When attending a birth, I am often asked by a midwife or an obstetrics consultant what words they should adopt when speaking to a couple using HypnoBirthing, and why this is important. Those who know the programme well will know that we change the general medicalised language used to describe birth, so that we can change the mother’s expectations, and subsequently, the reality of what she experiences.
Words are powerful and we should be all the more mindful of this when attending a birthing mother. Words immediately trigger thoughts and emotions, and these thoughts and emotions create a biochemical and physiological response within the body that either supports or impedes the birth process. To put it very plainly, words influence our beliefs and behaviour and can prove pivotal in supporting a positive birth outcome.
Just imagine for a moment that, instead of asking a mother to ‘rate herself on the pain scale’, we ask her to tell us about the level of pressure, sensations or tightenings she is experiencing. Rather than telling a mother she has ‘ruptured her membranes’, we say that her waters have naturally released to allow her baby’s gentle descent. Rather than encouraging a mother to ‘forcefully push with each contraction’, we help her recognise her innate maternal power to breathe her baby down with each surge.
It’s not just about changing a few words here or there…it’s about completely transforming the language patterns we use to describe the birth process. What a difference it might make if, without exception, every birth educator and care giver were able to embrace a more gentle, normalised way of describing the amazing miracle that is birth!
For more information about the HypnoBirthing programme and classes in Bristol and North Somerset, contact Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner, Helen Evans on 07816 787294 or visit www.bloomandbirth.co.uk