Creating relaxation anchors for your birth experience

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Esther Jones has been a Hypnobirthing practitioner working with women and couples since 2007.

In this post, Esther will explain anchors.

An anchor is something that automatically makes us feel calm and relaxed.

By incorporating these anchors into your birth preparation, you will have extra tools you can easily use during the birth itself.

She will explore different types of anchors and how your partner can also use touch and their voice as relaxation anchors.

First, let’s focus on four types of anchors that you can easily create in your home and your birthing space. 



Powerful reminders for your body and mind to relax...

Ideally, set up a space with these anchors where you can spend 15 to 20 minutes a day practising your breathing and connecting with your baby. Remember that in order for these things to become anchors, you need to practise with them as much as possible - then they’ll become powerful reminders for your body and mind to relax and let go.

Let’s start with music

Studies show that music helps reduce anxiety in labour.

But, it’s really important to choose the right music.

You may find that your favourite tunes are okay for early labour but, if they have a fast or changing tempo or lyrics that bring back memories and associations, they may well become very distracting.

Much better is something soft and relaxing that you’re able to zone out to.

Music specifically designed to accompany meditation can be a really good choice.

Trying out different pieces of music during your breathing and relaxation practice will give you an idea of whether it will work for you during labour.

Once you’ve made your choice, by practising your breathing and relaxation techniques to this music, you’ll be conditioning yourself to relax deeply to it.

….When I was pregnant with my second son, I used a specific piece of music during to practise my breathing and relax to, and I listened to it over and over during the birth. For many years after, whenever I listened to that piece of music, I could feel my body just automatically let go and relax. So, I can really vouch for this one….


Second, we have visualisations

Check out my video on visualisations if you haven’t already seen it.

Some examples of visualisations you might be using during birth could be:

  • the waves at the shore of an ocean
  • the rising sun
  • or just a calm place in nature  

Whatever images you choose, you can find photos or pictures of them near you in your practice space.

Look at them before closing your eyes and really bring them alive in your mind.


Your breath between surges

Wonderful. So this is your breath between surges making sure that when the surge comes, it is greeted by a relaxed and confident mind and a relaxed and confident body.


Favourite objects

Any object that makes you feel relaxed and safe, and that you can take easily to your chosen birth place can be a great companion for your practice sessions.

It could be a cosy blanket, a favourite cushion – something that feels comfortable and reassuring to hold.


And, finally, aromatherapy

And, finally, aromatherapy
The sense of smell is strongly tied to both memory and emotional response, and there’s lots of evidence that aromatherapy is helpful during labour for reducing anxiety and creating a sense of calm.

Many hospitals now have diffusers in their birthing rooms for using essential oils and you can also use essential oils as part of a massage blend. 

However, oils that have been shown to be effective in labour include lavender, jasmine, clary sage, citrus blossom, and ginger.

It’s really important that you know how you respond to different oils before choosing one in particular, so again, take your time to explore what’s right for you, before incorporating it into your daily practice.

Watch the video

Listen to this post LIVE with Esther!

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