Hypnobirthing: Tips & Tricks for a Positive Birth | Sarah Giannetta
Hey guys, thank you for tuning today in this episode of MomTalks with Christa, I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I got a great episode for you guys. Today, I talked with Sarah from the Midwife Mummy. And she talks all about Hypnobirthing, get so many questions about Hypnobirthing asking what it is, what it entails. And then after talking to her, I was like, that sounds amazing so check out the episode. We've had a really great conversation. She's super knowledgeable into Hypnobirthing and how she got into it. So yeah, it's a great episode, I think you guys are going to learn a lot. And share it with your friends that are either expecting currently or are thinking about having another baby. It's a just a whole new avenue of how to have a baby. So, without further ado, here's my interview with Sarah all about hypnobirthing. Welcome, Sarah. Thanks for coming on.
Sarah: Hey, thanks for having me. It's good to be here.
Christa: Very excited. So just to get started, can you tell us a little bit about you and what you do and kind of go from there.
Sarah: I'm Sarah. I live in Melbourne, Victoria, which is in Australia. And I am a registered midwife, a registered nurse, I have two kids, and I'm a childbirth educator. So, I've been registered as a midwife and nurse for going on seven years now. And I've loved it from the very second that I started my training even so midwifery is my passion. But after having my own kids and kind of being in the medical system and working within a hospital. I kind of felt that being in that I guess environment where it is very medical and there are a lot of interventions, I just felt like I could do a lot more to help women. And so, after I had my second baby, which I had at home. So, my first daughter I had in hospital, and then my son I had at home. And I think that experience just really changed my life, it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. And I really wanted to share that. And after that, I kind of felt like this is what birth is meant to be. And then I kind of just felt that I wanted to get into education. And I feel like that's my way of how I can support women so much more than I could ever do in a hospital environment. So, then I was thinking about what courses I wanted to teach. And I saw Hypnobirthing Australia. So there with Hypnobirthing, there are a lot of different companies. But Hypnobirthing Australia is what really caught my eye. And then kind of going through that course and learning about everything that it is and learning how to teach the course everything that I learned and that I was going to teach women just 100% resonated with my soul, I guess you could say, and a lot of the things that I teach in the course that I learned, I was like, oh my god, I did that for my labor. And I did that during my pregnancy. And I didn't use those techniques during my birth. I just didn't know it. So, I'm like, this is 100% the course that I want to teach for women, and I really do believe that it makes such a difference.
Christa: That's amazing. That's, that's so cool. I love it always hearing like the journey stories of how you kind of got to where you're at and why you chose the profession, you're in. So, I think that's really cool.
Sarah: Yeah, thanks. I think it's a very much the same for a lot of midwives. I think we get into the profession because we love women and we love our bodies and we love babies and the process of physiological, labor and birth and, unfortunately, in the hospitals and in the medical system, a lot of that is kind of left out along the way and it's more so kind of medical and so, yeah, it kind of digs up your soul a little bit every time you're there and seeing unfortunate circumstances that leave women kind of traumatized after birth.
Christa: So, for anyone that doesn't know what is Hypnobirthing?
Sarah: Yeah. So, I think there are a lot of misconceptions about Hypnobirthing. I think a lot of people think, like it's waving a pendulum in front of your face, or like clicking fingers. And in that second the mum's hypnotized and she's in a trance but the way I kind of like to explain it is more so like a deep relaxation or guided meditation is how I would best describe Hypnobirthing. So, it does use hypnosis techniques during birth. And that's where they get the term Hypnobirthing. But for me, it is more of that deep relaxation, guided meditation and kind of just using that to change mum’s mindset during pregnancy. So that if there are fears, or there are anxieties around labor and birth and that whole process, what we can do is then kind of get rid of those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts and create that positive mindset throughout the pregnancy, and then giving mum and dad or mum and the support person tools to use throughout so they can stay calm, relaxed and positive. And that really helps to keep mum in control. And then she's more likely to have a really good positive experience, because she's able to make informed decisions, because she's staying calm and positive. So, it really does help to benefit the whole experience.
Christa: That's amazing. That's so cool to hear about because I kept hearing your talk about and I was like, I can never quite understand what it was like fully and so to hear you explain it that way, it’s really quite relaxing, I should think about and that sounds awful. I'm sure a lot of moms listening are like that sounds very ideal to be in that relaxed state. Because I think a lot of times our minds so quickly put in negative thoughts or the anxiety and fear around it.
Sarah: Yeah, 100%. And especially if that's kind of all you've heard growing up or into pregnancy, everyone likes to kind of get out their birth experience. Unfortunately, a lot of those are negative birth stories, or they're make sure you get the epidural straightaway or opting for a caesarean instead of going natural and things like that. And it's all about fear. It's not kind of about the reality of labor and birth. So, I also find that during the course, and I think it's different to other courses, especially ones that you would generally do in a hospital is that we go over what your body is actually doing, and the process of pregnancy and labor and birth, and how amazing that transformation is, and how resilient and strong our body is. And I find that once women fully understand what their body is actually going to do. It gives them a lot of relief, and likely like, oh, like I when you understand what your body's doing, I think it makes it a lot easier to experience the sensations of labor.
Christa: Yeah, it's amazing. It's kind of knowledge is power kind of thing. Like, the more we understand and learn about it, we're going to feel more powerful and empowered in that.
Sarah: That's yeah. 100% And that's, yeah, that's the message.
Christa: Love that. So, you kind of talked about some of the benefits of Hypnobirthing, but what are some other key benefits that our listeners should be aware of?
Sarah: With Hypnobirthing, I think the main thing the benefit is you stay calm and you stay relaxed and you create and maintain a positive mindset throughout your pregnancy, your labor and your birth but it also can reduce the need for interventions reduces the labor time so a lot of women that do Hypnobirthing or that are more knowledgeable and I've even found this with a lot of my clients that I teach is that they labor are a lot quicker, they don't feel that they need any pain relief as well so it reduces your need for pain relief, reduces caesarean sections, reduces instrumental births, it increases spontaneous labor's so it will decrease inductions and increases vaginal births as well. I thought it was kind of a coincidence after I started teaching this course, that a lot of the first time mums that I were teaching were coming to me and being like, Oh, my labor was only eight hours long or four hours long and I didn't have an epidural and I got to the hospital and I was you nearly ready to push and things like that. So, one or two, I'm just like, oh my god, that's amazing. Like, that's so good. And then, it was more and more. And I'm like, no, this is not a coincidence. This is because they were informed and empowered and stayed in control and it really shows in the results.
Christa: That's amazing. And so, I know you're talking about you have a course that moms can take and so what other things can moms do to help prepare for their birth up till that point?
Sarah: I'd highly recommend a class, it doesn't have to be Hypnobirthing, just any type of class, preferably outside of the hospital that you're teaching. So, going to a private, maybe midwife or childbirth educator, and doing some classes during pregnancy with your partner. Also, I find doing a breastfeeding class as well is really beneficial and then looking after your body. I think if you look after your body, your body will look after you. And during pregnancy, I don't think a lot of women understand what their body is going through. Like they literally creating life from nothing, just using their own body and the energy that their body has, they're creating a little human that is amazing, and takes a lot out of you. So, doing things like acupuncture, or Myo therapy, or seeing an osteo or a physio, or women's health or pelvic floor physio as well. Just really looking after your body and nourishing your body, eating good foods and all that kind of stuff. If you're not eating food, making sure you're getting your bloods done, and maybe taking supplements or things like that. But really just looking after your body listening to your body tuning in, because that's ultimately going to help your recovery in your post postpartum period as well.
Christa: If someone listening is like, that sounds amazing. I want to try Hypnobirthing, what should they look for when they find a location? Or is this something that's typically done in your own home? And you have a midwife come in? How does that kind of look?
Sarah: The company that I teach for is Hypnobirthing Australia, and they do teach in many countries as well. So, there's practitioners in many countries including Australia, and the US. So, going on to the website, hit no bugs, or hypnobirthing Australia for in Australia, and you can find all the practitioners and find a location for you whether it's in person, or online courses, or even over zoom as well. But I think the main thing is maybe having a chat with that practitioner before booking into the class or looking into any class is having a chat with them and seeing if you kind of gel and mesh and you like their philosophy and you what they stand for, and you get along, I think trust is a really big thing as well. So, I think if you get along with that person then they're probably the right person to teach you.
Christa: Yeah, definitely. And do you recommend that mom, like their partner comes to class with them, he's involved in everything?
Sarah: It's a must. Partners, I think when I teach couples, it's as much for the partner as it is for mum. Because end of the day, it's both of them going through that experience. And the partners need to be there as mums advocate. And I find that when partners are a lot more knowledgeable and informed, it makes the experience even better because they're comfortable, they're relaxed, and they're calm, and they know exactly what's going on and they know what mums preferences are and they know how to best support mum with physical techniques and hands on techniques, but also to be there, as mums support person that moral support and that empathy and things like that. So, 100% partners.
Christa: Awesome. And is there anyone that you would say shouldn't try Hypnobirthing? Or they might have like a harder time with it? Or is it pretty much recommended for most women?
Sarah: I think it's recommended for everyone and it doesn't matter what kind of birth you want or if there's special circumstances around your pregnancy. So, if you have medical conditions or during pregnancy, if there's an issue with baby or something like that, it's not about having that natural vaginal birth. It's about feeling empowered, feeling confident, and feeling informed and being able to stay calm and relaxed. So whether you've booked in for us as Aryan or you have to be more monitored during your labor for whatever reason or you're having an induction you having a home birth, it doesn't matter what type of birth you want, well, you're going to have Hypnobirthing, I think, birthing classes are for everyone.
Christa: Awesome. I love that. It was kind of relating to the person I just interviewed before. This is a labor and delivery nurse. And she's like, education is key. It's just so powerful. everyone that's involved needs to be educated and just, yeah, see what works best for them. That's awesome. So, what are your best? Has anybody wanted to talk also a little bit about postnatal preparation? So, what are your best tips for moms listening to prepare for that next part on their journey?
Sarah: I forgot to mention as well. Hiring a doula. It's just having that extra support person who is knowledgeable and confident that can be there with you the whole way through. So, during your pregnancy is there during your labor and birth, and does see you in that postpartum period as well. So, a doula would be like my one of my first doing birthing classes, I think, to set up for a good postpartum period, I think your birth is what really can affect it. So if you're having if you have a negative birth experience, it can translate into a rough transition into motherhood so you really preparing for your birth, being confident and empowered, because that's going to translate to being confident and empowered in how you parent and how you mother and how you feel after you've had your baby, and how you're creating that bond at birth. But then making sure you're feeling supported, maybe hiring a cleaner, if you can, or if family want to come and visit you, then they're there to support you instead of you kind of catering for them. Having people that are coming to your house, either doing your dishes, or your laundry, or cleaning up after you're bringing your groceries or bringing pre-cooked food, things like that. And then I guess also knowing that if you do need help, make sure you ask for it. You don't have to do everything on your own, and no one can and no one is expected to know everything, whether it's your first or your fifth child, you're not expected to know everything, and you're not expected to do everything yourself. So, really making sure that when you need support, or you need help, or you need a break, then do it.
Christa: Yeah, that's amazing. I think it can't be said enough to not be afraid to ask for help. Because I think as women, we tend to like want to nurture and cater for other people, but especially postpartum, like you really need to take that time for yourself for your baby and just to allow those moments for sure.
Sarah: Yeah. And you can, I think one of the things I did that was me time is I continued acupuncture, and seeing my doctor of Chinese medicine throughout my postpartum period and that was an hour of me time to reconnect with my body and to have that rest where I don't have to worry about anything else. So, looking after your body, again, afterwards is really important. That's amazing. And I'm curious, as you're talking to, like, have there been like studies or stories about people that have done Hypnobirthing? how is their postpartum experience a little bit different to? if they kind of go into it, the more like, natural or relaxed route, does that affect their postpartum at all? I have clients that they've literally just had a baby and they're like, I can't wait to do it again. And you can really tell the difference with the women that have had really positive experiences. And again, whether it be a vaginal birth or an emergency caesarean because I've had clients have both and both of really speak really positively about their experience. And there are a lot more karma during that transition into motherhood. And I think when you learn to trust your body, and trust your intuition, and you learn to stay calm and relaxed, you take that with you, not just for the birth, but afterwards. So, you do build up that intuition with your baby and that connection with your baby that you would have had during pregnancy, makes it easier to care for them afterwards as well. And then, the women that do you have those traumatic birth experiences? I really do feel for them and it's horrible because they do take that into their postpartum period. And I think that's one of the reasons why women would experience postnatal depression or anxiety is a lot around their birth and how they feel about their birth. So, I think it can positively or negatively affect the early parenting experience.
Christa: Yeah. And I forgot to ask before to with the Hypnobirthing, is there a pretty standard set procedure for each person? Or is it kind of individual to what brings them peace or kind of what they talked to with their midwife or doula?
Sarah: The tools and techniques are kind of pretty standard. But there's so much that you get from even the course, I can only speak from the course I teach, but there are so many tools and techniques and different things that you can use. So, it's really about what resonates with you most, and what you feel, would help you the most. And you might not know what that is until you're in labor or you are birthing. But having all of those tools with you, you get to pick and choose what ones you think will work and what ones you might not, but having everything available to you, I think is what's important. Yeah, so yeah, and you know, sometimes women don't need anything, it's kind of just all in here and they're the only person they need to rely on because they're really confident in themselves and really calm and they know how to keep that going. So, a lot of it is kind of internal work. And I'm sure you have kids, and I'm not sure if you felt that in labor, but it is a very internal experience. Yeah. So, I think having that confidence in yourself, will kind of show you what you need during your labor, if that makes sense.
Christa: Definitely. Yeah. Cuz you can kind of like, yeah, its kind of goes back to what you're saying about feeling and understanding your body too. And then kind of, the more you want to understand your body, your kind of can feel out what you need in that moment. Yeah, yeah. That's amazing. I love it. I'm learning so much about this. This is really cool. That's awesome. So, I always like to end these interviews with what I call fun thinking questions. So, if you could have a billboard made today where you could share one tip with moms everywhere. What would you have it say?
Sarah: Oh, I was I had to in my mind, but this one is what I tell everyone go with your gut. 100% of that. Yeah, you don't need to ask anyone. What should I do? Go with your gut, whatever, your gut and whatever your intuition is telling you. That's what you should do.
Christa: Perfect. Goes back to the listening to your body. Right?
Sarah: Yeah, yeah. I'm like a broken record. I say that so much.
Christa: I feel like Yeah, and it doesn't hurt to hear multiple times. Because how many times do, we like still kind of question our gut, but then like, when we go with it and we're like, yep, that's why, it's like our natural human instinct, almost. So where can everyone follow you on Instagram? What other courses do you have? And again, where can they get your classes?
Sarah: Hypnobirthing Australia, they have a whole list of practitioners there. So, you know, if you want it in person classes, then and you are in Australia, Hypnobirthing Australia, and you can find which practice in which practitioners are in your location, or if you're overseas, then it's HypnoBubs. And there are practitioners in many different countries as well. But if you're in Melbourne, Victoria, then my Instagram is @the.midwifemummy. And I teach classes. I teach private classes in person on Zoom. And I've also started offering doula support as well. So that's very exciting.
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