Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Birth Plan

Life in Leeds has been quite laid back for me the past few days. Over the weekend we relaxed and I met 7wk old Izabel (sp?) at a gathering on Saturday with some work friends. The moms left early while I stayed and became my husband's good luck charm, which involved a very important rest on the couch until past midnight, who won at poker. Other exciting news - we now have reliable internet! We even watched the Lions on our computer, which was exciting until about the last 40 seconds of regulation.

That being all the English news for now, I thought I would write a bit about our plans for the upcoming birth of our child.

Will and I both like to go natural routes when possible so we knew we wanted to look into something like that for my labor; however, when starting the search I had no idea we would end up choosing the method we have. I guess I am one to believe in signs and the signs led me somewhere I was not expecting. I have heard and know people that have used the Bradley Method with success. I was also told what book to find to read up on the topic
and that was the top of my to do list. Only one problem - none of the bookstores I went to had the Bradley book and the Hypnobirthing book kept jumping out from the shelves at me. So I had to read it to round out my research. I ended up borrowing a copy of the book written by Dr. Bradley as well.

To my complete surprise, I found myself leaning toward the hypnobirthing method, but was unsure at my first prenatal appointment. I talked with my Dr. about living overseas and about coming back to give birth in Michigan. That led to a discussion on methods and we talked about how we wanted a natural birth and knew people who used the Bradley method. Our Dr. acknowledged that method but brought up the hypnobirthing method as well. What a coincidence!

After some further consideration we decided on hypnobirthing as our plan. It is more popular in the UK so we were able to find a class nearby (about 15 mins by car). It is also quite different than my initial perception. I do not get hypnotized into missing the event as a way to elude pain. I do learn relaxation exercises (through lots of practice) and ways to work with my body as labor progresses so that I am in tune with all the changes that will be taking place. There is also an emphasis on preparation which is necessary so I'm in shape for the special physical event that labor truly is. I have exercises that must be completed and nutrition guidelines, though not as strict or specific as the Bradley diet. The other big difference in this method is the absence of pushing. Instead of having strong pushes at the end of labor, I will be utilizing a special kind of breathing to breathe the baby down. This part is probably the hardest for me to wrap my head around because it is really far away from mainstream, but upon reading a lot it makes sense. If you want to understand that part, I would read the book because I will not be eloquent enough to make a strong point.

Some more concrete aspects of our birth plan have to do with location. Plan A is for me to fly home in February so I have plenty of time before the baby comes and my husband will be home in March. We will give birth in a hospital so that any special circumstances can be handled quickly. If those circumstances arise, we are open to having a much different birth than our planned natural one. Plan B involves the scenario of my not being allowed to fly when the time comes and staying in England. Again, we will be in a hospital under the care of my UK ob/gyn with the intention of using hypnobirthing throughout labor and birth.

Well I tried to be clear and concise but welcome any questions you might have on the method or more on why we chose it (quite possibly the topic of a future post) let me know. Otherwise I look forward to posting once we have baby's first picture on Friday evening. Will and I are quite excited for this particular milestone in my pregnancy.


  1. Interesting. I didn't really look into hypnobirthing at all, so I'll be excited to hear more after your class and the birth itself!

  2. Very cool! I think we're going with HypnoBabies for this one. I looked at both HypnoBirthing and HypnoBabies and I was more drawn to the HypnoBabies method. Isn't this so much fun?!?!