Elizabeth Echlin has been practicing hypnobirthing for 7 years. The first thing she told me is that she is surprised that today, even very educated women end up going to their local hospital with unsatisfying or even violent birth experiences. It seems that women, and french women especially, are naive… or afraid just by the thought of giving birth at home. I guess having a birth at hospital is reassuring… but the truth is that birth is a mysterious thing, no one can predict ever what will happen, we can only prepare the best we can so that we feel confident that it will all go well. No one will know better what to do than the woman herself and at hospital it’s too rare that she is given the opportunity to connect with that inner natural power.
From what I am hearing on the one end of the spectrum, in most developed countries, if a baby is above the ‘normal weight’, he will be forced to get out before term and if it’s a breeched baby, he cannot even consider having a natural birth… It seems so violent to me… especially as on the other end of the birth spectrum with traditional midwives, babies are allowed to take as long as they want, get out in any position they feel like, come out into the water, have a plant bath and be put in silk fabric surrounded by flowers… This will also have an impact on the mother, the bounding with the child and how she is going to feel post-partum… Some women are absolutely traumatized by their birth experience but they won’t talk about it because they are ashamed, they feel they failed. Elisabeth had a really beautiful birth, it was like ‘an awakening’, a door that opened… and she told me that if ever she isn’t feeling great, she finds strength recalling the moment of the birth of her son, she feels proud, strong and inspired. I would like all women to feel like this, I loved it when she said: "if all women could give birth naturally, we would not take shit from anyone ever again!" . We shall have the opportunity to live our births fully, we shall be given the space and tools to walk that rite of passage in peace especially as it is the most challenging thing will even experience.
I was so happy to hear that in the UK, the NHS has now said officially that they are supporting home birth, saying that it is as safe as a hospital birth. It’s also a great way to have the same midwife throughout pregnancy and for the delivery.
Elisabeth top 3 :
1/ Don’t set the bar high, you may risk to be disappointed.
2/ Work on the fear
3/ Make a birth plan & choose your hospital because it will have an impact on the birth journey.
For the Doulas: As people supporting birth, our intention should be to create an environment for women to simply be themselves, without expectations. Women need to listen to themselves and need encouragement. We shall only be knitting on the corner of a room…
Hypnobirthing seems to be a great technic. The proposition is to assist around 5 sessions with a specialist such as Elizabeth. The couple will be introduced to the role of the hormones, especially the Oxytocin (the hormone that is produced when we make love, provoking the contractions, stretching the cervix and the uterus during birth). Most couples are already experts in producing that hormone just by the simple fact that they are expecting a child! They will explore the nervous system and work on the protector role of the father. They’ll also practice practical exercices to prepare for birth.