Hypnobirthing for a confident birth: Interview with Heidi Danaher
Heidi Danaher has practiced Yoga for over 20 years and added hypnobirthing to further support the pregnant women in her yoga classes. She loves to work with pregnant women and follow their journey as a mother enjoying the transformation that her hypnobirthing and yoga classes bring. She speaks here of the power of this journey and how women 'discover themselves' through the process of giving birth.
Heidi has been a yoga teacher for over 20 years and in the early years pregnant women kept coming so Heidi followed the Universes hint and trained in pregnancy yoga to support them. Pregnant women still kept coming so Heidi kept going and found she loved it. She later added Hypnobirthing.
1.40 What is hypnobirthing? It is nothing like stage hypnotism on TV. Think more learning how to relax and release fears from your life experience and your own birth and become empowered and make decisions from a place of being informed. Good for people for whom even entering a hospital environment puts them on edge.
3.0 Using hypnobirthing as pain relief. There is no promise of pain free, but using hypnobirthing helps you manage the pain and the birth can be enjoyable.
4.10 A glimpse into how hypnobirthing can help you ride out any changes with confidence through the story of the birth of Heidi’s own son 4 years ago, when she had the opportunity to use her skills on herself.
Heidi used a variety of different hypnobirthing programmes ( see links at the end for suggestions of starting places to find one for you)
6.37 Who is hypnobirthing for and how do you know if its for you? There is lots of inspiration online and it's good to get your partner involved as it is not happening to their body so this gives them a tool kit to help and they can feel prepared, supportive and useful. Talk to others and have an open mind.
8.36- A group or private? Choose what works for you and remember in a group you often have reunions after and have a ready made community to connect with
9.20 The Key to success: Practice! Be flexible for example when you awake at night and can’t sleep. Practice little and often throughout the day which doesn’t take up much time but can make a huge difference. Heidi has heard many stories of women who have not done hypnobirthing with a first birth and with the second feel much more empowered and able to manage the medical professionals and know what they would like and get a different experience.
11.20 Charlotte's story of listening a lot to hypnobirthing tracks for her first child and then neglected this during her second pregnancy until she hit a bump in the road with some fear, tension and high blood pressure. Listening to her old hypnobirthing tracks took her right back and she was instantly relaxed and at peace.
13.02 What does a hypnobirthing birth like? It doesn’t have to be all OM and the baby just appears! Sound and noise is fine. If you are breathing and giving birth you ARE doing it. Partners can also be reassured about what is normal including noise and the more a partner is relaxed the more he can be supportive.
14.45 How to choose the right hypnobirthing for you. Tip- you need to like their voice! Check out what else the practitioner does and how she integrates those, For example Heidi mixes in some of her Yoga work. ( see some ideas at the end of notes)
16.04 There is some overlap in the breathing exercises in hypnobirthing and in the pranayama yogic breathing and so they complement each other well.
16.50 The anatomy of a pregnancy yoga class including the tea break time. A lovely experience to teach and take part in . Heidi took part in her own classes when pregnant as a colleague ran them for her and got to experience it that way which was so lovely.
18.30 The importance of relaxation and setting aside time to do this. Again short bursts are useful and in addition the collective vibe of a class is powerful.
19.11 It is awe inspiring when women discover themselves and find a sense of power they didn’t know they had. Heidi thinks it is amazing to create a baby and enjoys the lovely stories she has a privilege to be a part of.
20.20 Hypnobirthing can help you to know what you have to do and where you have choice such as knowing the mantra 'your body your choice' so you can choose a sweep or you can say no. This knowledge is powerful. Good to be informed.
22.18 Heidi would like women to know that there is tons of support out there and to go and find it. And to Know they can do it.
23.28 Finishing with more insights into Heidi’s birth and her supportive sisters who knew what she wanted.
Finally Enjoy the journey!
Heidi has practiced yoga since 1997 and is qualified as a yoga teacher with The British Wheel of Yoga and Ruth White's Karuna Yoga. Her interest in birth led her to further training to support pregnant mothers and children including becoming a Calm Birth School Hypnobirthing Teacher. She lives on the Isle of Man with her four year old son and you can find her contact information here
Links to Hypnobirthing Resources
Here are some links to different Hypnobirthing options. They are by no means exclusive and are just some of the resources Charlotte and Heidi have tried out themselves and are a good starting point. If you have locl knowledge or friends who have tried other programmes, use that and find the one you like the most.
The Calm Birth School ( video based home study course with also live teachers teaching classes) https://www.thecalmbirthschool.com/
Natal Hypnotherapy https://www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk/
Katharine Graves https://www.kghypnobirthing.com/
Positive Birth Downloads https://www.positive-birth.com/index.htm
Some books - often these have an accompanying cd or download: