A Quick Guide To Hypnobirthing For The You Don’t Have Time To Read The Whole Book
Giving birth is said to be one of the most painful things that you will ever have to do in life. There is no way you can get through it unmedicated – or can you?
It took me until my 4th time giving birth, but I finally stumbled upon a trick that made the whole thing far easier. I had read about hypnobirthing while pregnant with Bella (baby #3) and put some of the theories into practice, but it wasn’t until I tried “rainbow breathing” when in labour with Zara (baby #4) that I realised how amazingly powerful it could be as a tool for pain relief. I went from writhing around, climbing up the bed trying to get out of my own body to escape the agony with my previous labours, to being so calm that no one else in the room could even tell when I was contracting.
Read on to or watch the video at the bottom of this post to discover how “Rainbow Breathing” can get you through childbirth feeling calm, centred and in control of your body and your labour.
First, it is important to understand what your body is trying to achieve.
The video below is the most amazing explanation that I have ever seen about what goes on with your cervix during labour and delivery.
Naturally, when in pain, we clench up. As you can see from the video, clenching is exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve when attempting to open up and allow a small person to leave our bodies. In labour, it is important to relax. Sounds easier said than done? That’s where Rainbow breathing comes in.
So What Is Rainbow Breathing?
This technique will focus your mind and leave you calm and in control. It is not limited to use when in labour, it could be used whenever you are uncomfortable, maybe in the dentist. It can be used to clear your mind, perhaps is you cannot sleep. It could even be used as a guided visualisation to help calm a distressed child.
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So without further ado, this is rainbow breathing.
Read of for a full explanation, or check out the video for a quick explanation.
To start, clear your mind. Exhale.
Now take a deep breath in, breathing in the colour red. Think of beautiful red things. Vibrant red roses, rich red apples. Hold the breath, then exhale, slowly as you can, continuing to visualise as many bright red images as you can. I found it most soothing to think of images from nature; fruit, flowers etc, but you can visualise whatever works for you. Exhale for as long as you can until your lungs are totally empty. Breathe out tension.
When you next inhale, repeat the process with orange this time. Take a deep breath, hold, then exhale, all the while visualising beautiful vibrant orange things. As you exhale, release all tension.
Repeat this process until you have been through all of the colours; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo & violet, and have reached the end of the rainbow.
If you are using this method during labour, start at the beginning of the rainbow when your contraction begins. Providing that your are exhaling slowly and completely before moving onto the next colour, the contraction should be gone by the time you reach the end of the rainbow, if not before.
If you are utilising this technique for calming or relaxation purposes, simply return to the beginning of the rainbow and repeat the process until you feel calmed.
Challenging yourself to think of a different image each time you arrive at the colour can help to focus your mind and let go of whatever is troubling you.
So give it a go! Practice before your baby comes. Try is as you are trying to fall asleep. Think about including it in your birth plan.
Let me know if you tried Rainbow Breathing and if it worked for you.