Post Natal Depression and Hypnobirthing
Hello Dear Readers.
In my last article I promised to write about Hypnobirthing; firstly, I would like to give a brief outline of why I became a Hypnobirthing Instructor.
For many years I have had the privilege of working with women who have been suffering with post-natal depression (PND). Often the fear of stigma and being labelled as “not being a good mother,” and unfounded fears that their baby might be taken from them, meant they kept things hidden, and their suffering went unaided for a long time. And mistakenly, they were referred for Anxiety management, and Depression management.
By careful, sensitive, assessments; I discovered that the true reason for their condition was down too undiagnosed PND. This had sometimes been brought on by their own unrealistic expectations of Motherhood, pregnancy and birth; and not being properly prepared. A friend and colleague who is a seasoned health visitor, often joked that she was going to write a book ‘Motherhood the truth.’
Many women had difficult pregnancies. Plagued by illnesses and nausea. The expectation of pregnancy and the reality for them did not match up. And they could not understand why their pregnancy was not running smoothly. Here the first seeds of doubt sprang forth. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, or similar thoughts that there is something wrong with me? or worse the baby.
Stressful thoughts lead onto anxiety, and anxiety if unchecked, can lead to depression. Little do they realise that an anxiety spiral has been set up and each negative, fearful thought, only added to their dilemma. Relaxation was impossible, sleep was disturbed. Mood fluctuated. And they kept this hidden because somewhere they felt they were at fault. Loved ones were at times oblivious of their condition as they hid it so well.
A few women described several interventions, that they were not expecting, that ended in Caesarean- section. Leaving the mother and baby exhausted. This exhaustion would be continuing for weeks and months. And again, the relentless thoughts swirling around in their head as to why their labour and birth was not of the norm. They confessed that they felt cheated out of giving birth normally. And felt a failure.
With care and patience each story unfolded, women were supported, and free to discuss and share their experiences. No judgement is given. Only love and understanding.
Each women’s experience is validated. Procedures explained. Questions are raised. Answers are needed.
Women when they were ready and in a strong position mentally and physically went on to pursue a line of enquiry with their caregivers.
One lady, stands out, she was desperate to have another child, but the thought of going through the hospital doors for check-ups, and to give birth filled her with fear and dread. As mentioned earlier her story was told, her feelings validated, and when she was ready, wrote to the maternity hospital to see her notes, and discuss why certain procedures were carried out.
A few months later, she contacted me with the most enormous bunch of flowers, her gratitude for helping her. And with the news that she was pregnant with her second child, and was sure that this time, this would be a totally different experience.
If most of my Moms had had hypnobirthing, and the tools to cope with being pregnant, had all the facts, about birth and beyond, then maybe all this could have been prevented.
If you have had a difficult birth, or feel that you may be experiencing PND, then please do not suffer in silence.
Help is always at hand. We know much more about PND now. I was fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time, when I began my PND service. It took a lot of time and patience but now we have NICE guidelines to follow which I was also privileged to prepare. The first port of call is speaking to your health visitor or GP. So, don’t dely.
And now to Hypnobirthing; when I first heard about it, I was intrigued, and as a therapist and advanced hypnotherapist, I felt drawn to know more. After enquiring and researching.
I chose to train with the well-known KG Hypnobirthing Teacher Katharine Graves, and founder of KG Hypnobirthing. She has a very successful business and practice. She like me wanted to improve women’s experience of pregnancy, birth and maternity services.
Katharine has trained midwives, and professionals, up and down the country in hypnobirthing.
We at KG Hypnobirthing do not encourage pregnant Moms to listen to other women’s traumatic birth stories, as explained often these women have not had their experiences validated, so the hurt and pain continue. Young Moms need positivity, and the right kind of help; so, we teach them what they need to know through researched information, statistics, teach relaxation and hypnotherapy skills, that will help them, and their birth partner have the preferred birth they want.
The feedback from couples is very encouraging. They feel more confident, and relaxed about birthing their baby, and more in control.
Hypnobirthing is a logical, simple, practical, and very effective complete ante-natal education. It offers both the mother and her partner, the optimum information on birthing.
It covers what they can expect from their care-provider; what questions to ask about hospital standardised treatment and interventions, and information on birthing alternatives, all of which enable the couple to make an informed decision.
Since 2018: I have had the joy, and privilege of serving Moms and their partners with hypnobirthing. I have met their babies and listened to Mothers experiences of birth. Helped with questions and answers regards beyond birthing.
I do not promise the perfect birth, but I do promise the best birth option.
Alas because of the changing COVID-19 restrictions I cannot offer hypnobirthing at my usual venues. I can offer help with hypnobirthing online.
Please check out my websites: For more helpful information on Anxiety and Depression please see www.hypnotherapyliverpool.co.uk
Until next time take good care of yourself. Look after one another.
And remember a problem shared is a problem halved.