When the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly pulled out of the ‘society wedding of the year’, concerned that her labour was close, the British media’s speculation reached fever pitch.
Yet when it comes to the birth itself, Kate’s plans have attracted some very public sneers. She’d reportedly like a natural delivery surrounded by family, with hypnotherapy and even a birthing pool. What’s so wrong with that?
Quite a few high profile journalists and social commentators seem determined to convince us that Kate is living in a dream world. Seriously. I think it’s fantastic that she is opting for a natural delivery. She might have married a prince in the perfect fairytale wedding but she’s still a real woman and is more than entitled to try for a natural birth. Trust me, after using hypnotherapy to get me through my two labours, it’s hardly going to be a fairytale!
She’s not alone either. A lot of women get laughed at when they suggest they’d like to try for a natural labour and avoid the epidural altogether. I did. A lot. People didn’t realise they were doing it half the time. Trust me, I noticed.
Listen, I’m not going to make out it was easy. It wasn’t easy. It was tough at times, but it was incredibly powerful. INCREDIBLY.
So how did I get to this decision? As a pack-a-day smoker for over 20 years, to my own delight (and trust me, surprise!!) I gave up smoking one day about six years ago by listening to a hypnotherapy CD. I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I’d always believed the mind’s a powerful tool so I was determined to make it a success. Let’s face it, if I could do THAT, I could make it through childbirth without an epidural. Surely! Thousands of women had done it before me and they’d survived. I mean, the pain can’t be THAT bad can it?
For me, it was about wanting to feel the contractions, feel when to push and just be proactive throughout the birth. Maybe it was the control freak in me. Just maybe. Either way it was my choice and one that got my husband’s and midwive’s full support. Trust me, I wasn’t after a medal, and an epidural wasn’t completely out of the equation, I just wanted to give it a go and see if I could do it. It was MY DECISION and despite the sneers and sniggers from the older generation around me (and so many men who just didn’t get it … “You’re stupid, take the drugs” they’d say), I was determined to give it a red hot go! And I did. And it was nothing short of frigging powerful! It wasn’t a walk in the park, but it WAS so totally amazing. So empowering. So downright WONDERFUL!
So for Kate, why do we feel the need to criticise her, and indeed every other woman who dares to dream of a positive birth experience? Shouldn’t we be celebrating her courage and wishing her well, rather than putting her down and doubting her before she’s even started?
Birth should be an amazing day in any woman’s life but sadly for more and more women it’s become something to dread. Sometimes traumatic, sometimes unpleasant and often feared.
Let’s celebrate the birthing process and hypnotherapy as a powerful way to encourage women to aim for a peaceful, relaxed and calm birthing environment and a positive and empowering birth experience. Either way, we are amazing creatures and deserve to be given the opportunity to decide the approach we’d like to take. It might not go to plan, it might change somewhat, heck it might go pear-shaped. However it goes, at least we gave it a go. Who knows, we might even get the birth we wanted. How incredible would that be?
From one mum to another, well done on your decision Kate, and either way, however it pans out, you’ll do great!
Have you used hypnotherapy in your labour and how did you find it?