Saturday, November 10, 2007

Water Birth, New-Age, Airy-Fairy... Err... Hmmm...

We discussed birth options with our gynae at our last visit, and she suggested we get a doula (a birthing assistant) if we wanted to go for a water birth. And so... we made an appointment with the person she suggested, and it doesn't seem like the doula and I are gunning for the same thing.

When we decided we would go for water birth, it was really because we wanted to use water birthing facilities as a manner of pain relief, rather than to go through this whole new-agey birth experience. The doula, however, told us that if we wanted to work with her, we would need to sign up for hypnobirthing classes. Now, before anyone gets the idea that hypnosis at birth is linked to hypnotists making people bark like dogs on a stage, let me just be absolutely fair to what this technique is about - you don't get hypnotised out of the pain. Really. It's just about deep relaxation techniques so that you can "enjoy the entire birthing experience". Which truly, is a fair thing to gun for and work towards. If that is what you want. I just want to go through a natural childbirth with no epidural.

All this talk about painful childbirth seems over-rated. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm anxious or afraid 'cos it's "very painful!" Is it now? My mum never had epidurals; neither did my cousin and some friends. Apparently, the concept of horrendous pain during childbirth is a cultural one. Especially in the west. Many Asian cultures simply accept that childbirth comes with pain, and so deal with it. And I'm beginning to think hypnobirthing is cashing on this very simple concept of "dealing with it". A google on "hypnobirthing" yields nothing but a long list of companies offering courses to teach people something that's just ...cultural.

I still want to go for a water birth. Just for pain relief. But hypnobirthing? Nah...

The only real issue I have with this entire hypnobirthing technique is this - I think

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