Haptonomic pregnancy guidance; pregnant with feeling

Nowadays there are many options to prepare for your birth. Consider a ‘childbirth together’ course, hypnobirthing, pregnancy swimming or pregnancy yoga. A form of guidance in which you learn to trust your feelings and get to know the baby in your belly in advance is haptonomic pregnancy guidance or pregnancy haptonomy.

What is haptonomy?

Haptonomy literally means: learn from feeling. Feeling has everything to do with how you connect with yourself, with others and with your environment. Many people these days have lost touch with their feelings. They live mainly in their heads, think a lot, but feel little. This way you quickly lose feeling for your body and therefore the feeling for yourself. Admittedly, it may sound a bit vague; pregnant with feeling, making contact with your body and your unborn baby, but I can report from my own experience that I have not experienced anything as concrete as haptonomy.

Haptonomy in pregnancy

Haptonomy allows you to reconnect with your body through touch, which always responds to touch. The goal is for you to regain the balance between feeling, thinking and doing. With regard to pregnancy and childbirth, you can benefit greatly from haptonomic pregnancy guidance. This way you learn how to relax and give the child in your belly more space. For example, if you have stomach problems, this may be because your position forces your baby to lie at the top of your stomach, which puts pressure on your stomach area. You will also learn how to best stand or sit to minimize back problems, for example. You notice that through the exercises you learn to relax completely. Your partner can help you with this, for example before going to sleep or if you suffer from complaints such as hard stomachs.

Contact with your child

The guidance is very personal, you do not work in a group, but only with your partner, the supervisor and the baby in your belly.
You can start guidance around the twentieth week of pregnancy. One of the goals of the guidance is that you learn to make contact with your child. It is wonderful to experience how the child comes to your hands or those of your partner at your invitation. This way you get to know each other a little and you give your baby the feeling that it is welcome and that it is safe with you as a parent couple. This is already an important step in the bonding process.

Committed partner

You will also learn how to prepare for the birth together to make it as natural as possible. Your partner also really gets the feeling that they are involved, so that they don’t look on helplessly like an outsider and occasionally put a wet washcloth on your forehead. You will be given techniques with which you can endure the birth together and your partner will play an active role in helping you relax so that you maintain contact with your body and he will also support you in assuming the various birthing positions that you have learned together. .

Absorbing contractions and dealing with pain

The techniques you learn to deal with the contractions as relaxed as possible help to promote dilation. The more resistance you offer, the slower the unlocking phase will proceed and that is not the intention. You will also learn how to best deal with the pain. Again, the more you resist, the more pain you will experience. During the guidance, the haptonomone will teach you to move towards the pain. You can experience this by, for example, squeezing your thighs. Surrender to it, the more endorphins (natural painkillers) your body produces.

Relaxed and natural

With the help of haptonomy you will see that the birth is really yours together, you know better what you do and do not want and you can experience the contractions and pushing phase in your own way, even if you are forced to give birth in the hospital or not. There is increasing understanding for this method of giving birth among midwives and maternity care. Experience shows that deliveries with haptonomic techniques are much calmer, more relaxed and more natural.

Press with confidence

You will be given a number of positions for pressing. You will only experience at the supreme moment which posture suits you best, but then you will at least have them at hand. Your partner will also support you as much as possible, so that you never get the feeling that you are alone. Your baby also plays a role in everything. During the guidance you also learn to keep in touch with your baby during the birth, so that you can really experience it with the three of you. This way you can approach the birth with confidence.

Back with the three of us

About six weeks after the birth you will return to the practice, but this time together with your baby. The supervisor asks how things are going, how you experienced the birth and how the little one is doing. If your baby is not feeling well, the haptonomist will see what he or she can do about it. Maybe your baby is crying, suffering from colic, or sleeping poorly? The haptonomist can then help the baby relax through touch, for example massage, and will give you tips on how to do this at home. This return session concludes the guidance.

Costs and reimbursement

The costs are between sixty and eighty euros per session. If the therapist is affiliated with the VBAG (Association for the Promotion of Alternative Medicine), the costs are (largely) reimbursed by all health insurers. However, there must be an additional package. Contact your health insurer for more information.

Haptonomic pregnancy guidance is especially recommended for people who are anxious about childbirth, afraid of losing control. Together with your partner, you prepare for the most natural, relaxed birth possible and for your future parenthood.