Birth Time, Magical Time
By Sophie Fletcher
There is a reason why I say no clocks or watches in the birth room, it’s birth time not day time. Focussing on the passing of time can actually slow it down, doesn’t time go faster when you are not fixated on a clock or watch?
I recently came across the word Kairos, which is an ancient Greek word meaning opportune or supreme moment. The Greeks had two words for time chronos and Kairos. Chronos is about sequential time, but Kairos is time in between time, moments when we are displaced from time as we know it and when something special can happen, something out of the ordinary. This is where I think birth time is.
It struck me that this is how it is at birth, a time between time when something transcendental happens.
Could we access this place, this birth time through intentional techniques like hypnosis or meditation, or do we do it naturally? It can be either I think. When working with hypnosis in our classes we do a very deep relaxation, it only lasts about 20 minutes, but inevitably people always assume that it was 5 or 10 minutes. This is what’s known as time distortion; when we are in an altered state like hypnosis it’s as if we tumble out of physical time, and have the opportunity to roam freely in a timeless state. It’s a great experience and is incredibly energizing, it’s as if your inner psyche somehow refocuses its lens on life.
It’s very similar with mindfulness, though they way we access and experience that state can be different. During birth time, mindfulness is about being in the moment, being aware of those sensations in the right now, accepting them in that moment, without experiences from the past or expectations of the future leaking into that moment. It’s a state of clarity and of connection with your body and your baby. If you are in the moment during birth, you just experience a sensation and you manage it whether it is pain or anything else. However, if you become afraid of that sensation, projecting things you have read, seen and heard onto that sensation it becomes worse and you can lose your sense of perception.
Using hypnosis during birth can be about accessing a deep state of relaxation but can also be about adapting the current situation through subconscious change, or it can be for disassociation, separating ourselves from things we do not wish to experience, such as pain.
When we are in the moment or deeply relaxed hypnotic state we are not thinking of the past or the future, those are where our fears or apprehensions lie. We are between time when we are in birth time. Both meditation and hypnosis correspond with a theta brain state, the state when you brain waves slow down to a rate that is comparable to the stage when you are just slipping into sleep – you know that state, just as you are drifting off.
Being deeply relaxed whether you are using mediation or hypnosis can help your body to do what it does naturally, allowing your muscles to work optimally.
When I teach my classes, I say to couples I believe that whilst sometimes hypnosis can be useful during the birth, for example to get you back in your birthing zone, you can do it perfectly well without. I’ve met enough midwives, watched enough women birthing, and spoken to women who have birthed without hypnosis to know that women automatically enter into an altered state, a theta state during birth. As a hypnotherapist I see people in that state all the time. Some women say it was as if they weren’t actually in their body but were observing what was happening.
The trick is to train yourself to let go of the fear that stops you from being in that moment, and to change how your subconscious reacts to birth. This allows you to automatically switch into a comfortable birthing zone. Hypnosis is a brilliant way of doing this. Preparation is vital, listening to our Mindful Mamma mp3s, going to a class or seeing a hypnotherapist can help you prepare your mind and your body so that when you birth you are able to be in that moment, free of worry or fear and able to experience something extraordinary.
Trust me and trust yourself; what a remarkable gift, to be given access to a space between time, where something magical happens that will bring you one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever receive.