I just got the chance to speak about my passion with Peter Bell (he is a very generous interviewer luckily).
We chatted about Lowering the risk of PND by lowering the fear of childbirth.
This is why I do what I do, so couples are informed and prepared for birth.
We make really poor decisions when we are fearful and then don’t get the birth we want and deserve.
PND is a condition that now affects 1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 20 new dads.
Early identification is very important but it is time to start focusing on prevention.
A 2103 study of over 500,000 women showed that a Fear of Childbirth increases your risk of PND by 3 times.
What saddens me is that this is so easy to reduce.
With the Hypnobirthing Australia™ course you can release your fears around childbirth and dramatically reduce your risk of PND.
However many obstetricians do not acknowledge the role fear plays and give women very little time to discuss their fears.
Most fears come under the umbrella fear of ‘Fear of the Unknown’, but the 15min Doctor’s antenatal appointment does not allow time to explore and allay these fears.
Some doctors even play on these fears to encourage women towards induction or a c-section. This may also contribute to an unsatisfactory birth experience and therefore a higher chance of PND.
This is such an important issue because PND may affect the mother’s abilities and skills to engage with her baby, and can possibly affecting the child’s later development and well-being.
We are supposed to feel like Wonder Woman after birth, ready to take on anything. We are also supposed to feel like Wonder Woman in 5 months time, not bewildered, overwhelmed, tired and depressed.
Education really is the key to reducing the fears around childbirth. Birth is not meant to be overwhelming and scary. When you understand the beautiful design and have strategies to manage the contractions, it can be a wonderful and empowering experience.
Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, couples are not seeking out good quality childbirth education.
They are relying on hospital antenatal classes, which only prepare them to be good patients. Or worse, their obstetrician’s advice. Neither of these adequately addresses the issue of fear of childbirth and ways to manage that fear.
Fear of childbirth is an insidious condition and greatly affects the progress of labour and birth by interfering with the hormone oxytocin. The more and more I look into oxytocin the more I realise what a precious hormone it is.
In fact all our birthing hormones are wonderful but most antenatal education classes don’t really teach you about their importance.
Teaching about physiological birth and how to optimise physiology should be the cornerstone of every prenatal education course.
Because they are not just hormones of labour and birth. They are hormones of pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding and attachment.
Here is what happens when they are:
This is a message that is very very late coming to you and I was encouraged to write as I recommended you to some of our family.
My husband Brett and I came to your classes. I just wanted to say thank you very much for the wonderful advice you gave to us.
I left your classes with a wonderful sense of empowerment and a belief that child birth wasn’t scary but a journey my body was built to go through.
The relaxation information gave Brett an understanding of what his role was and some tangible things he could do whilst he was supporting me. As well as realising he was such an important part of the process. Which he did wonderfully and i couldn’t of done it without him.
Your information about the way our bodies and our hormones work during childbirth allowed me to realise our bodies are there to support us during birth. This gave me so much reassurance and allowed me to let the fear of birthing go. I wish this information was given to people specifically in all birthing classes.
Lastly the fact you made me feel reassured I could wait to go to the hospital if everything felt ok. This allowed me to have contractions during the night between sleeping. Leaving me to go to the hospital in the morning and be in labour for only 5 hours once reaching hospital.
I am very pleased to say that I was able to have a birth without any drugs even with my waters broken. I gave birth to our daughter Isabella at 4.13kg.
This experience still brings tears to my eyes today. Not only because it was the day I met a piece of my heart. But it was such a wonderfully empowering, positive and beautiful experience.
I do believe your advice and the sense of calm brought myself and my husband allowed me to believe I could do this and my body would work with me to deliver our precious baby. For that I can’t say thank you enough.
We need to learn to stop viewing birth as a scary event to be endured and remember it is meant to be a beautiful experience from which we grow into loving parents.
Click here to listen to the interview.