During the nine months of my first pregnancy, I had the privilege of experiencing hypnotherapy carried out by 2 well trained clinical hypnotherapists from the LCCH. It was my first time and the experience I must say was something out of this world – simply amazing, very relaxing. Initially, I was afraid of being pregnant – had my fears like any normal mothers would have when they are pregnant for the first time. But all that was put to ease when I had my sessions with the therapists.
In fact, I enjoyed my pregnancy right till the time my baby girl was born on 6 July 2011. I did not suffer from morning sickness as bad as some women go through. But I did have my share of experiencing mild morning sickness. How did I manage this? Well, as the saying goes “it’s all in the mind” – I told myself that I will not allow nausea and vomiting to spoil my day, so I practiced self-hypnosis like how I was taught to do so. Think positively and don’t let the feeling of nausea rule your mind. The moment you think you want to vomit, believe me, you will trigger vomit. So tell yourself that “No, I don’t want to vomit today no matter what happens” and you will not vomit – trust me, I did it and it worked for me.
I followed my therapists’ advice to always stay happy and cheerful. I was also advised to always talk to my unborn baby. I followed their advice and I realized that even during the time my baby was in my womb, whenever she moves around a lot which can cause some kind discomfort to a mother, I used to talk to her to slow down because mummy is feeling uneasy or mummy wants to sleep, she needs to go to work tomorrow – and immediately my baby used to stop her movement - I experienced this many times during my pregnancy. There were also times when my baby did not move for some time and I became worried. So I went to a quiet place in my home and spoke to my baby about my concerns. I told her to move a little bit at least so that I know she’s alright – and she did.
My pregnancy went smoothly and I was hoping to deliver normally but due to my high sugar level, my gynaecologist decided to opt for C-section. I practiced self hypnosis before and after my C-section.
Before the surgery, I calmed myself by not thinking about the next day’s surgery, the pain I’m going to go through and how I’m going to go through motherhood, etc. The next morning, I was all ready to welcome my firstborn and I was in fact proud of myself because I did not need any kind of consolation or encouragement from my husband or family members. In fact, I smiled all the way to the operation theatre – why? Because I was looking forward to seeing and holding my baby – all the rest did not matter to me.
After my C-section when I regained consciousness, I won’t lie to you but it was excruciatingly painful. I fought the pain and did not allow it to ‘rule’ my life – how did I do that? Back to self hypnosis – it played like a broken record in my mind over and over again – “I WILL NOT LET THIS PAIN RUIN MY MOMENT OF JOY WITH MY BABY – THE BABY IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME NOW “. I remember my husband saying this to me at one point of time when one of the nurses came to poke me again and again because the saline drip was not functioning as it should. He said “You have a very high resistance to pain – incredible”. It’s true what he said, because I did not have ‘PAIN’ written all over my brains. I fought it with a positive mental attitude or image. The next day after my C-section, I did not wait for my gynaecologist or the nurse to tell me to get off the bed and start walking. I did it on my own without any assistance. I was determined to walk to the restroom and I did it successfully though the pain was really bad. I did not let it deter me from walking. My gynaecologist and family were surprised with my action but they were proud of me.
I also recovered fast during my confinement. With the right mental attitude and positive thoughts, any mothers can overcome whatever obstacles pregnancy and delivery puts forth to you because at the end of the nine-month journey, the fruit of your labour is your bundle of joy. With that in mind, everything else takes a back seat.
It is very important for mothers to be relaxed when feeding their babies especially if you are breastfeeding. If you feel stressed, anxious, unhappy, your baby can somehow ‘feel’ your emotions and this is not good for the baby. So relaxation is very important during breastfeeding and it is also the most amazing experience any woman can have in life. I would encourage all mothers to breastfeed your babies as much and as long as you possibly can. Here, self hypnosis plays an important role as well. There are many myths surrounding breastfeeding but don’t let them influence your decision about breastfeeding. With the right mental state and positive emotions, you know that breast milk is the best milk for your baby. Feed your baby and the bonding between mother and baby begins from here.
After my delivery and during my confinement period, like any new mothers, I too almost suffered from post-natal depression. The pressures of being a new mother was too much for me to handle, moreover I had my baby after 14 years of marriage plus 3 miscarriages – this baby was very precious to me and of course my family. I wanted to be a good mother but at the same time I had to put up with family pressure though I knew that everyone meant well and wanted the best for my baby. I felt that unimportant (don’t get me wrong, I was not jealous of my baby getting all the attention) but I’m sure new mums out there will understand what I’m trying to say here. I went through an upheaval of emotions and I almost reached the stage whereby I couldn’t take it anymore. How did I handle this situation? I went back to self hypnosis. I calmed myself and reinforced in my mind that if I want to be an excellent mum to my baby and if I wish to enjoy motherhood, I need to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. I cannot let emotions rule my mind and my body to suffer the consequences. So, I learned to relax by looking at my baby first thing in the morning when I wake up and telling myself that “I am going to enjoy my baby today and be her mum. I will not anything ruin my day.” So that was how I managed to alleviate depression without the use of medication/drugs – which I almost took.
To all the women out there, especially first time mums, you will hear a lot of horror stories about pregnancy, labour and confinement. Don’t get turned off, become phobia and have fear in you because every pregnancy is different for every woman. I personally enjoyed my pregnancy till the end. Believe me, it is the most beautiful experience in the whole wide world which money cannot buy. From the time you find out that you are pregnant, seeing your belly growing day by day, seeing your foetus developing week by week, month by month, planning and anticipating the arrival of your baby, choosing a name for your baby, etc, all these experiences are unique in its own way and gives us such joy that words cannot describe. Despite all the discomforts, etc, I must say that I’m proud of myself for managing the symptoms well enough to lead my life as normal as I possibly can. Of course, I must thank the LCCH for giving me the opportunity to experience hypnotherapy because without it, I cannot imagine how I would have gone through my pregnancy and labour. I do admit that when I was first offered a session in hypnotherapy, I was very reluctant and doubtful of its benefit. But after experiencing only two sessions and learning self hypnosis, I was able to control my mind and body to work well for me throughout my pregnancy. Self hypnosis had taught me to accept my new role as a mother and my baby, self image (after pregnancy our body changes – some of us gain weight as well as other obvious changes to adapt to), have a positive outlook in life and enjoy life.
In summary, mind over matter, it all begins in the mind. Feed it with positive thoughts and you will get positive results. The mind body connection is very important. What your mind thinks is how your body is going to react. Always think positive and have the right mental attitude in everything you do. Practice self hypnosis in your daily life and you will be surprised to see the amazing results.
Today, I have a happy, bubbly and cheerful baby girl, Abigail Anne Samson. She’s a very calm baby and I could see the difference between her and other babies around me.
I would encourage every pregnant mother out there to come and at least try out one session of hypnotherapy. You will feel the difference and when your baby is born, you will know the difference as well.
“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change”
~ Marie Mongan