Fast forward 2 years and I know exactly what she was talking about. I have used these skills many times and 3 examples I have revealed below...
1) Helping with an irrational fear.
After living in London for many years without the need for a car I suddenly needed one. Public transport wasn’t cutting it and a trip to Granny’s house 100 miles away was now a nightmare. As anyone travelling with a baby will know you have to take what seems like half the contents of your house with you and carrying these things along with the buggy and car seat on a train just isn’t an option. So we bought a car but what I hadn’t realised was that due to not driving for so long, I was really scared of driving on motorways. When I say scared I mean, palms sweating, heart beating fast, starting to hyperventilate scared. Completely irrational and I knew it was but as with any irrational fear you can’t rationally tell yourself you are being silly or override the initial panic you feel.
So it was during this journey to my mother’s, in this state of panic that I instinctively starting using the “Up Breathing” learnt during my Hypnobirthing class. After a few of these breaths I calmed down and realised I hadn’t been breathing properly and was holding my breath somewhat with the fear. So I carried on with the up breathing and felt a whole lot better. My shoulders relaxed and my palms stopped sweating.
Another part of Hypnobirthing is listening to positive affirmations about birth and during this car journey I started saying some positive affirmations out loud to myself “I am safe” “I can drive” “I am calm and relaxed” “I have confidence in myself and my driving” it may sound silly but it works, as long as what you are saying is positive and in the present tense it’s very hard to tell yourself you are doing one thing whilst doing another.
I carried on this way through that journey and made it to my mother’s safe and sound. The next few journeys were much better and if at any time I felt the familiar feeling of panic rising I went straight into the up breathing and that panic went away. That was almost 2 years ago and I can now say I love driving on the motorway and that the fear has completely gone.
2) Having a ‘Hypno-poo’
The breathing technique used when the baby is about to be born is called “down breathing”. Down breathing is a way of breathing that works with your body to move the baby down and out without forcefully pushing (or purple pushing as many midwives call it!) therefore avoiding unnecessary tearing and trauma. During the last few weeks of pregnancy Hypnobirthing mothers are encouraged to practice this whilst on the toilet when the body is 'realising' something else. It relates back to Ina May Gaskins ‘Spinkters law’ which you can find more information on here
So without going into too much personal detail, the down breathing is fantastic if you ever suffer from constipation. Funnily enough this one is very popular with some of the dads I teach, many telling me they practised the down breathing whilst on the toilet and were amazed at the result of having a 'hypno-poo'
3- Going to sleep/relaxing
Another tool used during Hypnobirthing practise is the Hypnotic script CD. Most mothers like to listen to the CD before falling asleep as it really helps to relax the body and mind and enables them to sleep peacefully, something that may become increasingly difficult as the pregnancy progresses. Some women have actually never heard the CD to the end because they fall asleep but everyone would have listened to the beginning which is where the soothing voice tells you to relax different parts of your body until the whole body is relaxed. This part here is usually enough to get me to sleep and when I’m feeling restless or cant switch off before sleep I go through this in my head and . I find I am asleep by the time I have got to my shoulders or so.
To find out more about hypnobirthing life skills or book a course you can contact me at info@hypnobirthUK.com