Yes you read that right. It’s a common misconception that Hypnobirthing and epidurals are opposite ends of the spectrum. The two can totally go hand in hand.
If you are planning on using an epidural in your labour, my hypnobirthing course is AS if not MORE important for you! WHY? Because if you are giving birth in an NHS hospital, you won't have access to an anaesthetist until you are well into established labour and you're around 4cm dilated. Therefore, hypnobirthing will hugely help you to manage the sensations of labour when labour begins at home, in your journey to the hospital, and until you receive your epidural. The course will also help you in so many other ways of course, to managing any fears or worries you have about birth in your pregnancy, to ensuing that you feel really informed and able to make confident decisions that feel right for you and your baby!
So without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for using both HYPNOBIRTHING AND AN EPIDURAL:
1. BOOST YOUR OXYTOCIN!
Because an epidural eliminates the sensations of labour, it’s easy to forget that your body is still working super hard to open your cervix and birth your baby. You might suddenly feel like chatting, scrolling through insta, WhatsApping your friends, etc. But if you do this, it’s unlikely you’ll be helping your production of OXYTOCIN along. Oxytocin is a shy hormone which is best produced when you’re feeling calm, safe, relaxed and unobserved. It’s really important that you’re still producing it in bucketloads when you’re in labour, as it’s responsible for EVERY SINGLE SURGE! An epidural eliminates the sensations, but it’s not a hormone replacement, so you still need to be using all your techniques to keep your oxytocin on HIGH!
2. USE YOUR HYPNOBIRTHING TECHNIQUES
It’s arguably even more important that you stay in your own little birth bubble to keep firmly in your calm nervous system. This way you’ll be working WITH your birthing body to help it to open up.
3. MAXIMISE YOUR POSITIONING
Did you know that even with an epidural, you can still be in a position which is UPRIGHT, FORWARD & OPEN? Your midwife can help you get into a great U.F.O position, which will help your baby descend and your cervix to open. If you can get you midwife / birth partner to help you change positions every 30 mins, that will really help your baby to descend and find room!!
4. ASK ABOUT A MOBILE EPIDURAL & MOBILE MONITORING
You can ask for a mobile mix epidural, which still gives you some sensation in your lower body, and you can also request mobile monitoring which also helps you remain active - which in turn helps your body and baby!
5. USE THE KIT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Hospitals are full of bits of kit and apparatus that can help you get into a great upright position. Your hospital bed can be contorted into all sorts of positions, you can use a peanut ball, or pop your birthing ball up on the bed and lean over it....there are SO many options and ways you can get gravity on your side which will hugely help your labour to progress efficiently.
However your birth pans out, you've got the tools, knowledge and techniques to make it a positive one - I can't wait to hear your news! All the positive vibes,