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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hypnobirth and M.E

As my pregnancy progresses I have had to refocus,  prioritise and look more inside myself to conserve all the energy and strength I have for the people who need it the most: myself, and my little family. I have enjoyed this pregnancy very much,  but it has taken its toll on my body. I have SPD and anaemia as well as the usual M.E symptoms, so moving is a bigger challenge than usual.   

These could be worrying times, with two little boys to look after and a new baby coming, however I haven't felt worried or disheartened or frustrated at all. I can only put this down to fantastic support from my husband, parents and family and Hypnobirthing.  Daily practise of profound relaxation, positive thinking and deep breathing has been huge in enabling me to step back from the stresses and concerns and see them in a more positive light.  What I thought would help me prepare for childbirth only has helped me cope with pregnancy and other stresses in life these past few months. With this in mind I want to share what I have learned in the hopes it might benefit others.  

 I've been unable to attend any classes,  but I bought Katherine Graves 'The Hypnobirthing Book' on Kindle, and downloaded a hypnobirthing track on Spotify. The main things to prepare for birth are: practising up breathing; J breathing; listening to the tracks and allowing yourself complete relaxation; and repeating positive birth affirmations. 

  Up breathing -  is the breathing to do in the first stage of labour. It should require minimum muscular effort as the purpose is to relax your body to allow the uterine muscles to work to the best of their ability. It's slow, deep breathing, usually in through the nose and out through the mouth. However,  I'm a natural mouth breather,  so I find it better to breathe in and out though my mouth. The trick is finding the length of breath that suits you and enables you to be relaxed and comfortable, whilst filling your lungs. During this breathing you should be visualising 'up'  images. For example, these could be the sun rising,  bubbles floating, or the waves lapping. 

  J Breath or down breathing-   this is for when the cervix is opened and your baby is ready to move down. It is a quick breath in through the nose and a slow breath out through the nose focusing your attention downwards. This is best to practise on the loo, and believe me,  it works! The visualisations for these could be flowers opening,  or waterfalls. 

  I want to include some affirmations that I particularly like,  it's good to have them close to hand to look at them daily.  These ones are specifically for birth,  but I can see how powerful it can be in life to repeat positive affirmations to ourselves daily. These are just a few of the statements in the Katherine Graves book I've been reading: 

"I move gently forward through my pregnancy and labour with confidence and trust." 

"Birthing is a natural process of my body, my mind and my spirit,  working in unison  with my baby. "

 " My mind leads where my body follows. As my mind is so relaxed, confident and calm, so my body is comfortable, relaxed,  soft and open, as my baby passes gently, healthily and swiftly into the world. "

 " With each breath out,  I breathe out tension and stress. " 

"With each breath in,   I breathe in relaxation and comfort,  peace and trust."

 "Each surge of my body reminds me that I will soon be holding my baby in my arms. " 

  My next task is to write these affirmations and others and place them where I can see them in the house.  Im 35 weeks now,  and the end is in sight. I shall keep you posted on how labour and birth go,  and if all my practise has been successful.  Motherhood and M.E is not an easy journey,  and I'm sure people must think I'm crazy,  but kids do give a purpose to life I thought was lost. We're all very excited for this new member of our family, to get to know her little personality and how she'll fit in or change the dynamics of our family.

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