involved
One of the traditional ways of thinking is that it's the mother who will be doing all the work and the husband just sits there, holding her hand as the baby is born. So many fathers I hear, speak of their frustration about not being able to help their partner through this important time. Well, you can, and this course will teach you how.
The birth companion's role in the birthing process can be such an important one. They can support, calm & guide the birthing process, being in control rather than a sidelined player. With HypnoBirthing, both Mother and Father can work as a team in bringing their baby into the world.
HypnoBirthing will teach the birthing companion:
- Hypnosis scripts to read to the Mother
- Massage techniques to enable endorphin release
- Breathing techniques
- Relaxation skills for yourself & mums
- Tips on advocating your birth preferences
What Fathers say...
Inspiring Births HypnoBirthing Fathers
Here are some testimonials written by some of the HypnoBirthing fathers I have taught.
I thought I'd send you an "eat my words" email just in case it maybe helps any of the dads you meet.
I don't know if you could tell but (I suspect like many dads) I was a huge skeptic about HypnoBirthing. I was very keen to be supportive of what Emma wanted so I kept my opinions to myself somewhat. However, with a maths degree, being a Chartered Accountant and having 10yrs in Corporate Finance I have become a professional cynic and so entered HypnoBirthing in the same way I look at any financial offer that looks too good to be true.
All I can say now, is wow. I can't wax lyrical enough about it and have been raving to all my family and our NCT friends about it.
I'll try not go on too much (maybe I will) but in summary I'd say this:
- Emma was just so so calm all the way through. She arrived at hospital so relaxed she wasn't sure whether she was in labour or had eaten too much, until they checked her and she was 9cm!
- She took maybe 3hrs to get to 10cm, and was totally in control and relaxed throughout. As feedback for you, the 4-8 breathing was REALLY helpful. She essentially slept between contractions but kept moving along.
- As she got to the stage of feeling the urge to push, she switched to 20-20 breathing (I can't remember the names, only the counting) and again this was brilliant at keeping her in control.
- Throughout I kept doing the light touch massage and it really helped too. Emma said she found it far more tingly than when we practiced. She also kept moving around as advised, and that really helped things along.
- Isla was also incredibly calm throughout. Jo, our midwife, kept saying she was the calmest baby she'd seen - her heartbeat kept a constant 140bpm.
- I was surprised also at how onboard all the midwives were with it too (as this worried me a LOT). Jo kept telling me she was keeping the medics away as otherwise they'd jump in with drugs. I think she enjoyed this! After the birth, the nurses and (especially) the breast feeding helpers were incredibly positive about HB too - anything that makes their jobs easier I guess.
- She finally arrived! I shit you not, Emma said that at no time was it painful. Incredibly hard work, but not painful. Wow! There was no martyrdom or anything and she was open to pain relief if she felt she needed it - she just didn't. At the very end, fully crowned, she said, "ooh that stings a bit", which just made Jo laugh and me. (A nettle "stings a bit" - this is childbirth Emma!). Oh yeah - perennial massage worked a treat too.
I could go on forever - I've already probably bored you! So I'll leave it there. I'm a 100% convert as HB is just a good, sensible and logical approach - not "hippy" at all. As a male, all I can think of, as a comparison is Mike Tindall winning the 2003 Rugby world cup on a broken foot - he was so focused that he just didn't notice!
I'm incredibly grateful to you for your wonderful help and advice.
First time dad
East Surrey Hospital Birth
Tony has also told me that he has benefited greatly from the hypnobirthing course.
Before the course, he had trouble getting off to sleep, and also whne awoken in the night he was not able to go back to sleep.
With the techniques and controlled breathing, he is now able to fall asleep in a very short space of time, and if woken in the night, he uses the breathing techniques and is able to drop back of to sleep very quickly.
He is happy for you to use this information in any way that you would like on the site!
Third time Dad
Writing on behalf of us both, but mainly from my own perspective:
Initially I was a tad sceptical about what I would necessarily benefit from the course but bowing to Imogen's wisdom we embarked on the experience and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The course was interesting, relaxed and I believe will hold both Imogen and I in good stead not just for our planned home birth but also for other potential stressful situations which we may find ourselves on over the upcoming years. The breathing and massage techniques, which we have learnt, are fairly easy to master and we have been using them regularly since the course in preparation for the big day. The approach which the course takes is very encouraging towards feeling that not only are home birth experiences the correct approach to take but that the actual event of the birth need not hold a strong fear element over all involved as seems to be the way that general society tends to instil in us as individuals. I am very pleased that I embarked on the course as I feel definitely more prepared to deal with the birth experience by incorporating the techniques which have been learnt and how I can best support Imogen.
In addition to the general comments about the experience I would like to also take the opportunity to thank you Leila, you made the 5 weeks fun and easy to absorb and had many experiences which you shared which helped to support the content and messages of the course. By having the 1-2-1 experience with the benefit of having the course in our own home made it very easy to relax and and embrace the subject material so that was another distinct advantage. Thank you also for the loan of the books related in general to birth, the one for father’s experiences within home-birthing which I borrowed was really interesting and definitely an eye-opener for insight into what I can expect when the big day comes.
All in all, a very enjoyable course and one, which should serve us well during the birth, definitely would recommend it to anyone approaching birth.
We'll keep you posted on how things go when the day arrives.
All the best
First time Dad
Just to let you know our daughter Vanille Mae was born on 2nd November 2011 at 09:40!
The HypnoBirthing really helped. Katie had a very quick labour - only 4 - 4.5 hours. I was able to (thanks to the post-hypnotic suggestions) relax her very quickly. This meant she was 6-7 cm dilated only 2 hours after her waters broke, Katie also had no contractions at all before her waters broke - we also used Clary Sage oil in massage for the week previous to the birth. Katie had no pain relief until the very last bit when she had some gas and air. There was a slight complication in that she had a post par tum haemorrhage - this meant she had to have the Oxytocin as there was a concern that the uterus was not contracting properly, she was not able to deliver the placenta naturally due to the blood loss and was transferred to hospital. We did have the water birth we planned so we were really satisfied with the birth - everything pretty much went according to plan, apart from the slight complication at the end.
One of the midwives was amazed at how relaxed and relatively pain-free Katie was and were even more surprised that she had a 9lb 9oz baby with absolutely no tearing or cutting needed whatsoever - so we definitely recommend the perineal massage! Katie feels the affirmations about the baby being the perfect size for her really helped as although Vanille is big compared to average sizes - she is the perfect size for us.
We were also very lucky as one of the midwives was experienced with Hypnosis and was therefore able to continue guiding Katie when I had to do something else like top-up the water in the pool. We were also lucky that this was the midwife Katie had been seeing at the surgery. This midwife also carried on the Hypnosis techniques when Katie was in hospital having the blood clots manually removed as I was looking after the baby and was following behind a short time later.
Vanille is a very calm contented baby, she responds well and is feeding very well so we are very pleased with things! One bonus of being the father AND Katie's hypno-birthing companion is, Vanille also recognised my voice immediately following the birth and although she was fussing when the midwife was weighing her, she calmed down as soon as she was handed to me and heard my voice.
Just thought I would let you know we are very grateful for all the skills we learned in your classes and have started to apply them to the next stage - breastfeeding! Thank you again!
Cliff, Katie & Vanille Iredale
First time Dad
When my partner first told me about HypnoBirthing I was a little sceptical, which I think is a fairly understandable reaction for an average bloke! However, she was really keen and ordered some cds about it. I could see she was serious about it but I was worried how effective the cds alone could be so I booked us both on to a course with Inspiring Births as a present for her. From the first session it became obvious my scepticism had been misplaced because HypnoBirthing is, I am happy to report, based on an unquestionable premise! The reality is that if a woman can enter labour with a relaxed, calm and positive attitude then she will have a better birth experience. The only question is, what can a woman do to keep relaxed, calm and positive? HypnoBirthing provides a toolbag of exercises which can help.
My partners labour was by no means easy, in fact a complication made it really challenging and very different from the birth we had planed. However during the experience she remained calm by using the tools she had learned from our HypnoBirthing course. When she gave birth to our son I was so proud of her because I knew how thoroughly she had prepared herself to give him the best possible start. Leila from Inspiring Births was an excellent tutor as she helped us greatly to prepare ourselves for our son's birth. Leila's sessions are engaging and interesting and her passion for supporting people to have positive birth experiences is clear.
First Time HypnoBirthing-Dad
My wife, Claire, is a private Nanny; she is always surrounded by and caring for babies & children. In doing so Claire is often in contact with women who have recently given birth – unfortunately lots of the stories she hears about childbirth have filled her head with worry, lots of negative thinking. Plus, her own mother had not had straightforward experiences with her two children.
Although this was not enough to resist her biological clock, it was enough to make her very anxious and nervous about the later stages of pregnancy and childbirth. We signed up to NCT classes to try and educate ourselves about all matters pregnancy & childbirth; we did this but it did not help extinguish the negativity from Claire’s mind.
My own attitude was one of a self fulfilling prophecy – think bad it will be, think good & magical, it will be. I had used hypnotherapy in my teen for stress related Asthma and was considering this option for Claire if she failed to get her anxiety under control.
During the NCT course the use of HypnoBirthing was discussed. I was pro-hypnosis having used it as a teenager to control my stress related Asthma & this centred on birthing, so I encouraged Claire to pursue it. So, Claire made contact with Leila and we signed up for 4-sessions in March 2011.
Straight away, with lots of coaching from Leila and the use of visual aids including HB videos evidencing drug free, calm, relaxed birthing, and Claire’s anxiety reduced. We got to work on positive thinking & visualisation with use of scripts we personalised; tactile use of hands to increase ‘happy hormones’ and lots of other techniques. Eventually, whenever the topic of childbirth came up in conversation at home or with other people, we scoffed at any negativity and promoted our excitement and readiness for childbirth to begin and how much we were looking forwards to it; how we couldn’t wait to hold our newborn. This did earn us a few odd looks, but we really meant it.
May 20th Claire woke up and knew this would be the day. The day could not have gone better if we had rehearsed it. Our two midwives could not believe the speed Claire’s labour progressed at and were most taken aback at her very leisurely approach. To top it off, there was no time or need for drugs. The following day when various nurses visited Claire they commented on having heard such good things about her birth the previous night.
I have no doubts in my mind whatsoever, that had we not undertaken HB with Leila, Claire would have entered childbirth in a panicked frame of mind. Instead, the whole process became just the natural step that it is towards holding our baby. Since then we have been blessed with a baby, which everyone comments on how calm and content she appears – of course we agree – we can’t necessarily put this down to HB, but it can’t be ruled out either!
Rich in Tadworth, Surrey
Laura from Godstone, Surrey