Saturday, May 26, 2012

My say on hypnobirthing...

Some people, when they get pregnant, they were lucky. There are people who do not bear any pregnancy symptoms at all, that's why I said they were lucky!..Me on the other hand, my first pregnancy comes in a whole packages...You name it, semua symptoms I got..

Bloated ness..
Water retention..
Water retention..
Muscle spasm..
Carpal tunnel syndrome..
Mood swing..

...all these physical and emotional changes that I have to go thru really changed me. I'm no longer the old me..energetic and outgoing...I prefer to be isolated from the outside world, and the most sad thing was, I don't feel connected with the baby inside me :(

All these I have to face right in the beginning of my pregnancy really scares me.. Itu belum lagi when it comes to the delivery process...the scary stories that every mothers who has given birth before tells you, really puts you off..isn't it?? ...The 'fear' that has been instilled from generations to generations for many-many years. I heard not a single encouraging birth stories from any of my friends/relatives (which does not help at all). Majority will say "sakit gila"...and most will encourage for epidural. 

I do believe that the pain can be so intense. I witnessed it myself during medical school in HUKM, during my housemanship in Hospital Ipoh few years back, and working in Paediatric Department for 4 years in two different hospitals now, where I have to regularly stand by for a delivery expecting 'babies in distress', I often see mother who would scream their lungs out due to pain, and more often than not, the midwives yang menjerit lebih-lebih. When it becomes unbearable, some started to swear and some will turn into an angry looking hulk.. and yang paling tak bestnya, husband lah yang menjadi mangsa, tempat melepaskan geram..hehe. It really made me wonder, if labour pain is really THAT bad, then why is it women want to get pregnant again and again??'s like if you have ever sustained a bone fracture and have experienced the pain, you wouldn't want to experience it again right?...

So for awhile a long period of time I was lost and felt let down, gradually I started to realized that I have to wake up from being mundane all day, and I have to do something to make my pregnancy journey become more meaningful. Reading other bloggers who really enjoyed their pregnancy journey, telling stories about these and that, buying baby stuff here and there, makes me wonder WHY CAN'T I BE LIKE THEM??..

So, I have set my mind that I'm gonna make a DIFFERENCE, so that in the end, I will be able to share my stories to others in other version (none like I've heard so far) in a positive way. Most importantly, I want it to be a beautiful process for both me and husband..and of cos, I want him to get involve..hundred-and-one-percent!

Since I always wanted to try water-birth, I began to search about it. I never heard about it being done in Malaysia before (maybe cos I never really searched for it). I first heard about water-birth about 4-5 years back, when my old friend had hers in the US. I would say that I was just lucky to finally find my long lost friend, Hayati Muzaffar, Kak Yat, who just had delivered and attempted waterbirth (you can read her beautiful home-birth in her blog). That was about the same time when Dr Halina, the astronaut's wife who attempted hers in Pantai Hospital, became a hit story. 

Soon after I had a chit chat with Kak Yat, she invited me to join The Gentle Brithing Group (GBG) in Facebook, which I finally happened to get to know about hypnobirthing (HB). It was something that is totally new for me, and I got pretty excited for it. I did a bit of readings, and finally decided to join the 5 weeks courses even it is a bit costly. Tell you the truth, it was WORTH the money I spent.
The hypnobirthing 'bible' and relaxation CD
image courtesy from google :)

So, basically HB is a technique that has long been practice many many many many years ago, it's not something new. The main aim is to enable mothers to achieve a gentle, physiological birth. It prepares mothers how to be calm and how to maintain it, it prepares mothers to be relaxed throughout the birthing process so that to avoid any medical interventions, it prepares mothers how to be in-control, and it also prepares mothers what to expect and do in the different stages of birth. In order to achieve this, first we have to release the fear-pain factor, cos these are the main culprit that can effect the outcome of labour.

In the very first class we were thought on history of birthing. From 3000 B.C, where babies were born naturally and with minimum discomfort. Followed by Hippocrates and Aristotle era, where the Grecian School of Medicine wrote that there wasn't any pain in normal uncomplicated childbrith. The 'fears' only started to sets in during The Curse of Eve, and painkillers being widely used soon after Queen Victoria insists to be given chloroform when she births during the mid 19th century. (ok..I know history can be boring, but these really interest me...hehe).

Well, being in medical line, I learnt that during uterine contractions some mediators are released, one of it is PG (prostaglandins) which gives rise to pain. However, at the end of the day, hypnobirthing does not promise a pain-free labour, but more towards achieving a bearable labour. All mothers in the GBG who have shared their experiences using this method, gave feedback that their labour process was managed easily (without any painkillers). 
I can't described it here, cos I haven't gone through the labour process myself. My intention here is not to boast around, nauzubillah, but being in the circle of positive people, really inspires me a lot. I pray hard everyday that I'll be able to achieve a gentle physiological birth (without any UNNECESSARY medical interventions that is!), or better still, an ORGASMIC birth! :)

Here you can read some of many of beautiful birth stories using HB during their birthing process, and they are all drug-free labour :) 
Many woman have a perception that a natural delivery means a birth through vaginal canal, that is it. Where as a normal physiological birth means that a birth without any UNNECESSARY medical interventions. The common interventions would be like performing an episiotomy, artifial rupture of membrane (ARM) where the health staff 'help' you to break your waterbag, giving painkillers (which may be harmful for the babies and can hinder latching), coached pushing (where the health staff often tell you when to push, this is totally a wrong practice!), augmentation (by giving you a syntethic oxytocin via the drips to hasten the birthing process), and many more. When these interventions sets in, it is no longer a natural birth. I'm not saying that these are all wrong, sometimes in some situation, health staff have to intervene, but when it is done unnecessarily, it invites a risk in the labour process. And most of the time, you will find that these interventions has become a standard hospital practices!!
To my surprise, I was not aware of all these things (as my knowledge was very limited to what I have learnt during medical school and during housemanship). These group of amazing woman  in GBG, they take their own initiative to really know all the medical terms used, the usual practises in our hospital, and they also read from journals/research etc about all these interventions, making them aware about it. I personally think that every women should equipped themselves with these knowledge so that they are aware of their rights and to have an informed decision on every step the health care might provide them. We woman should know what are the processes or stages that our body is going through during pregnancy and labour and if the need to intervene arise we know the reason behind it and not leave it all to the doctors without questioning whether it is really necessary or not. 
The course covers on so many topics, not just concentrating on the labour process, but the pregnancy itself, preparing your mind and your body, how to connect with your baby inside you, and get your husband to be involve throughout the process. That's the part where I love most :) It also teach you on the birth position, best position for you to practise to promote correct positions of the baby, and many more..HB it is not just about laerning the breathing techniques, we were also taught techniques on relaxation, visualization  and ultra-deepening techniques. The classes was held in a small group (5 couples maximum), very hands on and very informal and relax. We were educated, then we practise. Knowledge without action is like a boat on dry land, it becomes useless. 
As a conclusion, HB has taught me so many things. It is really an eye opener, especially for me as a medical doctor, not all that we learnt are a right practice. The number of women whom are aware about physiological birth are increasing out there, be it locally, or internationally. 
I learnt the beauty of physiological birth, it's like making love. Making love is like an body teaches you what to do first, then what to do next..what u need is just your husband, a very familiar ambience...a nice dim place, a comfortable bed ( or where ever u want it), and the mood, also feeling of love....same goes to giving birth. You wouldn't want anybody to interrupt you, nobody to tell you what to do next and next...cos naturally baby knows how to make their moves into the birth passage without the need of any guidance....that's why we even hear about a mother in a comatose state is still able to give birth!..SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL :) It reminds me the story of our prophet, Nabi Isa a.s, whom was given birth by Maryam. For the fear of being misunderstood and being laid false accusations, Maryam quietly sneaked out of her house and journeyed alone into the dessert. When the moment to give birth to Nabi Isa came she rested beneath a date tree and calmly gave birth ALONE without the assistance of any doula, midwife or physician. 

I also learnt that  birth is not a medical incident. A healthy pregnant women is not having a DISEASE, and she is not ill. Our body is participating in the most amazing function of nature, it is CHILDBIRTH. 
What's more important is, now I able to communicate with the baby inside me, and feel more connected to him. Husband who also enjoyed the courses, participating his best, and without fail offering me a Light Touch Massage, that we learnt from the course. I tell you, it is the best massage one pregnant lady could ever ask for!!..hehe. Scientifically, the 'goose-bump' effects by this type of massage, help to create endorphins, a feel good hormone :) that creates relaxation. SO it is good to practice prior to birthing and during labour itself.
I won't be able to share everything that I learnt from the HB course in just one single entry. It is a loooootttt, this entry pon dah terlebih2 panjang. InshaAllah I will write more from time to time, and if time permits!
p/s: I only have like 4-5 weeks to go before my EDD :) 


LisaLisut said...

Wow pnjg gile post ni but i got ur points hehe. I ada baca psl hypnobirthing n tgk u tube je b4 this tp nk msk class tu xmampu sgtla..huhu. yg i ambik skit2 dr experience dorg is kene relax n bertenang :) u dh 34weeks. Xlama lg tu. Semoga u slmt semuanya. Amin :)

♥ balkidz_hunny ♥ said...

Babe, aku tahu benda nie masa dah 7months pregnant. so takdelah aku pegi amik courses ke ape.

But IMHO, aku rase mmg byk membantu kalau buat HB ni. cth yg biasa2 mcm control breathing,mind set semua tue. aku rasa mcm berkesan kat aku (tapi tak tahulah betul ke berkesan, or dah rezeki aku senang bersalin dan tak rasa sakit sgt!)

Tapi melalui pembacaan aku, begitulah sepatutnya yg berlaku dan Alhamdulillah sedikit sebanyak berlaku jugak la masa kat LR. dgn husben takde di sisi, aku boleh control semuanya, Alhamdulillah!

You can do it Tahirah. cubalah pegi courses tue. nanti share sini. mane tau aku nak pegi jugak ke next baby ;p

Hayati Muzaffar said...

I love this piece because it comes from a medical professional point of view (and not because I was mentioned in it XP)...

Anyways, I am sending my prayer that you and hubby and baby get to achieve a beautiful and peaceful meeting soon and certainly aim for the sky, ORGASMIC BIRTH no less! ^_^ Much love to you and bubs...

Anonymous said...

Darling....just wanted to share this>

This lady is my boss...I think she's one the member in GBG.

Tahirah A. said...

Same goes to you..semoga semuanya selamat..Amin :)

Where was your husband time dkt LR tu? kalau i la, sure dah nangis2 husband tak de..haha..

Nothing beats a good teacher. nnt second pregnancy u try la pg..theres a lot to learn.. :)

Tahirah A. said...

kak yat..

thank you so much...i love u!!! hehe..
The Orgasmic Birth book tu jgn lupa ok :) hopefully sempat baca before the showtime!! ;p

@Anon her blog before..
Met her once when i attended a debate between our HB sifu, Madam Soo Wai Han, against the president of OGSM (Obs&Gyn SOciety of Malaysia) few months back..but I didnt know her personally..dia pon tak kenal i..hehe

ashieBee said...

tahirah, can;t believe your jr is coming soon!!! selamat bersalin soon. praying for both of your safety; mummy and baby :D *hugs*

we want you to be well informed said...

Do share as you feel led to