Yesterday I was in a lift leaving Ikea after a successful kitchen choosing visit! I was chattting to a couple of women with 2( ish) year old children as we went down to our cars. As we left, I noticed that they were both pregnant, so obviously I asked if they would like my card with a view to learning more about Hypbirthing. They said that they had just been chatting about wether it was possible for Hypbirthing to work. Well obviously I gave them my card so that they could go home and take a look at the site if they were interested. One of the mums was taking Belinda Staplehurst's Pregnancy Yoga classes at Stone Monkey in Leamington so I told her that we often share clients as our ethos is so similar.
This leads me to title of this blog. These women didn't know much about the classes I teach, and so they had nothing to base a belief of trust around. Trust that there was something out there to help them to relax during childbirth - something that seems impossible to most pregnant women who haven't looked into the reasons and systems behind the learning. In the Wise Hippo Birthing Programme we believe that whatever turn your birth takes, and there are so many variations, you will be able to use these deeply learned and easily applied skills that you learn at the classes, to great effect during labour. The birth partners learn great skills for helping the woman to remain calm and focussed and as comfortable as possible throughout the labour. The skills you learn are useful to help you to sleep during pregnancy, to relax any tired or achey parts of the body too.
I often see women turning up to lesson one of the 4 lesson course feeling nervous about birth and not really knowing or believing that it is possible to have a birth to look back on fondly. I teach them and laugh with them and listen and share video footage and a mine of local information with them and see them blossom in their confidence over the weeks. It is an absolute joy to launch those couples into the world of birth with deeper understanding and belief in their abilities as a team to achieve the right birth on the day.
Over the last week I have been thinking a lot about parents bonding with their babies. How couples bond, how we maintain bonds with our parents, our siblings and our friends. I went on a course with an amazing energy worker called Lee Harris and it was challenging and insightful in huge amounts. One of the exercises we worked with was sitting opposite another member of the course and staring into each other's eyes for 25 minutes! I couldn't imagine how I would be able to do that. I find that in new surroundings my eyes move around the room searching for information about the type of surroundings I am in and trying to recognise faces of people I have met before. For this reason new places are hugely stimulating for me but also very very tiring.
Anyway, I digress. Looking into another person's eyes for 25 minutes was a challenge. We were silent but we did communicate with our eyes and our smiles. Our knees were touching and we could feel the warmth and energy of each other. If there had been any doubt about wether we were seen that day, it washed away at this point. Yes I felt seen, yes there was a chance that I might feel vulnerable, yes I had to concentrate only on the person I was sitting with and yes it was possible. I felt connection, I felt life slow down and my breathing regulate and I felt happier than before the exercise.
So many studies have been carried out about bonding between parents and children. It seems that it is essential in the process of making whole, confident, happy people able to have good lives where they can respect those around them and feel respect for themselves too. So I am asking you, do you know how to begin bonding with your baby now? Before your baby is fully grown, whilst he or she is still in the womb, developing emotionally and physically. We hope we do, we think it will come naturally or maybe we haven't even given it a thought yet! At The Wise Hippo we are taking this very seriously. Our courses help parents to be close and work as a team throughout Pregnancy and Birth. We help the Dad's to know how to talk to, bond and connect with their babies. The team work that our familes report back is pretty special. Babies who have been heard from womb to world tend to be easier to settle, fit into established families more easily and feel more confident when being shared with the extended family as they already trust.
If you thought that The Wise Hippo Birthing programme was just about birthing or that Hypnobirthing was just about witchcraft and mumbo jumbo then this post is for you. Take a look at the classes I teach, invest some time and then maybe some money into growing a glorious child on into a glorious adult who will go out into the world and make you proud.