Research Paper By Siobhain Bright
(Life Coach, CANADA)
The topic I chose to research is Conscious birthing with a focus on Hypnobirthing, Sacred birthing and Yogic birthing. The following paper will describe different types of Conscious birthing, how they relate to Coaching and how they can be used in conjunction with it.
Throughout centuries, women have been taught that child birth is a painful, traumatic experience. They are shown videos and images of women in hospital beds screaming in horror and hearing stories about horrific complications, epidurals, and C-sections. But birthing does not have to be this way. There is a new way and it is called Conscious birthing.
Conscious birthing is a type of birthing that is entered into with full self-awareness. Many times it starts with the conscious conception of two individuals who create a loving, deeply aligned energetic field (Tonetti-Vladimirova, 2014). Because the baby is an emotional sponge, absorbing the energy of both parents, they come into the world feeling safe, loved and welcomed (Tonetti-Vladimirova, 2014). Conscious birthing also allows the woman to get in touch with her body, release the fears of birthing and creating a healthy, positive experience for all involved.
The first type of Conscious birthing I would like to focus on is Hypnobirthing. But before you can understand the idea of Hypnobirthing, you should understand what hypnosis is.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is an induction into a state of deep mental relaxation where your mind becomes susceptible to suggestions. It also helps the person in the state of hypnosis to intensely focus on a thought or feeling and block out all distractions (Tzoore, 2014).
Hypnosis can aid in child birth because it can help replace the fears and expectations of pain that were accumulated throughout time with positive suggestions (Tzoore, 2014).
Hypnobirthing is a gentle, well thought out technique that uses deep relaxation, visualization and self-hypnosis to help create a comfortable birth (Hypnobirthing.com, 2014). Hypnobirthing runs on the premise that childbirth need not be painful (but does not guarantee it) for the mother if she is properly relaxed and prepared (Hypnobirthing.com, 2014).
Hypnobirthing involves (Hypnobirthing.com, 2014):
- Deep abdominal breathing that allows the woman to stay centred relaxed and avoid distractions. This deep breathing replaces the shallow exhaustive breathing that is taught in the hospitals.
- Affirmations and hypnotic suggestions help to release endorphins and serotonin while giving birth, which relaxes the muscles and nervous system (Tzoore, 2014).
- Visualization helps to replace unconscious thoughts and feelings about childbirth and replaces them with more empowering ones. The basis here is that fear is what causes the pain, and the fear causes the muscles to restrict making childbirth difficult and painful (Hypnobirthing.com, 2014).
The great thing about hypnosis is that you are fully awake and in control. You won’t do anything against your will and you can come back whenever you want (Tzoore, 2014). You are deeply relaxed and fully conscious.
Many women find this form of birthing very empowering and have seen dramatic differences in the ways their children were born with it and without it.
The second type of Conscious birthing I would like to talk about is Sacred birthing.
Sacred birthing brings with it the concept that babies are conscious beings and those born to conscious parents are capable of incorporating a greater amount of their soul energy (Karll, 2014). Sacred birthing is an exploration of the spiritual, emotional, and physical principles behind birth in order to retain the essence of soul expression of the baby (Karll, 2014).
Sacred birthing allows for the parents to remain fully conscious and self-aware, which in turn allows for a much gentler birth (The Sacred Birthing School, 2014). This allows for the baby to remain conscious, remembering the higher nature in which they came from and that they are pure beings of love (The Sacred Birthing School, 2014).
In order for a Sacred birth to occur, a mother needs to be fully conscious in the birthing process (The Sacred Birthing School, 2014). This means that she should not be energetically depressed by drugs (The Sacred Birthing School, 2014). There must be a loving presence to receive their babies in their fullness (The Sacred Birthing School, 2014). When we acknowledge that our every action, thought, and emotion influences and affects our unborn babies (Karll, 2014), then we can begin towards having a more empowering birthing experience and incorporating more empowering parenting techniques into our future.
The third type of conscious birthing is Yogic birthing.
In the world of Yogic birthing the woman is in labour the minute she finds out she is pregnant (Ceallaigh, 2014). It is not about what is happening in the past or in the future or when these contractions are going to end, it is about staying in the moment.
A concept in yogic birthing is that a woman’s birthright is to have an intuitive birth. This sacred experience is an exaltation of unity consciousness between the mother and her baby (Ceallaigh, 2014).
A woman is having a yogic birth just by “being fully present” throughout pregnancy (Ceallaigh, 2014). A woman is having a yogic birth by being fully self-aware of her changing body and the growing stages of her baby. The idea of transformation is brought to the surface as a part of the mother’s ego dies and the new self is born into a mother (Ceallaigh, 2014).
In Yogic birthing breath is the key (Garner, 2012). It minimizes fight or flight reaction which can cause the mother panic, fear and anxiety. This panic, fear and anxiety are what restrict the muscles, causing pain and interfering with a healthy birth outcome (Garner, 2012).
The similarities of all three of these birthing practices are quite obvious. They all involve high levels of self-awareness and being fully empowered. They involve replacing disempowering thoughts and feelings laced with fear, into empowering ones, creating a positive experience all around.
How does Conscious birthing relate to Coaching?
Conscious birthing relates to coaching in many ways. The base of both Conscious birthing and Coaching is self-awareness.
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires (Oxforddictionaries.com, 2014). Self-awareness brings with it greater empowerment, love, respect, and fulfillment of self. Self-aware people know who they are, what their values and beliefs are, what their fears are and work to learn from them and empower them.
In Conscious birthing, as in Coaching, learning exactly who you are, what your values, beliefs and fears are can help you understand why you engage in certain behaviours. In terms of Conscious birthing, why does a woman believe that childbirth should be painful? Through her accumulated beliefs. Beliefs, whether religious (The story of Adam and Eve in the Bible) or stories from the media and society were cemented into our unconscious minds.
Conscious birthing and Coaching both work to discover what our fears are, address them, and help to release them with tools.
Coaches around the world are widely using hypnosis and visualization as a form of accessing the unconscious mind to replace disempowering thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and fears that were accumulated throughout childhood, and replacing them with more empowering ones. In Conscious birthing, the idea that fear causes pain, and that fear can take over our life is daunting. The fact we can use common coaching tools to help assist us in having comfortable births is extremely empowering.
We don’t have to submit to the way women did things in the past. We can create a new path for the future. The ideas of Spiritual coaching coincide with the values and beliefs of Sacred and Yogic birthing. We are spiritual beings that are pure and full of love. The idea that our children don’t come from us, they come from something greater than us. We are just the vessel in which they come through. They are their own souls, incarnating into the world with their own soul journey to undertake. With Sacred and Yogic birthing, the idea is to create a safe space where the baby can enter this world without losing its connection with the last one.
Coaching whether Life, creative, spiritual, relationship, etc., is all about empowerment and learning to be fully whole. It is about understanding that you are the captain of your own ship. You are in control of your own journey and your own destination. The same goes with Conscious birthing. A fully empowered mother knowing that she is empowered and whole can create that safe and loving space that is conducive for her baby to come into this world. She can take the birthing into her own hands and replace her disempowering beliefs and fears with empowering ones and use common coaching tools such as mindfulness, visualization, hypnotherapy, etc., to ensure that she gives birth in the highest conditions possible.
How can Conscious birthing be used in conjunction with Coaching?
Conscious birthing can be used in conjunction with coaching in many ways. Birthing professionals such as prenatal teachers, doulas, etc. can all benefit from receiving a coaching certification or understanding/learning the basic principles of coaching.
According to the International Coaching Academy, a coach offers many things to the client during the coaching process. This includes (International Coach Academy, 2012):
- Support to discover the answers within themselves.
- Clarification of values.
- Co-creation of a plan for how to achieve what the client really wants.
- A sounding board for new ideas.
- Support in making life changing decisions.
- Challenge to expand their views beyond their perceived limitations.
- Resource information.
1. Support to discover the answers within themselves:
The Birthing Coach can provide support to the mother in listening to her body and developing the right answers within, to know what to do next.
2. Clarification of values:
The Birthing Coach can help the mother clarify her values, and if they are not in alignment with her ideal birth, then create new ones.
3. Co-creation of a plan for how to achieve what the client really wants:
The Birthing Coach can help the mother create the perfect birthing plan that would suit her needs.
4. A sounding board for new ideas:
The Birthing Coach can support the mother when she needs to bounce around new ideas or have her questions answered.
5. Support in making life changing decisions:
Having a baby is a life transforming decision all together. A Birthing Coach can help the mother through this transition and help support her in her decision making process.
6. Challenge to expand their views beyond their perceived limitations:
This is a big one, as the mother goes into birth with fear of pain, death, or anything that might go wrong, a Birthing Coach can challenge the mother’s perceived limitations and help empower her to move past them.
The Birthing Coach can help the mother understand the birthing direction she wants to go in, and help to keep her on track while she practices mindfulness and stays in the moment.
The Birthing Coach acknowledges the mother during certain milestones throughout her pregnancy and birth.
The Birthing Coach offers the mother encouragement because the journey into self-awareness and taking the steps to having a natural birth and taking control of one’s own life is not always the easiest road to choose. But it does tend to be the most fulfilling.
10. Resource information:
The Birthing Coach can provide the clients with limited amounts of birthing information from a vast amount of resources.
Having a natural Conscious birth is not always the right path for everyone, it is always best to speak with your doctor to see if it is the right path for you. You may find many stories online and watch many birthing stories of women who chose this empowering path. I encourage you to go out and do your research before choosing this direction. The common theme with all these women is that they all experienced calmer, less painful, easier births.
Birthing coaches can be found across the world. Do your research before choosing the one that best suits you and your family.
Tonetti-Vladimirova, E. (2014). What is Conscious Birth?. [online] Birth Into Being. Available at: http://www.birthintobeing.com/what_is_conscious_birth [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Tzoore, S. (2014). Hypnosis for labor: Does HypnoBirthing work?. [online] BabyCenter. Available at: http://www.babycenter.com/0_hypnosis-for-labor-does-hypnobirthing-work_10351603.bc [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Hypnobirthing.com, (2014). FAQs. [online] Available at: http://www.hypnobirthing.com/FAQs.htm#what [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Karll, S. (2014). Sacred Birthing Books. [online] Sacredbirthing.com. Available at: http://www.sacredbirthing.com/vision-and-mission/sacred-birthing-books/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
The Sacred Birthing School, (2014). The Sacred Birthing School. [online] Available at: http://www.sacredbirthingschool.com/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Ceallaigh, M. (2014). What Is Yoga Birth?. [online] Lotusfertility.com. Available at: http://www.lotusfertility.com/The_Yoga_of_Conscious_Pregnancy_Birth_and_40_Days.html [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Garner, G. (2012). Labor & Delivery Yoga: Better Birth is Only a Breath Away – ModernMom. [online] Modernmom.com. Available at: http://www.modernmom.com/940ec368-3b3e-11e3-be8a-bc764e04a41e.html [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
Oxforddictionaries.com, (2014). self-awareness: definition of self-awareness in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [online] Available at: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/self-awareness [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
What is Coaching, (2012). International Coach Academy: Coach Training Programs. [online] Available at: http://coachcampus.com/coach-training/programs/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].