Hypnobirth leaves mum in awe of the mind's strength
WHEN each contraction started to build, Kayla Haidley didn't feel pain or panic despite being on the verge of naturally welcoming an almost 10-pound baby into the world.
She was able to reach a state of mind that allowed her to give birth without medical pain relief, but still perceive the experience as smooth.
Little Hamish was her second child and Mrs Haidley, 26, was determined to have a calmer birthing experience than her first with daughter Isabella.
In the 10 weeks leading up to her labour, Mrs Haidley studied hypnobirthing through an online course, a technique that uses tools to allow women to calmly work through any path their birth takes.
Mrs Haidley's hypnobirth was fully self-guided with support from her husband Mitchell and mother Sandra Breen.
They focused on reading positive affirmations, using aromatherapy, meditation tracks and the shower.
"The whole idea is you reach your subconscious comfort bubble and you don't feel any pain," Mrs Haidley said.
"You can feel your body going through it but you're open and you release it, you're not meeting it with a fear in a way. A woman's body is designed to birth a baby and you release your body to what it's doing."
Mrs Haidley said while she could hear sounds around her during the birth in October, she didn't take them in.
"I was pretty blown away at just how calm everything was and nothing seemed to be a panic," she said.
"I was amazed at how well I had trained my mind to do this."
Mrs Haidley said the staff at Warwick Hospital were respectful and supportive of her birthing choices.
Empowering women to decide how to birth their babies was important, she said.
"Medical intervention is there for a reason, never shy away from that," she said.
"It's good to keep in touch with your healthcare providers and talk to them about what you're wanting to do to find that support.
"If they want to do something like this there's support and guidance for how to do it."
Warwick Hospital associate nurse unit manager maternity services Ross Newton said mothers were encouraged to list their expectations for birth.
"Women seeking 'alternative-type' methods such as 'calm births' or 'hypnobirthing' is not routine, however, we are seeing a few more requests," he said.
"We like to create a home-like environment in our birth suites, and we encourage women and families to use music and other non-medicalised techniques such as showers or massage during their labour."
Three months on from Hamish's birth, Mrs Haidley said he was healthy and she would advocate hypnobirthing to anyone who's considering it.