By Sophie Fletcher
Sophie is the Author of the best selling book Mindful Hypnobirthing C0-founder of Mindful Mamma, one day mindfulness and hypnosis birth classes which are taught around the world. You can connect with her on instagram @mindfulmammauk
Today it’s World Hypnobirthing Day. That there is a day for hypnobirthing is incredible, enough people all around the world teaching this’ and benefitting from hypnosis for birth, for a global celebration.
My son is nearly 14, and it was this time 14 years ago that I was listening to my tracks every single night. There were no classes then, no online communities, no midwives who knew what it was in my local hospital. I was the weird woman who was sleeping through her contractions.
Since then, I’ve trained over 100 practitioners, I’ve taught thousands of people and written Mindful Hypnobirthing which has sold over 30,000 copies.
Mindfulness and Hypnosis – the perfect team
As a doula I’ve used it and seen it working, as a hypnotherapist I’ve used that experience to constantly improve and tighten techniques so that they work simply and powerfully. I integrated it with mindfulness after I had my first experience on retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh…and two toddlers over 10 years ago. I love it, tell me what your fear is and I can help find a way through it in no time. Your special place? No problem. Hypnotherapy is a language to me and hypnobirthing is just one of the things I do, and love.
It’s not about birth and babies for me!
Hypnobirthing was not about babies and birth for me though! This is not why I became a teacher, and sometimes I still think “how did I get here?”. It surprised me, as more than everything else, hypnobirthing made me realise that I was a feminist. Of course I was always a feminist, I just didn’t know I was. Until I was pregnant.
Growing up I ALWAYS believed that I was equal, I’d been raised to believe that I could do anything I wanted, and I believed it. That illusion was shattered when I got pregnant – pregnancy and birth forced me to see how my place in the world was defined by my biology.
Booking appointment at the GP’s surgery? He looked at my husband and said “do you want it”, I slept walked through it all, did what I was told. Part-time working? I was told by my female boss not to go for a job I was qualified for, as I wouldn’t get it. My full time male colleague got it. This is when I learned that not just men, but women too, subjugated women.
Hypnobirthing was more than a “birth technique”
What hypnobirthing showed me was how much choice is out there, it exposed the ugly truth of women being stripped of choice when they need it most. I was so angry to discover that choices, so many choices were withheld when I had my first son. I didn’t even know they existed. The bubble had burst. It was such a violation of rights – of who I thought I was. At first my anger was everywhere, the system, and unjustifiably, myself, my own mother and my husband. How did I not see this? Did they not see this? How did I not know?
My hypnobirthing experience was not what I would imagine you think to be the “perfect hypnobirth” (that’s a myth too by the way) but it was POWERFUL, it woke me up, I become strong, courageous, ready for the challenges of motherhood. I wanted to help other women to have this experience. I was awake!
It’s bigger than just hypnobirthing
Training as a hypnotherapist gave me the skills and the courage to do more, to go deeper into myself and to train in other ways. I wanted to explore different perspectives and approaches that could help harness internal focus, increase perspective, unleash strength and motivation. I see so many women that are a shadow of who they could be: teenage girls, women that are pregnant, women that have given birth, women who have been trodden down by society in their jobs and relationships, women that are moving through midlife. And I hope that through my work, I can offer them a light and key – just as I was offered one.
Hypnobirthing was my key. It was never just about birth – it was about women and helping them light their fire.