Friday, 17 February 2017

My thoughts on the Natal Hypnotherapy course*

At 38 weeks pregnant I have just completed the Natal Hypnotherapy course online, you can read about why I decided to take on this course here.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have learnt so much, not only about hypnotherapy itself but about labour, the history of fear and even hormones. It has been wonderfully interesting.

You begin the course with an introduction by Maggie Howell herself, the founder of Natal Hypnotherapy and the voice of the relaxation tracks that will guide you through your labour preparation. The following two modules are about hypnosis and how it works, each module contains a multimedia video focusing on the subject, these are often interactive and are voiced by Maggie. The video is then followed by a quiz to test what you have learnt and you are given homework to complete at the end of each module.

Throughout the course you are also given an insight to hypnotherapy being used during labour. You are able to watch home birth videos from women who put everything that you are being taught into practice, I must admit that this was completely fascinating/ a little terrifying. I mean I have given birth and have watched "One Born Every Minute" but it's very different when you are seeing it from "the other side", if you know what I mean. These women were incredible though and I was completely in awe of them.

One of my favourite modules was the module discussing fear during childbirth, Maggie goes into the history of childbirth which, as a history enthusiast, I found so interesting. It really helped me compartmentalise the fear in my brain and really ask myself what I was afraid of. Another interesting concept that Maggie discusses during this module is the way in which mammals give birth and that us as humans still look towards those animalistic tendencies when giving birth.

Throughout the course you are given a number of relaxation methods and tracks to help you before, during and even after the birth. I found the tips on breathing particularly helpful and have been practising since. You can download the tracks provided on to your phone making it more accessible when the time comes. There are also a number of modules and techniques for your birth partner. Maggie explains that the birth partner can often feel like a spare part during labour but she gives specific instructions, tips and techniques so that the birth partner is on hand throughout and helping the mother as much as possible. I had not heard of any of these techniques before, Nath and I watched a few of the modules together and he made notes of the different techniques he could do once I am in labour.

I also found the "Understanding Hormones" module hugely interesting, finding out about how oxytocin and adrenaline affect you differently during labour and what you can do to discourage adrenaline during childbirth was also a great topic and again, something that I didn't know.

Having had a baby once before and having been through the labour process, I honestly thought I knew it all. I went into this course with an open mind and not sure what to expect. Although I have given birth before I was still quite afraid, as we know, no two births are the same and having had retained placenta with Ava, it's something that has been at the back of my mind and worrying me since the beginning. However I can honestly say that this course has changed my views on childbirth. The wealth of information that Maggie provides you with is second to none. I feel like I am heading into this birth as a completely different person, I am no longer scared but excited. I feel like I can conquer whatever this labour throws at me and I shall do my best to put all of the hypnotherapy techniques into practice.

If you are pregnant, be it your first or fifth baby, I cannot recommend this course enough. It has completely changed my outlook on childbirth and it is now something that I am looking forward to rather than dreading.

The online course costs £97. You can find out more about the Natal Hypnotherapy courses here.

*I was offered the Natal Hypnotherapy course free of charge in exchange for an honest review


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