Link to publication: Getting the Birth you Want Second Time Around
A sponsored post for Amsterdam Mamas. Published in March 2016.
Inbal Sigler of Isis Hypnobirthing & Yoga helped two mamas overcome a traumatic first birth and reclaim the experience as something truly positive and empowering the second time around. Read on to find out more about how Hypnobirthing worked for them.
When I heard I was pregnant with my second child, I knew I wanted this birth to be very different from the first one.
I gave birth to my first child in hospital, pretty much in horrible pain, without the epidural I asked for, and feeling powerless throughout. This left me with a post-partum depression lasting about two months.
This birth had to be different, but how? I had a lot of doubts. Two of my friends had done hypnobirthing and swore that it really helped them. I was sceptical but, at seven months pregnant, I got in touch with Inbal who arranged for me to join a class.
All the midwives said hypnobirthing really helped me, and for sure it did.
I quickly bought into the philosophy of hypnobirthing; everything seemed logical, and the classes were very efficient. I was surprised how fast I got into deep relaxation and how well this worked for me. But would it work when the surges [Inbal’s positive reframing of ‘contractions’] came on the day of the birth? Surprisingly, it did.
I managed to break the fear/tension/pain cycle. I did not pay attention to the first surges and went on with my daily activities. Then I dealt with the more serious surges on a birth ball and with the hypnobirthing CD, but I was still feeling very comfortable. When the midwife came, I was already 8/9 cm dilated and she was amazed that I could still talk, eat, laugh and arrange things in the house! That’s how confident I felt that nothing wrong could happen, that everything was perfectly safe, and that I would finally have my perfect birth at home.
My baby came into the world in our bedroom at home, surrounded by tranquillity and a beautiful nursery song. This birth completely made up for the previous one, and even the first one now seems special to me.
All the midwives said hypnobirthing really helped me, and for sure it did. It brought a sense of confidence and a positive mindset that are key, alongside the relaxation techniques. I’m really grateful to Inbal, who effectively shared her knowledge and helped make me the happy mum I am, right from the beginning.
My son was born beautifully at home. I was on a birthing stool and my partner received him. The whole second birth was much, much easier.
Contacting Inbal was the recommendation of a mother in my ViVe midwife group, who was a hypnobirthing tutor herself. Inbal had a calming presence and obviously knew what she was talking about. We learned about how the body works during birth, the function of the birthing muscles, and how to work efficiently and in harmony with them, rather than resisting.
Inbal had a calming presence. Her voice is really amazing.
She also taught us breathing techniques which were invaluable in giving us both [Camilla and her partner] roles during the birth and reducing my anxiety and pain. That, and a different way of thinking about it as well: seeing the physical sensations as something you are working with, not fighting. She also gave us a relaxation download which we played a few times during the labour. Her voice is really amazing; it really helped.
For the first birth, I had synthetic oxytocin. I was in hospital and they decided I wasn’t progressing. It was awful as soon as they did it – just horrible. I think that was a really bad decision. That’s another thing that hypnobirthing helped me with because we talked quite a lot about how to ask questions. If I had known more about that, it probably would have empowered me to say no. I also felt like I was fighting every contraction with the first one; it was just something to bear, whereas this time, I could experience it a lot more and I felt I could manage it. With the second birth, I had no pain relief. I didn’t notice the ‘transition’. I didn’t realise how close I was until the midwife told me she could tell it would be soon.
The hypnobirthing classes also helped to bring my partner and me closer. We really enjoyed going to the lessons together. Just carving out time for them, created space for us to think about the pregnancy and the birth. The lessons enabled my partner to feel much more a part of the experience and know how to help. I think at the first birth, he only had the instructions of the midwife and doctor to basically shout at me to push. Here, he could play more of a coaching role and knew what to do. We had discussed some affirmations about opening up and me being strong enough to do it, which helped a lot.
Hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to have my son at home. And I did, and I was so much more relaxed. I felt much more in control. I didn’t need any intervention or even examination. This was the birth I had wanted and I feel very grateful for it.
A Few Words from Inbal
Are you expecting your second or third baby? Maybe you feel that life with a toddler diverts your attention from focusing on the baby you are carrying. Perhaps your previous birth unfolded differently from what you had in mind?
Isis HypnoBirthing & Yoga now offers a comprehensive preparation programme for optimal readiness, so you and your partner receive all the knowledge and practical tools for the smooth, comfortable, and easy birth experience you wish and deserve to have. The content and spirit of this unique course have been developed in cooperation with birth professionals, and are an integration of great techniques and worlds, drawing on HypnoBirthing, Prenatal Yoga, Doula, and Chinese Medicine. Practised separately, they support pregnancy and birth beautifully, and together they serve as a powerful synergy. When attending this programme, you and your partner will be equipped with all the knowledge and practicalities essential to make informed choices, understand the process of birth and how to best support it, ensure a mother’s trust and confidence in her body and baby, and encourage active involvement and support from her partner. All of these – and more – are key elements in experiencing the best possible birth for you, your baby, and for the entire family.
ISIS HypnoBirthing and Yoga has paid to be featured on Amsterdam Mamas because they believe that their services would be of interest and benefit to our readers, and we think so too. For more information on sponsored posts and advertising on Amsterdam Mamas, please see our Advertising and Disclosure policy.
Deborah Nicholls-Lee is a British national who moved to The Netherlands in 2009. A former French and English teacher, she now works as a freelance writer and editor while raising her two children. Follow her on Twitter.