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HypnoBirthing, Water Birthing and Lotus Birth – 3 natural childbirth options

We explain these natural childbirth processes in detail.

Written by Shivani Sharma |Updated : November 2, 2015 6:55 PM IST

Bringing your baby into this world can be a life-altering experience for new parents, especially the mother who gives birth to the newborn after a wait of nine, long months. Though medical advances have made life easier, in the recent years, natural childbirth has taken precedence once again. Couples the world over are waking up to the realisation that a natural way is perhaps the best way to bring the newborn into the world than being surrounded by doctors and medical instruments. Shivani Sharma,a Mumbai-based HypnoBirthing Practitioner, lists out three natural methods pregnant couples can adopt to have a natural delivery.

To get closer to the idea of natural birth, we need to understand natural ways of living and thinking and overcome our own limiting behaviour and thoughts. Natural childbirth preparation involves some amount of soul-searching, efforts to harmonise our relationship with our self and our partner, healing our traumas, a fair amount of physical toning and overcoming emotional blockages which make us doubt our abilities to hold our ground in the middle of intensity. When we follow nature's prescription for pregnancy and childbirth; drugs and other medical interventions become redundant.

HypnoBirthing Taking the world by calm

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HypnoBirthing is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. The underlying philosophy is that birth is a normal, natural, and healthy human experience. Women's bodies are created to conceive, nurture the development of babies, and to give birth. In the absence of fear and tension, our body's natural, relaxing hormones take over and help make birthing a positive experience even in the case of special circumstances.

HypnoBirthing childbirth preparation also gives fathers a chance to become an integral part of the pregnancy and birth. It not only helps them become a comforting birth companion, but also a companion who can protect the mother's birthing experience from unnecessary interventions.

HypnoBirthing sessions teach relaxation based on self-hypnosis, visualisations and breathing techniques to create a state of relaxation which is free of the resistance that fear creates. It inspires faith in the birthing body's capabilities and empowers women to call upon their natural birthing instincts at the time of birth to have a calm, serene and comfortable birth.

There are various versions of the HypnoBirthing programme: HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method, HypBirth, HypnoBabies and The Leclair HypnoBirthing Method but the philosophy remains the same. (Read: How physiotherapy can help through pregnancy and after)

Water Birthing From water to water

Along with the natural way of birth, natural settings play an important role in making birthing a truly rewarding experience. Water has a relaxing effect on our body which makes it the element of choice for creating settings that enhance the birthing experience.

In a water birth, a labouring mother is submerged in a birth tub filled with warm water up to her belly and preferably gives birth inside the birth tub. Warm water dilates the blood vessels, improves blood circulation, relaxes the muscles, and helps the nervous system balance itself.

All these benefits are of great use at the time of labour and birth. The soothing caress of warm water relaxes the mother. The effect of buoyancy helps the mother to change positions with little effort. If the pool is big enough, her husband or birthing companion can join her to provide comfort and support.

The benefits of water birth are not limited to the mother only. Water is the first element the baby gets familiar with. A familiar environment like warm water provides for a smooth, soft landing which overcomes the shock of gravity.

A mother choosing a water birth should choose a labour support professional or medical practitioner who is experienced in water birthing.

Lotus Birth Enhancing the mother-baby bond

Lotus birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord unclamped and uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates at the navel, exactly as a cut cord does 3-10 days after birth.

Lotus birth stands for the birth of the baby and placenta as one unit. The wait for the birth of the placenta ensures that all the cord blood (which is around 1/3rd of the total newborn's blood volume) is transferred to the baby and that the baby gets the crucial skin-to-skin contact on mother's body or gets breastfed immediately after birth. The cord blood gives an extra boost to the baby's immunity and the early skin-to-skin contact cuts down the baby's anxiety and regulates its glucose level and body temperature. (Read: Have scary thoughts of going into labour? Here's what you need to know)

It also ensures closeness of the mother and baby and completely bypasses the harshness of the sudden whisking away of the baby minutes after the birth.

Lotus birth might not be a popular choice but it is the birth of the baby-placenta with the aim of keeping them together as long as our supporting conditions permit.

All of the above

You can choose to use HypnoBirthing relaxation and breathing techniques while you are relaxing in the warm waters of the birth pool, give birth in the birth pool and after the birth, choose to keep your baby's cord intact until it dries up.

For a list of natural birth clinics in India,

Shivani Sharma is a certified HypnoBirthing practitioner (HypnoBirthing Institute, USA) . She has also trained with Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, one of the pioneers of Conscious Water birth movement in Russia, to conduct 'Birth Into Being' workshops. She believes that birth is a transformative event and it is crucial for women to stand up for themselves and choose the kind of birth they want. Her personal experience of her daughter's beautiful natural birth started her journey into the field of natural birth. Her belief in nature's ways of working inspires her to gently guide women to give birth with ease and grace.

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