Melbourne mum Ashleigh Alsadie was determined to have a calm birth with her second child and it couldn't have gone more to plan.
After a positive birth experience with her now two-year-old daughter Nahla, she wanted to make sure her second birth would also be a joyful time.
"My birth with Nahla was a positive one and I wanted to make sure my next was just as good, if not better," Ashleigh told Essential Baby.
She turned to hypnobirthing to help her remain calm during the birth of her second child Amira.
"My journey with hypnobirthing began because I had a belief that women were born and made to bring their babies into this world in a relaxed and calm state, despite what society reinforces to us," she said.
"There is no way I would have been able to experience such an empowering birth for Amira without it."
On September 11, Ashleigh and her husband Samer Alsadie went to the Royal Women's Hospital when she started having contractions 10 minutes apart, one day over her due date.
"We went to the hospital and I was looked at, but in normal practice we were told to go home, to relax and enjoy the ride until active labour," she said. "But what followed was a 26 hour early labour and I had strong, intense contractions (or 'surges' as they are called in hypnobirthing) every 10 minutes.
"Each surge I would breathe through and stay calm and focused and Samer was awesome in using some acupuncture techniques on my back to relieve the pain."
When the surges started getting really intense and only minutes apart, the couple made their way to the hospital, again.
"Thankfully, we booked a hotel directly opposite the hospital. I now know if we hadn't, I would have birthed Amira in the car!" she said.
They were taken to a birthing suite and told to wait until her water broke, which happened almost immediately.
"My husband and I were on our own when I suddenly turned around on the bed (I gave birth on all fours), and told him I felt the urge to push," she said.
"He watched my water break, and then whilst I started pushing, mid-wives rushed back into the room. They were there to witness the last four or five pushes which brought Amira into the world. My whole focus from there were things such as a flower blooming and simpley breathing and letting go."
"We entered the birthing suite at 12.05am (September 13) and Amira joined us at 12.34am and I had felt and experienced every moment of it which was so important to me."
The whole experience was life-changing.
"Euphoric, empowered, overjoyed, elated (to finally meet my little one)… there are so many ways to describe it," she said.
"To be honest, thinking back, I find it quite hard to put it into words, but overall it was a life-changing experience."
Ashleigh began hypnobirthing classes with hypnobirthing and childbirth educator Ashleigh Peacock at 30 weeks pregnant.
She used techniques such as breathing and visualisation to help remain calm throughout the later stages of her pregnancy and the birth.
"I believe in the power of mastering your mindset and what it could help you achieve, so I had heard of hypnobirthing and was always curious about it." Ashleigh said.
"Hypnobirthing is essentially a natural form of pain management. If you can put the techniques into practice, it means not having to have any medications with potential side effects for you or your baby.
"It can provide comfort, relaxation, and relief during labor (and it certainly did for me), and it also decreases stress and fear during childbirth. There are so many positives and I couldn't rave about it more."