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Hypnobirth in Hong Kong: A Non-Yogi Mama’s Tale…

Post Category - PregnancyPregnancy

Before you read this piece you should know that I am not usually the sort of person you stumble across in a Yoga class or see meditating gracefully in a quiet, organic, café somewhere.  In fact I am quite the opposite.  I have always had a high-powered job that requires long hours, a super-active mind, and the ability to go out 7 nights a week to party and socialise. To say I knew my life would have to change somewhat when I fell pregnant is an understatement!

My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting a little boy but I had a silent fear about my labour. This fear was only magnified by the number of people who felt compelled to tell me their birth horror stories every time they saw my bump. At five months pregnant I had Googled “Problems in labour” and “Difficult birth” over a thousand times and was convinced that I would one day be writing one of these entries.

My fabulous Mum knew of my fear and spoke to a midwife friend of hers in the UK who said; “Your daughter absolutely has to try Hypnobirthing”. The said midwife had delivered 15 babies to women using Hypnobirthing techniques and said that at each birth she grew more impressed at just how calm and collected the women in labour were.

I must admit I thought it sounded a little far fetched, but I did my research and got in touch with the FABULOUS Annerley team here in Hong Kong. I signed myself and my husband up for the Natural Birth Course. The course primarily teaches you essential breathing and relaxation techniques, but alongside this you study the basics of the Mongan Method of Hynobirthing. This is a unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth education, enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques.  As part of the Hynobirthing philosophy a drug-free labour, where possible, is encouraged (something I would have laughed at before). I found however that the more I read about Hypnobirthing, and the more I listened to the relaxation CDs, the less nervous I became about the birth and the more excited I was. The CDs and the book made total sense to me and I began to think of labour in a different way.

For the actual birth I hired a doula from Annerley who was also trained in Hypnobirthing – the rather fantastic Tamara. She was with me for a large majority of my labour, to keep an eye on things and make sure I remembered to breathe. In total my labour was 36 hours long, and in places it was pretty tough, but I felt totally in control at all times and I did it without drugs. This is because I wanted to and I felt I could, not because I felt forced to in any way. This is not a Scientology birth!

I am now 7 months pregnant with my second child and I have been listening to my Hynobirthing CDs all the way. I feel totally ready for this birth and hope to have the same experience as my first – perhaps a little quicker!

To end this piece, I should point out that I still don’t do Yoga and I still don’t meditate, but this experience did change me a little. It also gave me an amazing birth experience and the most delicious little boy, for those reasons I would highly recommend Hypnobirthing to all you Mummy’s to be.

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by Katie Harel

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