What Is A Hypnobirth Doula? (My post on Amsterdam Mamas)
What is a Hypnobirth Doula?
The hypnobirth doula is a doula who is also trained in hypnobirthing and who can both teach and support you and your partner during your pregnancy. Not every hypnobirthing practitioner is also a doula and not every doula is also a hypnobirthing practitioner: This is what makes the hypnobirth doula so special.
The hypnobirth doula can help you in clarifying your wishes for the birth, be there for you from the moment you want her by your side and support you physically and emotionally through the entire experience. She helps you make informed decisions, even if your birth takes a different shift then planned, and also supports you after you give birth. More than anything, by teaching you the techniques of hypnobirthing, the hypnobirth doula is equipping you with powerful tools to manage your own pregnancy and birth, to be in control, and to keep your calm. This is good for you and for your baby.
5 things You Need to Know about Your Hypnobirth Doula
The hypnobirth doula is a trained hypnobirthing instructor and a certified doula. She is trained in both professions to be able to give you everything you need in one place.
The hypnobirth doula begins her role in supporting you and your birth partner long before the birth.
The hypnobirth doula is your most powerful advocate in the birthing room. With her multidisciplinary training and certification, she has the knowledge and tools to be your voice, if you want and need her to be, or to empower you to make the best decisions in any situation.
The hypnobirth doula is usually trained in several techniques. Being a multidisciplinary person, you can often find that she can also train you and assist you with other methods such as (but not only): yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage and more.
The hypnobirth doula can adjust the techniques and tools she provides for you and customise them to your needs, drawing from a variety of methods.
Prioritise Yourself and the Birthing Experience You Want
The first thing women usually do when they find out they’re expecting a baby is start planning. That is after the initial joy, excitement, sometimes a bit of panic in the beginning – after all, it is a big change! We plan everything and change our minds a thousand times about colours for clothes and nursery walls, baby names, baby prams and carriers, toys and so forth. We are so focused on the new life we are creating, which is growing inside us, that we sometimes forget to take a little time for…ourselves.
Depending on where you live and your physical and medical condition, you may also be subject to tests, doctor’s appointments and other medical preparations. All this can be stressful and often I meet women who start thinking about the actual birth quite late in the pregnancy. It is usually then that women start looking for pregnancy classes.
Choosing the Right Birth Preparation for You
Up until recently, women had little choice. Most pregnancy classes were Lamaze and little else was known. Yet, hypnotherapy during childbirth is not a new idea. In fact, it was introduced in 1942 in the book Childbirth without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician. In the 1980s, Marie Mongan released her first book, HypnoBirthing®: A Celebration of Life, and thus came to life the hypnobirthing method we know and practise today. So now, when a woman searches for a pregnancy class, she has the choice of Lamaze, hypnobirthing, meditation, yoga and a lot more. This could get pretty confusing.
Begin Your Preparation Early
The biggest difference between all the available methods, in my eyes at least, is that some are only preparing you for the actual birth in a very technical manner (breathing techniques for example), and are therefore OK to take late in the pregnancy. Others, like hypnobirthing, also help you during the pregnancy, prepare you for birth, equip you with knowledge so you can understand what is going on in your body and make informed decisions, and even help you settle into the parenting life after you’ve given birth. In that sense, it is best to take such classes as early as possible. You can still join a hypnobirthing course even in your last weeks of pregnancy, but you’ll be missing out on so many benefits and that’s a shame.
It is best to prepare for the actual birth in advance. This is where hiring a doula comes in handy. A doula is trained to be a birth supporter. As such, she will be there for you throughout your birth, but she is not a midwife.
Typically, a doula will meet you and your birth partner three times before the birth. She will also help you prepare a birth plan: a document stating what you want and don’t want, your preference for anaesthetics or natural birth and so on. She will then be on call to join you when the birthing starts, supporting you with a varied tool box of comfort measures, calming words and will be there for you for whatever you need. She will also visit you at home after you give birth.
For an optimal, calm and stress-free birth, you should probably prepare yourself by taking a hypnobirthing class (as early as possible) and hiring a doula.
Wishing you a joyful, calm and amazing birth!
About the author
Inbal Sigler is the founder of Isis HypnoBirthing & Yoga. She is also a certified HypnoBirthing trainer, Yoga teacher specialized in pre- and postnatal, and a doula. Isis Hypnobirthing & Yoga is a comprehensive pregnancy and childbirth preparation course combining techniques of Hypnobirthing, Theta Healing, Chinese Medicine and Yoga. Inbal supports women on the amazing journey to motherhood in fertility, pregnancy support and birth support.