1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. This covers everything from a very early miscarriage, or ‘chemical pregnancy’ (I am not a fan of this term at all), up to 24 weeks – after 24 weeks a loss is considered a stillbirth. The word ‘miscarriage’ in itself doesn’t do justice for the feelings that can be brought about by experiencing loss, and these feelings may be different in different people but they are all totally valid.
Being pregnant again after miscarriage then adds a whole host of additional challenges. For me, Sophia had been my first baby, and so I felt robbed of ever being able to experience a ‘normal’ and carefree pregnancy after she died. I was petrified when I found out I was pregnant the second time which also sadly ended in miscarriage, and once the 3rd time came around I was just a bag of anxiety. I heavily relied on early reassurance scans, although that was always only short lived before the anxiety started up again.
Being able to find little coping mechanisms really helped me, and one of these was hypnobirthing. It gave me something else to try and focus on rather than just the anxiety. Not only did it help me to have a more positive birth experience with Emily, but it also enabled me to find pockets of calm whilst I was still pregnant. I found it a relief to have moments where I could feel completely relaxed, and relaxation audios/scripts really helped with this.
I know at the time I was pregnant with Emily, all I could think was I just needed her here safely in my arms and nothing else mattered. Actually, what I didn’t realise is that how I felt about her birth was also extremely important because that too would have an impact on me for the rest of my life. Thankfully I did have a positive experience and it was about finding all those little things that I could hold on to, which in turn really supported the birth experience.
Hypnobirthing can be so useful in providing lots of different tools, techniques and learning opportunities that you can use throughout your pregnancy. Not only do you learn the need to know info, but you also get a cluster of techniques to put in your toolbox that you can draw on regularly to support you through your rainbow pregnancy and during birth. Read on to see how hypnobirthing can support you find your moments of relaxation, calm and build up to a positive birth experience:
Relaxation scripts – these can be amazing to promote relaxation, and I personally found them invaluable for stealing those moments of peace and calm. A great time to listen is in the bath, or as you are going to sleep at night – times when you really want to feel relaxed. The good thing is there are lots of options on scripts, so if you don’t get on with one there are alternatives.
Positive affirmations – Positive statements in the present tense that you can use and repeat to yourself often. The purpose is to challenge some of the beliefs or thoughts you may hold, and develop these into something more positive. There are affirmations that can be used in pregnancy after loss that don’t undermine past experiences, but that can help you to focus on the day and moment in hand to help carry positivity in the form of hope.
Anatomy & physiology of birth – If you have not attended any previous antenatal classes then this actually can be really vital in helping create a more positive birth experience. Just by knowing and understanding what happens in our bodies during labour and birth can really help with feeling more in control of what is happening. In many antenatal classes you don’t actually learn how birth is facilitated by our bodies, so it is such a useful module. No matter the type of birth, this information is important because we can still influence the hormones in our body to aid a more positive experience both during, and after birth.
Interventions, your options & rights – It can be very empowering and help with confidence and feelings of being in control, to understand some of the different interventions you may be offered. This includes identifying the benefits and risks, and how to make decisions that are best for you and your baby. You always have a right to decline an intervention, but without being equipped with all of this information it can be very challenging to make an informed choice either way. After previously losing a baby this can be a very difficult area to navigate through and there is no right or wrong answer, but knowledge really is power.
Birth partners – Often birth partners can feel so helpless and are not sure how best to help. The birth of a rainbow baby is very special and so we look at the different ways a birth partner can support the birthing person. No matter how, or where the birth takes place there are lots of things the birth partner can do to provide comfort and helpful support.
I would say it is important to bear in mind that the language in hypnobirthing courses can sometimes be triggering after loss, so make sure you have had a chat with the course provider to ensure it will meet your needs. It is important that language is sensitive and suitable for where you are in your journey. It can be useful to ask whether they have worked with anyone previously who experienced baby loss.
The birth of your rainbow baby is a very special moment and I am passionate about helping expectant parents have the most positive experience possible, so if you’d like to learn more about my Rainbow Baby Hypnobirthing courses then you can find details here. Alternatively, if you’d like a free informal chat to discuss how I can support you and for you to ask any questions then please do book an appointment with me today.