Mum’s passion for positive birthing

Eloise and her fourth-born Xavier.

By Melissa Grant

Like most mums to be, Eloise Davis was warned childbirth wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.

“I was a young first-time Mum. When I was pregnant I didn’t have much knowledge,” the Kureelpa resident said.

“The women in my life, my mum and my grandma, told me birth was something to be feared.

“My grandmother had five daughters and told me that childbirth was barbaric and that it’s cruel to be a woman.”

But Eloise knew intrinsically that there had to be a different way.

It was this determination to have a more pleasant birth experience that changed Eloise’s life.

Whilst researching childbirth she came across, ‘HypnoBirthing- The Mongan Method,’ a book she says complements a childbirth education program that empowers couples to have a positive birth experience.

Fast forward a decade and Eloise has had four positive birth experiences, is a Registered Midwife and is a HypnoBirthing International Practitioner.

“I stumbled across the book and it changed my life from that moment onwards,” Eloise recalled.

“I read the book and started practicing. The book includes comprehensive education along with a lot of practical techniques. It’s about building positive expectancy for birth and trying to mitigate the fear.

“In the absence of fear you can work with what your body is doing instead of against it, that’s when you are going to have a good birthing experience.”

Eloise used HypnoBirthing techniques for the births of each of her four children, now aged 10, 8, 4 and 2.

“My first was quick, it was intense. I was able to use the intervention to have a calm birth,” she said.

“With each birth, I was able to take the techniques to a whole new level.

“By baby number four our midwife didn’t make it. We had a homebirth in our ensuite. I’m so glad I had that experience with my last birth. I can’t describe that birth as painful because I took those techniques to a whole new level.”

According to HypnoBirthing Australia, interest in the birth education course is growing fast.

If you type the words hypnobirthing and Sunshine Coast into Google you will get quite a few results.

Despite its growing popularity, Eloise says there are misconceptions about what HypnoBirthing is.

“I think people see it as free birthing as for the hippies. It’s not,” she said.

“Sometimes the name puts people off. But all hypnosis is, is a deeply relaxed state.”

Eloise describes HypnoBirthing as comprehensive childbirth education that provides a set of tools and techniques to support couples throughout pregnancy and birth.

Couples are taught the techniques over five sessions.

“No matter what turn your birthing takes, you can be informed and educated,” Eloise explained.

“People say I want an epidural. That’s OK, but what about when you are at home before that?

“Generally people who do the course want a natural birth, but I will educate them on all their options so if at any point that changes they are informed.”

While working as a midwife at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Eloise saw many women unprepared for childbirth and many traumatic experiences.

It was her work as a midwife that convinced her to teach HypnoBirthing (the Mongan Method) and led her to establish Hinterland Hypnobirthing, which she runs out of a studio at her home.

“I wanted more people to know it doesn’t have to be a scary, traumatic experience,” she said.

“All we know from the time we are little girls is that it (childbirth) is the woman screaming for the epidural, it is the husband passing out on the hospital floor. That it is this big event we have to endure.”

“My birth experiences were the most empowering experiences of my life.

“After baby number three, I remember driving home with my husband saying I wish more people knew it could be this way.”

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