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"Maximizing the Positive Birth Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Combining Hypnobirthing with Induction of Labour"

Updated: May 20

Can I use hypnobirthing techniques with an induction of labour?

Absolutely you can use Hypnobirthing techniques during an induction of labour, and beforehand when making crucial decisions. This blog explains the many ways you can utilise hypnobirthing techniques to benefit your birth experience and is packed with practical tips you can start using today. Enjoy!


This blog covers:

Using Hypnobirthing relaxation tools during induction of labour

5 Tips for Induction of Labour

 

How hypnobirthing can help during an induction of labour:

I describe hypnobirthing techniques as building a “hypnobirthing toolkit” comprising of 2 parts. Part 1 includes informed decision-making and questioning tools. Part 2 consists of the breathing, relaxation and mindset tools (of which there are many). These tools benefit ALL births in ALL locations and here’s how you can use them alongside an induction of labour.


Visit the website or get in touch if you'd like to start build a life changing birth toolkit.


Hypnobirthing toolkit part 1: Informed decision-making tools:

Making informed decisions that are right for you and your baby as individuals is important. Choices that feel right for one individual to accept or decline may differ for another, and that’s ok.


Using the mnemonic BRAIIN can help you making decisions, reminding you to consider the:

  • Benefits: What are the benefits of doing or not doing something?

  • Risks: What are the risks of doing or not doing something?

  • Alternatives: What are the alternatives options you could consider?

  • Information: Is the information clear and of good quality e.g. based on grade A study evidence? Does it make sense to you? if not ask questions!

  • Instinct: What is your instinct or “gut” telling you? Instinct is an often overlooked but incredibly valuable tool. Utilise it.

  • Nothing: What if you do nothing? Be that for 5 minutes, a day or a week? If all is well with you and baby would you prefer to wait a while and come back to the decision in the future.

Ask “why?” questions: 

There are instances when induction of labour is offered that you consider it necessary, there are also instances when induction of labour is offered and you consider it unnecessary. Asking “why” induction of labour is being offered is really important. It is up to you to decide if accepting anything offered is right for you. It is valuable knowing you can always ask “why” to any of your healthcare providers, and if the reason given doesn’t feel valid for you, you can decline, or delay the procedure.

Dr Sara Wickham writes extensively about induction of labour, why it is offered and knowing if it is the right choice for you. I always recommend her book "In Your Own Time" to clients.


Understand the actual ‘risk’:

Pregnancy is commonly defined by risk, with labels of “high risk” or “low risk”. Everyone’s acceptable level of risk is individual and should be considered when making birth choices. When discussing ‘risk’ with your midwife or healthcare provider, ask for information to be given in absolute terms, meaning being told actual figures. Commonly ‘risk’ is discussed in relative terms e.g. “twice as likely”. Understanding the actual figures being discussed doesn’t change the information, however, it may change how you feel about the information and your response to it. A chance increase from 0.1% to 0.2% and 20% to 40% is the same as “twice as likely” or “double”, however, the figures are very different so knowing the actual figure may result in you making a different choice.

 

Using the “Why?”, BRAIINS and receiving information absolute terms (actual figures) can help facilitate conversations with your healthcare providers and assist you in deciding what is right for you and your baby as individuals.

 

What choices do I have for inducing labour:

If you have decided induction of labour is the best option for you. I encourage you to think about how you want to be induced. Each method works differently has its own perceived risks and benefits. Being informed about these options beforehand alongside using the BRAIINS tool can help in your conversations with your healthcare providers and what is best for you. Options offered may differ between hospitals so discuss this with your midwife or healthcare provider.

You might also want to discuss if or how each option may effect your birth experience, some options may limit your choice about where you give birth e.g. home, labour ward, midwifery led unit in Leeds this is the Lotus Suite, access to birth pool, the support you have available to you and how you feel about your birth afterwards.

Depending on various factors the medical methods of induction can have varying levels of success. Please do your own research about the risks and benefits of these options to decide what feels best for you and your baby.

Medical induction options:

  • Membrane Sweet / Stretch and Sweep / Stripping the Membranes

  • Prostaglandin gel pessary

  • Foley / double-balloon catheter or Laminaria tent 

  • Amniotomy / artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) / breaking the waters.

  • Synthetic oxytocin drip (Syntocinon / Pitocin)


I talk about the medical methods of induction and non-medical options, your choices and how to optimise your induction in detail during the courses. The book AIMS Guide to Induction of Labour’ explains the risks and benefits of each induction option and the ‘The Obs Pod’ podcast hosted by NHS obstetrician Dr Florence Wilcock is a informative listen explaining induction of labour.


Using hypnobirthing relaxation tools skills during an Induction of Labour:

With any labour and birth, being calm and relaxed benefits your natural birthing hormones (oxytocin & beta-endorphins). Practicing how to calm your body before birth will help you feel relaxed during labour and increase your natural levels of oxytocin and pain killing beta endorphins, resulting in your body’s uterus muscles working more efficiently and effectively. I explain exactly why and how these tools work during the hypnobirthing course so it all makes sense. Here are some of the relaxation tools you could utilise:

 

Hypnobirthing toolkit part 2: Relaxation tools

With practice and repetition during pregnancy you can build positive anchors in your brain to help you feel calm and relaxed.

Sight:

Look at pictures of favourite places or people or words that relax or empower you (positive affirmations are great for this)

Sound:

Listen to relaxations, affirmations and create a labour playlist that makes you calm and happy. It can be calming sounds or a rave mix to help you dance in labour, it’s completely up to you.

Smell:

Use smell to help you feel calm, relaxed and safe. Lavender is known to aid relaxation, or a favourite perfume or aftershave on a tissue or pillow can help.

Touch:

There are various massage techniques a birth partner can do that can help you feel calm or aid comfort. I teach you four techniques on my courses and you can pick your favourite.

Taste:

The labouring body needs substance to function efficiently so eat little and often, but also eating things chocolate can release oxytocin.

 

Visualisation: (or imagining)

Being able to create an image in your mind of a happy place and focus on this can help blocking out external distractions. This can reduce adrenaline levels and boost much needed oxytocin hormone.

 

Breathing:

Your uterus (womb) muscles needs oxygen and blood flowing freely to work effectively, understanding how to utilise your breath to maximise calm is always beneficial. Practice breathing in through your nose for 4 and out your relaxed mouth for 7. you'll soon notice the benefit to your body and mind.



Movement & birth positions:

Freedom of movement is really beneficial during labour. Being in an upright position and able to move instinctively (instead of lying on your back) aids pain relief, increases the space in the pelvis for baby move down and reduces the chances of experiencing a severe perianal tear. If you choose to have an epidural, being upright, or importantly off your sacrum (back of your pelvis) is still possible using peanut balls, pillows or help from your birth partner, midwife or healthcare provider supporting your legs.


Optimising your birth environment:

I’ve written a blog about how you can optimise your birth room environment and the benefits this has to your birth hormones. Give this a read for some ideas on how you can personalise your birth room in any birth, including induction or caesarean birth.

 

Pain relief and comfort measure options:

There are loads of pain relief options available to you, both non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical. I have listed 16 labour pain relief choices in a blog. Each option has their own pros and cons and I encourage you to use the informed decision making tools to work out what feels best for you.

 

Writing a birth plan:

I encourage everyone to make a birth plan. I’d actually make 3. Plan A = your ideal birth, Plan B = induction of labour and Plan C = Caesarean (C-section) birth. Read this birth plan blog full of tips for you.


5 Tips for Induction of Labour:

The choice is yours:

Get informed, know your induction options and use BRAIIN informed decision making skills and ask 'WHY' questions to decide what is best for you and your baby.

Positive Birth Stories:

Seek out positive induction birth stories, they exist and can be helpful to see what is possible. Including this birth video "Hypnobirthing with Synticinon".

Practice relaxation and breathing skills:

Practicing these in pregnancy is beneficial, this blog explains why, and you can use them in ALL birth scenarios (and beyond into parenting)

Write your birth plan(s):

Birth plans help your health care providers know how best to support you during your labour and birth. Writing multiple plans, helps you consider what you'd like if your birth evolves away from your 'Plan A'

Boost your natural oxytocin levels:

Boosting your natural oxytocin levels will benefit your body's natural working and your birth. This blog has some oxytocin boosting tips.


Everything in this blog is discussed in depth on a Positive Birth Leeds Hypnobirthing course.

I also offer "Power Hour" sessions if you want to have a focused chat about a specific subject such as induction of labour. Get in touch to book.


Want to know more or have any questions? get in touch to arrange a free chat (with zero obligation to book).

Alternatively, secure your group course space TODAY with only a £50 deposit, via the website.

 

Charlotte from Positive Birth Leeds is sat smiling at the camera  holding a cup of tea.

I can help you get informed and feel confident, relaxed and empowered for your baby's birth.


Or get in touch to ask about private one-to-one course availability.


Charlotte x



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