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Saturday, April 22, 2023

Book Review: Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better by Siobhan Miller

BOOK review
Started on: 19 February 2023
Finished on: 10 March 2023

Title: Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better
Author: Siobhan Miller
Publisher: Piatkus
Pages: 272 pages
Year of Publication: 2019
Price: Rp 85,000 (

Rating: 4/5
"Giving birth—however you choose to do it—is truly the most amazing thing you will experience in your life, and meeting your precious baby for the first time is one of life's most unforgettable moments."
Siobhan Miller, an expert hypnobirthing teacher and founder of The Positive Birth Company, has made it her mission to change the way women around the world approach and experience birth. Through her teaching she seeks to educate and empower women so they can enjoy amazing and positive birth experiences, however they choose to bring their babies into the world. In this book, Siobhan Miller debunks common myths about hypnobirthing and explains how it can make any type of birth a better experience. Hypnobirthing is essentially a form of antenatal education, an approach to birth that is both evidence-based and logical. It teaches you how your body works when in labour and how various relaxation techniques ensures you are working with your body, making birth more efficient and comfortable. Siobhan Miller's advice and guidance will change your mindset and enable you to feel relaxed, capable, and excited about giving birth.
"You look forward to the amazing and empowering experience that is giving birth, trusting that you, your body and your baby know exactly what to do."
"Wherever you currently are on the anxious-to-excited spectrum, by the time you finish reading this book I want you to feel confident and excited about giving birth, because it's truly the most awesome thing you will ever get to do in your life."
Throughout my pregnancy, I've been trying to read several books that will prepare me for what's to come. One of the most important topic that I'd like to know more about is the process of birthing a baby. Hypnobirthing was recommended to me by a close friend who gave birth last year and told me it had helped her tremendously. So a few months before my due date, I made it a mission to finish reading this book and see what it has in store. Even though some parts of this book felt irrelevant due to the different cultures in my country, I'm still grateful I took the time to read it because it allowed me to understand what will happen during labor and delivery. I can't say much about the hypnobirthing techniques because I haven't got a chance to practice them yet, but I think it's worth trying since it sounds so logical and science-based.
"Never lose sight of the main aim of the game: to be relaxed. How you get there doesn't really matter."
"A positive birth, which is something we all strive for, is a birth experience that leaves a woman feeling empowered rather than traumatised, where the mother's wishes are respected, she is listened to and feels calm, confident, and informed. Water birth, caesarean birth, whatever—it's not a particular type of birth."
In this review, I'd like to share the contents of this book to give an idea to those who are interested in reading it as well. At the start, Siobhan Miller explains the science behind hypnobirthing, how the body works, and why it's so important for mothers to be relaxed. This first chapter describes how the uterus needs blood and oxygen for the muscles to work effectively. I also learned the importance of one of the happy hormones, oxytocin, during labor and birth. I think it is essential to understand how the system works because being frightened about the birthing process proves to be unhelpful. I especially love how the author constantly reminds us that what we see on TV or in movies doesn't represent a real birth experience—because that's what most of us imagine how it would be.

In the second chapter, Siobhan Miller begins to share the toolkit that includes: two breathing techniques, visualizations, light-touch massage, guided relaxations, positive affirmations, and the art of creating shortcuts to achieve relaxation. I like the breathing techniques and visualizations best so far and want to try doing them to help me relax through the different stages of labor. These techniques are supposed to help mothers relax and release any tension experienced during labor and delivery—allowing the body to do what it's naturally meant to. Aside from that, the author also provides a list of positive affirmations that can be read by birth partners to empower and encourage birthing mothers. I love how readers can freely choose the techniques they want to practice according to their personal preferences and which one feels most effective. I also find the various testimonies about birth experiences shared in this book very inspiring because each person birthed their babies in different circumstances and they all had a positive birth experience with the help of hypnobirthing.
"Remember, the mechanics of how your baby enters the world matter little long-term in comparison to how you felt when your baby came into the world." 
"In fact, when it comes to pregnancy, birth and parenting, a good rule of thumb is: never miss an opportunity to sleep. Once your baby is here you will come to appreciate every moment of sleep. Sleep is so important for your well-being."
Reading this book made me feel amazed by what our bodies can do and empowered by the knowledge that we can have a positive instead of a traumatic birth experience. There are other chapters that I didn't elaborate on in this review that includes helpful guidelines for decision making, explanation about induction, how to practice hypnobirthing during a cesarean birth, and even a complete packing list for a birth bag—information that is good to know for when it's needed. Overall, Siobhan Miller has successfully changed my perspective on the negative narrative around birth that I've heard from other people or seen on TV. The advice that she gives in this book is indeed practical and I appreciate how she break things down in detail, explaining the specific role of each person involved in the birth process. I'm currently a few weeks away from my due date and hopefully, I will have a positive birth experience by practicing the techniques I learned in this book 😊.
"And then, from that point onwards, whether it's your first baby or your fourth, your life changes forever as you embark on the journey of raising this small person. A journey that no doubt will test you at points, but one that will also give you the highest of highs as you experience more love and joy than you ever thought possible."
"Best of all, I hope you are excited to meet your baby and start your journey in the best way possible: calmly, confidently, happily, and full of love."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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