A Book Review By Melinda Evans
“Hypnobirthing – The Mongan Method” by Marie F. Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy. is available as both a paperback version and also an audiobook. I chose the audio book option however I have chosen to also purchase a hard copy of the book as I feel it will be a valuable resource to keep and refer back to for the duration of my career in birth work. I also really love to get the highlighter and sticky notes out and “go to town” taking notes and highlighting all the really good parts that I will most likely reference in my own work down the track.
On completion of this audiobook, the first thoughts that came to mind were around my own personal journey into motherhood. I gracefully met myself with acknowledgement of just how unaware and fearful I personally was leading up to the birth of my own three children. And also, how I just simply took the advice of the medical experts without searching for information or answers of my own. There was also the realisation that I most certainly was not in tune with my own intuition at this part of my life. I had heard stories of painful births and loved ones would say things to me like “Don’t you know how many women used to die in childbirth before epidurals?” This embedded the idea in me that I should be fearful at this time in my life as it was dangerous, and I needed to be in a controlled environment in order to protect myself and my baby. You only know what you know, right?!
Other thoughts that arose were around just how much fear was placed upon the birthing mother from conception. This fear came from a variety of external sources including but not limited to, medical professionals, friends, and family. Even complete strangers you pass down the street! People telling you their horror stories of birth and reminding you of all the things that could go wrong instead of empowering you to believe you are stepping into a beautiful new part of life. A part of life that, yes was new and unknown, however it didn’t need to be frightening. It didn’t need to be a disconnected experience. I even came to realise that I too had been a part of this narrative prior to knowing any better. I too had shared my experiences with other women. I too had made unnecessary suggestions toward them. I too had filled them with unnecessary knowledge and likely completely unsolicited advice! All of course, from a place of just wanting to help and thinking I was doing the right thing!
I will be recommending this book to all the new mothers and recurring mothers I come into contact with, especially those wanting to not just create a completely “natural” birth, but those who are just wanting to create a birthing experience where they feel they are in the driver’s seat of that experience. After all, it’s never too late to do something different. Even if the first, second, third or fourth pregnancy were all “by western medicine standards”, there is nothing stopping the fifth, sixth or seventh pregnancy from being the soulful, intuitive, instinctual pregnancy and birth that you desire to create. Mongan brings to the light these “western medicine standards” for us to become aware of. From this place of awareness of what is, and also what is available to us, we can make a decision of what feels best to us to support ourselves and our baby through pregnancy and birth. I can very much relate to ideas of birthing in a hospital that were spoken about in the book. To me, everything felt very disconnected and impersonal, rigid and clinical. I did not feel loved, supported nor encouraged to listen to my own needs. I was told when and where to do things instead of allowing the process to naturally unfold. I was encouraged to choose pain relief and methods of intervention as a means to “protect my babies”. I most definitely did not feel relaxed or free to move around. Instead I was given pockets of time that I could move around and then I needed to lay back down and rest so the baby and I could be monitored.
Before coming to work in the pregnancy and birthing space, I have spent years working in the healing space with adults. This has been a challenging and rewarding career diving deep into psychology, sociology, physiology and all things human behaviour to try and understand and help explain to my clients, why we have certain behaviours, mindset blocks, etc. and how to move past them. This book has given me such a profound insight into the integral part that birth itself plays in shaping us as human beings. I truly believe that we can change many problems of the world by being more conscious beings right from the onset of conceiving a baby through to birthing our babies and beyond. The power of education, breathing, deepening, relaxation, visualisation, and affirmations is truly astounding. As is a woman’s ability to listen to and trust in her own intuition and her physical and mental ability to perform one of the most powerful and natural acts of human design with very little need for interventions. I was very much inspired by this book to create short videos and a free intro to childbirth workshop to help inspire and educate women how to be more mindful and self-aware before conception, during pregnancy, during birth and postpartum. Videos that will have them eating more healthily, reducing stress, reducing fear and drowning out the fear-based campaigns that are drummed into us from conception. This program is designed to have them connecting more with themselves and their babies and encouraging them to live more in line with their natural power and divine abilities and intuition.
Have you read this book already?
I’d love to hear what you thought.
My name is Melinda Leigh Evans, and I am a qualified doula who has trained at the Doula Training Academy. I am based in Toowoomba, QLD and if you would like more information about my doula services, please contact me:
0400 140 983