Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fashionista Mommy Adventures: Hypnobirthing Class

Motherhood has indeed opened my eyes to a whole new world and as a newbie, I am definitely excited to learn new things. Having planned for a vaginal birth and ended up with a caesarian (you can read all about my giving birth story here), I am definitely apprehensive for my second one (no, I am not pregnant yet but it's never too early to start preparations for birth, especially when I am planning for a VBAC).

So imagine how excited I am when I learnt of a hypnobirthing course that was to be conducted in Kuching and despite me having given birth just seven months ago and am advised by the doctor to plan for another one at least a year and a half after the previous birth, I decided to enrol for the course. I believe as part of my effort in ensuring the success of a VBAC, I need to take a proactive role in getting to learn what are the risks involved, toning and exercising my body so that it is strong and able to perform a VBAC, taking care of the food that I eat (I am well known for my happy food choices instead of healthy food *blush*) and of course at the end of the day it all depends on what God has in plan for us, I do believe my first caesarian is the best birthing experience for me and Alexa (I had prayed for the best birth for both of us) and if I've tried my all and still have to do a caesarian, maybe God has planned it that way. But, that (fate) does not stop me from trying.

I learnt about the course from a support group that I joined in Facebook (you can look up the group here), made my payment and waited for the day to come. It's a two-day intensive course with loads of open discussions, video presentations and hands-on breathing exercises. The program starts at 9.30 in the morning and ends at 5 pm. In between we have a lunch break from 12.30 pm until 2.15 pm.


The hypnobirthing book.

Upon registration, I was given a file filled with handouts, hypnobirthing book (attached with its own CD) and another relaxation CD, plopped myself on a very comfortable sofa and waited for the session to start. There were only five other people in the room, Mellona (who's about 34 weeks pregnant) and her husband (it's supposed to be a couples course but hubs couldn't make it as he wasn't able to leave work), Latifah (not pregnant), Lilian (currently expecting her third child), yours truly (not pregnant) and Nadine (our speaker/ facilitator, and I actually did manage to ask her whether she's expecting *hehe*). You might notice that it's such a small number of participants for an intensive course, but the good thing is, we get to share our stories and experiences with each other and the course felt as if it's very personalised and the best part is, Nadine get to teach and also let us practice each breathing techniques and exercises individually, and with each other.

This is kinda how the course was conducted. And if you're wondering about those mats, yes we did get a chance to roll on them *haha*.

There's Mellona, her husband and Latifah, rapt attention focused on Nadine.

During one of the hands-on activity session, Nadine and Latifah.

Chris presenting a cake to Nadine by the end of the course. Yummylicious! Thank you Chris for the cake!

I'm not going to share much about the course here as I do believe that the best way for you to gain information on hypnobirthing is by attending the course. However, I've come to the conclusion that:

1.  Should I have attended this course before the birth of Alexa, I could have prevented an induction, ethanol and epidural pain relief, even possibly experience a vaginal birth simply by practicing the exercise and breathing techniques that was taught during the course. Note to self: am getting the birth ball soon.

2. I would have known more on deliveries, especially those related to the natural birthing process and water birth (we were shown plenty of videos on those and surprisingly I wasn't squeamish by all of it).

3. I would most probably have felt calmer during my giving birth experience (truth be told, one of the things that terrified me was the possibility of getting an episiotomy).

The course taught me that it is possible to experience and embrace a natural birth and I would have to say among all the things I have done relating to pregnancy and giving birth, this course would have to be the best investment in ensuring the possibility of a gentle birth a reality (I'll definitely share on my second birth experience when I get my second one in the future). I really recommend this course for first-time mothers (or even second, third, fourth time mothers), medical practitioners (so that they know gentle birth does not necessary mean home birth) and also to fathers as well (as they would be the ones in the labor room supporting their wife through the birthing experience).

Interested to know more? You can look up Nadine's website on gentle birth [here]. Seriously, the best investment you could ever make is an investment in yourself and this is one investment you should not miss. If you're wondering about the cost, we paid for about RM800 for the two day course and early birds get to pay only RM780.

Looking forward to a better birthing experience, not only to me but to all mothers out there.

xoxo Mrs Fashionista