Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Today is International Women's Day 2017 and the campaign theme for this year is #beboldforchange
Something I feel strongly about is the negative way birth is perceived by so many in the Western world, which does nothing to help the millions of women giving birth each year. I believe passionately about changing the way society views birth and helping women understand their innate ability to give birth and in turn achieve the most positive outcome for them and their baby.
In the spirit of the #beboldforchange campaign, I am today launching a series of guest blogs from some awesome and inspiring mamas who are sharing their positive experiences of Hypnobirthing.
The first of these comes from one of the friendliest bloggers I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, Georgia Mathieu of MADAME MATHIEU... oh and she happens to have The Most Stunning home to boot! I urge you to check out her Instagram page and challenge you not to have house envy..
So Georgia, over to you...
Hi I'm Georgia Mathieu, married to a Parisian and mother of Alexandre (21 months), who goes by the name of Lex. We live in Hertfordshire and spend our time flitting between London, Paris and Hertfordshire, and love to travel, whenever we can. I adore interiors which is heavily influenced by the French look (shocker!).
How did you discover Hypnobirthing?
A close friend of mine is a hypnotist so it's always been on my radar. Giving birth was my biggest fear. I heard about Hypnobirthing and thought, I've got nothing to lose, so went for it, and threw myself into it.
Did you have any preconceptions before you learnt about it?
I didn't, no. I had positive connotations with hypnotherapy, but was well aware that society in general didn't. So always felt I had something to prove, which is exactly what I did.
How did Hypnobirthing help your birth?
For me, the course became worth it when I conquered my fear. The moment I was fearless I knew that I didn't need anything else from it. Even if things 'didn't go to plan'. To go in so confident and calm was everything to me.
When I went into labour I had all the tools to take control of the situation, no matter what happened.
What would you say to people considering Hypnobirthing?
Do it! But work hard at it. Some people think reading a book is enough. I worked at it 3 times a day for 3 months and had my dream birth at the end. You get what you put into it, and that goes for the father too. It's a team effort!
What is your favourite positive affirmation?
"My body knows what to do".
This is the thought behind Hynobirthing - our bodies are designed to give birth, are made to give birth, and can give birth. Just put your mind on a shelf, relax, and let your body do what it needs to.
What is your number one song choice for your labour playlist?
Ooh, good question. I didn't have a song. I just got listening to my affirmations and hypno playlists. My 'Happy Place' was somewhere in Thailand so maybe some buddhist music. Nothing adventurous, sorry!
What are your maternity bag top essential items?
Lasinoh - it helps soothe your nipples.
A really nice shower gel. I took a brand new pack of Clarins Body Creams in to treat myself after the labour.
MotherCare Aloe Vera Winged Maternity Pads - they are super soothing and stay in place. None of the others compared!
An inflatable pool ring from the pound shop to sit on on the way home - comfort comes first.
What's your favourite thing about your birth?
Other than him arriving of course...when the training midwife helping me deliver Lex said to me afterwards that she'd never experienced a Hypnobirth before, that I was the calmest mother she'd ever seen and that she now plans to have a Hypnobirth. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't her first patient...I felt so proud of myself. :)
I had a big 9lbs 4oz baby boy on nothing, no gas and air, no drugs, just me, my body and my affirmations. I'm not one for pain, so if I can do it, you can too.
Be sure to surround yourself with positive people in the weeks leading to due date. I had many sceptics around me and it took a lot of strength to overcome their negativity. Hypnobirthing gives you the tools to do this. And in a way, it made me stronger, wanting to prove them wrong, and boy did I do that!
Also, I asked my husband to film it. Nothing graphic. More a story of his arrival - the build up, contractions, me and the birth plus Lex meeting my parents. I'm so glad I did; as I was in the zone entirely. Hubs edited it and presented it to me a few weeks later. We don't do push presents and all that, but this is the best one you'll ever get. It's to the Sam Smith track Lay By Your Side. Everyone who watches it cries. And I know next time round, watching that will be a great tool to take me back into the zone.