Sunday, 24 May 2009

Teenage Kicks

A film showing a schoolgirl giving birth on a school playing field has been viewed over a million times, around the world, via the Internet. Teenage Kicks, is part of a joint campaign run by NHS Leicester City and Leicester City Council to help reduce the number of teen pregnancies they have, with around one in 20 girls, aged 15-17, becoming pregnant every year.

It is a short yet hard hitting film and normally I’d be horrified to think of anyone watching such a scary portrayal of birth. However, in this instance it is quite understandable that the young girl is screaming in agony because this is a situation that would create a huge amount of fear within a birthing woman (or should I say girl, not much more than a child herself).

When couples attend my HypnoBirthing® classes, the youngest of whom I’ve had attend was a 17 year old girl (I would like to add who was in a loving, stable relationship) they learn that it is fear that causes the muscles of the uterus to constrict and tighten as opposed to relaxing and opening gently and easily. This is actually what causes the great pain we hear women talk of when they share their stories of labour and birth. The reason fear creates such a change in the body is that should a woman be in real danger (and we see this in animals) the body needs a way to prevent the baby from coming until the woman has reached a place of safety. Once she is safe she can settle down thus indicating that she is now ready to birth her baby and so the muscles of the uterus can once again relax and open. Today though the fear mainly comes from perceived danger (usually the horror stories that have been told to women for most of their lives) and so there is no way of ever reaching safety, the muscles that need to thin and open never get the opportunity to relax and open easily and so birthing turns into an agonizing experience full of pain relieving drugs. Women who practice HypnoBirthing® however have dealt with their fears and then practiced a variety of hypnosis techniques in order to be able to easily enter and maintain a deep state of relaxation when they go in to labour. By doing this they are giving themselves the best opportunity to have a calm, comfortable, birth that they are very much in control of.

Just today I received a text saying ‘HypnoBirthing® rocks!’ – the ‘mum’ had arrived at the hospital fully dilated and the baby was born 10 minutes after her arrival. She was so excited I was the third person she text to say that the baby had arrived :-)

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