Hypnobirthing your parenthood

Mentor Mums
5 min readSep 27, 2022

How the techniques you learned for birth can be applied to parenthood.

pregnant person beside grapevines and trees in sunset

The reason we fear birth is because we fear the unknown, and the idea of losing control. These are common fears in parenting too.

As with many of my fellow teachers, I fell in love with hypnobirthing during the pregnancy and birth of my son Henry, in 2019. I soon realised that after maternity leave I wouldn’t return to my job as I wanted to train to teach Hypnobirthing. It’s now a year since I set up The Mindful Birthing Company and through my continuous learning, both in terms of how to be a parent and how to be a birth worker, I have realised that a great deal of the Hypnobirthing practices that I teach my expectant clients, are very useful to apply to everyday life as a parent.

Hypnobirthing, in case you aren’t already aware, isn’t solely about relaxing for birth, or pain relief, or hypnosis, as is often assumed. It’s actually about creating a positive and confident mindset about birth; believing in and trusting yourself. The reason we fear birth is because we fear the unknown and the idea of losing control. These are common fears in parenting too. So, I thought I’d share a few of my tips for creating a positive, confident and empowered birthing mother, and apply them to every day parenting life.

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Firstly, take time for yourself. I ask for my clients to invest time in their Hypnobirthing practices during pregnancy; for relaxation exercises, to connect with yourself and your partner, to tell yourself you can do it. So, start with these simple positive affirmations:

· I am confident and growing in my parenting role.

· I take the time that I need to care for myself, in doing so this makes me a better parent.

· I look for answers when something feels out of balance.

· I trust my parental intuition.

· I know my child.

· Each day is a new day.

· Every phase is just a phase, every phase will pass.

All successful athletes use affirmations in training. That’s sports psychology. So we know it works as a powerful way to embed a positive and confident daily mindset.

REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Another way to easily gain a sense of balance, calm and control is to tap into your breath. Three simple breaths can increase your relaxation and ground you. Why not take a moment to try it out now?

When you’re ready I’d like you to take a long slow breath in through the nose, feel the air filling you up, notice the sensation. And in your own time, release your out breath through a relaxed mouth, but try to make this slow and controlled, letting go with every second that passes. Repeat 3 times. This simple breathing technique can be used when you wake in the morning, before bed at night or at any time of the day where you may need to feel calm and grounded.

It’s not just the mind that needs some TLC in the year after your birth, your body is going through more changes and you are still healing. A healthy and happy mum makes for a happy baby, so make sure you look after yourself. Many parents focus on feeding their baby delicious nutritious meals but forget to eat themselves (we do this in birth too!), especially in those back to work days where everything is a mad muddle. If you can, make meals that you can all enjoy — Annabel Karmel and Jamie Oliver have fab recipes that are great for the whole family and can easily be blitzed in the blender for the smaller ones. I highly recommend batch cooking so you always have home cooked goods ready to ding in the microwave on a can’t be arsed day, so the mum guilt doesn’t creep in!

ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF

Hypnobirthing isn’t just about the mind and the body, it’s also about navigating your birth choices and advocating for yourself. This rings true with parenting too. Are you entitled to Child Tax Credit? Can your employer provide a flexible return to work schedule? Would you like to speak with your GP about gaining the notes taken from your birth to help you heal emotionally? Is your childcare provider offering free hours with support of the Government? Speak with the necessary people, know your rights, read your contracts, ask the right questions. Knowledge is power. A useful Hypnobirthing anagram to take forward in life is to use your BRAINS to help you make important decisions:

B — what are the Benefits to this suggestion?

R — and what would the Risks be?

A — are there any Alternatives? (there usually always is!)

I — what are my Instincts telling me? (this should never be underrated, especially when sourcing childcare!)

N — what would happen if we did Nothing? (or just waited a little while)

S — SMILE, everything in life is better with a positive outlook.

Just like in birth, parenting is a team sport so make sure that any big life decisions are something that you can do with a partner if you can, and support each other with. It’s very easy to become lost or feel in competition with one another.

Finally, the most important thing I teach in Hypnobirthing is the importance of a birthing hormone called Oxytocin. It’s dubbed the love hormone as it’s one that we produce when we have sex, kiss, cuddle, or even just when we are having a laugh with our friends over a takeaway and a glass of wine. This too, is super important for us mums in parenthood, as well as birth. Make sure you’re still smiling and laughing. Carve out some ‘you’ time. Connect with friends or partner. I know it’s hard to find that balance but remember life is rich and precious and these are the good times!

Post by Chloe Hayden, who runs The Mindful Birthing Company in Kent. For an exclusive 20% off Mentor Mums discount on a course, book here and enter MENTORMUMS at the checkout!

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