Book review


Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better by Siobhan Miller

A book review written by Tenneille Sloan

Hypnobirthing is not what you may think, it is not at all going to make you lose control and start acting strangely like you have seen in the movies instead you will be more in control of the way you handle any situation that may arise during your birth by using techniques to keep your mind and body calm and connected. “Essentially hypnobirthing is a form of antenatal education, an approach to birth that is both evidence-based and logical”. Page 16.

Siobhan Miller is a mother to three boys and an expert hypnobirthing teacher with a mission to change the way women around the world approach and experience birth. She is the founder of The Positive Birth Company and engages with over 140 thousand followers on her Instagram page, @thepositivebirthcompany

Everything we have grown to learn about birth from a young age comes from stories of birth trauma, movies that show us birth is all pain and over very quickly and our own family’s birth history (or herstory). Maybe you had a traumatic birth experience yourself and you are looking to rewire your brain with evidence-based facts on how the body prepares for labour, what goes on inside your body during labour and a complete tool kit for how to enhance your birth experience and work with your body. If so, this is the book for you.

Not only does this book go deeply into the science behind birth it goes into the stages of labour, how to make your own informed decisions, the role of your birth partner and how they can best support you, having more than one birth plan and how to use your hypnobirthing tool kit when variations of birth such as induction and caesarean birth are needed. It also shares some beautiful birth stories from women who have used hypnobirthing themselves to inspire you so that you too can have a positive and calm birth.

My favourite quote from the book is “Plan b doesn’t have to be second best; plan B can be just as positive, and even better, for you and your baby!” from chapter 12 page 194. It is a gentle reminder to let to of the need to control and surrender to the birthing process but also that the power of a birth plan is not just the plan itself but the process of becoming educated in all your options for birth so that you can have a plan and be prepared for any turn of events. Chapters 9 and 10 go into depth on how you can still have a positive, calm birth and use hypnobirthing techniques during an induced labour and caesarean birth helping take away any fear you may have towards both variations of birth.

At the back of the book Siobhan has included a “birth preferences” template with a mock version so you are able to create your own and a planner to schedule in practicing your newly learnt techniques. She has also included some beautiful, guided relaxation scripts that you and your birth team can practice and have ready for when the time comes to bring your baby into the world. By adding these simple extras to the book, the value was greatly heightened. It is one thing to read about what Siobhan is teaching but having practical and useful guides really makes such a difference in how you go about applying the knowledge to your own practice and then again at your own birth.

This book inspired me to go on and have my own positive and calm birth with my second born son. It is the perfect book for anyone who is wanting to learn more about hypnobirthing, implement the techniques early on in their pregnancy or as an add on leading up to a hypnobirthing course. I highly recommend that if hypnobirthing is something you would like to learn more about or fully delve into that you add this book to your own personal library.

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