When I Become Pregnant, I’m Going to HypnoBirth

     In 2012, the theme of pregnancy kept going through my mind – I kept wondering about what it would be like to have babies, be a mom, be pregnant, be an aunty, and it is a goal of mine to be a yummy mummy – one day. These thoughts likely crossed my mind because a lot of my role models either became pregnant or had babies, and my mother also became pregnant with me when she was my current age. I also saw my cute baby cousins during the holidays (ages 5 and 2), and everytime they smiled and laughed, I just wanted to smother them with kisses.

Source: http://www.pantherkut.com

Mid-December, I attended a Hypnobirthing information session to learn more about what to expect when I hopefully get to experience being pregnant. Along with the theme of pregnancy in my mind was my fear of the pain associated with labour – does it really have to be that painful? Not necessarily – although the media succeeds in creating a contesting portrayal. When thinking of childbirth, many of us have been conditioned to think of screaming women, doctors yelling “push,” and women screaming “I can’t!” as they curse profanities at their partners. I never thought it could be a pleasant, focused experience.

Source: http://askinyourface.com

    The educator of the session was Alanna Sills, and her experience was heartwarming to hear about because before having her baby boy, she kept hearing the same negative experiences associated with pregnancy, but instead of just accepting those statements as the end all be all, she was proactive about having a positive experience. After completing the HypnoBirthing program and gaining peace of mind through the techniques she learned and put in action, she’s become an instructor. Alanna was so pleasant that I plan to seek her out as my HypnoBirth instructor when my time comes in the next several years.

    So what is HypnoBirthing? What I have learned is that throughout a series of modules, soon-to-be mothers (and their companions) learn how to achieve a state of deep relaxation to encourage a calm, gentle birth environment which is in tune with the natural flow of childbirth. As mentioned during the session, women internalize images of stress and pain associated with childbirth, and not only expect, but additionally recreate these same experiences for themselves. Yet, with education about what’s taking place internally during labour, coupled with relaxation techniques which assist rather than resist that process, labour isn’t as frightening.

Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pregnant%20belly

     During the evening Alanna showed us a few clips; the philosophy underlying HypnoBirthing isn’t new, but I’m shocked that this is the first time I’m hearing of it. So memorable were clips of women and their partners being extremely focused during labour, alternating their breathing techniques with the ebb and flow of labour, and utilizing different postures to use gravity advantageously in the babies’ journey down the birth canal. Most fascinating to me were that women who used what they learned in the program dilated faster, had fewer vaginal tears upon delivery, and less pain due to higher generation of endorphins.

Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pregnant%20belly

   I mentioned to a family member that I had attended this workshop because I wanted to see if she knew about it when she was pregnant over 20 years prior, but she hadn’t. I really wish she had known this as an alternative option because 2 pregnancies and 2 epidurals later, she experiences recurring back pain in the area surrounding the epidural injection point over 20 years later.

However, an interesting thing I had learned from her was that from a young age, I was always drawn to pregnancy: at the age of 5, I said that I wanted to be a doctor when I grow up (likely from early familial pressures). Then, at the age of 11, I said I wanted to become a pediatrician (more specialized physician, possibly less from familial pressures). Then I went through a phase where I wanted to be a family/marriage counsellor, but then I personally realized I would rather deliver babies because pregnant women fascinate me! Since 2008, I’ve wanted to be where I am now – studying Naturopathic Medicine – and pregnancy continues to fascinate me…those microscopic miracles! Somehow, I believe I will be incorporating healthy pregnancy into my practice, otherwise, why am I so amazed by it?

     On an ending note, there is a HypnoBirthing book that anyone can read out of self-interest, or if one would like to learn the techniques (one doesn’t need to be pregnant to benefit from deep relaxation). I was thinking of reading it, but have decided save it as a treat for when I hopefully become pregnant years from now. I think I’d appreciate reading the book much more as a supplement to attending the workshop, when I’m in that mode and state of mind. Yet, if you read it, please let me know your thoughts!

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So Inspired!

It is certainly crunch time right now, but last Thursday there was an event I was so drawn to that I left the books that evening and attended that instead.

During these past few months I’ve had two instructors who have been incredibly influential in my mindset towards this program: my History and Philosophy professor – Dr.Anthony Godfrey, and my Health Psychology TA – Dr.Jodi Larry

In particular, the few lectures I’ve been privileged to have by Dr. Godfrey has opened my eyes towards higher consciousness and one’s spirituality. Also, being a student in Dr. Larry’s Psychology practical, she has shared many skills that she has learned through her personal experiences, of which I probably would not learn until much later in the game by encountering similar experiences myself. Another valuable thing I’ve learned from both of them is shifting my outlook on things – there’s so much beneath the surface, and if we approach people from a judgmental stance, we’re not going to see anything below the tip of the iceberg.

A personal endeavour I’ve taken on is to learn more about spirituality and how to become more aware of my own because I’ve seen that when people are connected with themselves and the Universe, their outlook, mindset, and perceptions of stressors are completely different from those who are less spiritually aware. Life aligns for them. A way I’ve chosen to fulfill that endeavour is to join a group with other spiritually-minded individuals, which will expose me to this realm by seeing what other people have learned, and are learning. So, last week, the group held a panel about Spirituality and Life, which felt like the perfect starting point for me.

I have so much I want to say about the panel itself, but overall, I’ve been noticing origins in shifting the way I think. Overall, I’ve been thinking more along the lines of us being here to help one another, rather than approaching life in a cut-throat, me-me-me manner that was quite adaptive for go-getters in undergrad. I’m also starting to look at the problematic relationships in my life – relationships that I do not want to end. Rather than looking at it strictly from an angle directed at me where I feel victimized and as though I’m not being treated fairly, I’m starting to think about the other person – what might be their reasons for how they’re treating me, and they may not even be aware that they’re projecting things onto me when I’m not actually the problem. At times, the way I’m treated can’t nor should be justified, but it also reminds me that I need to grow a thicker skin, learn to develop/strengthen my spiritual boundaries, and continue to be aware that the situation is not always about me.

I’m so incredibly pleased that I attended the panel, as there is quite a lot that I am starting to think about. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be selfish – I’m going to share later for sure 😉 However, part of the responsibility of being a student in gaining access to so much great information is being trusted to learn it. Although I’m growing personally, I need to catch up on my school work so I have the textbook knowledge to help me do my job correctly and effectively! I am behind, but the thoughts and ideas revealed to me in the panel helped me to realize that this experience is a lesson within itself, and I can do it! So, I’m going to use my remaining time in a wise manner, and get back to studying!

To those of you out there studying for finals and completing those last remaining assignments, all the best to you! Truck on through, you’ll feel awesome once you’re done!

Source: http://files-cdn.formspring.me/photos/20120625/n4fe8c361af565.jpg