Is Hypnobirthing for me?

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HypnoBirthing

Have you heard of the benefits of hypnobirthing? 

Hypnobirthing is the safest and most easily accessible comfort measure you can use in labor. It’s proven to shorten labor (ask 2 of our members Cassandara and Sarah) and to alter the way you perceive the sensations of labor. 

Hypnosis is a 100% safe natural alternative to drugs and allows you to work with your subconscious mind to achieve an anaesthetic effect. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. 

Fear determines how much pain you will experience. This might sounds too simple but fear and anxiety trigger your  body’s “fight or flight” response and flood your body with adrenaline. This causes your uterine muscles to go into spasm and the cervix to tighten instead of soften and open. Its the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve 

 The greater the fear the more intense the muscular reaction and the harder the uterus must work to force the cervix open during labour.  This results in “true pain” – the type you see in Hollywood movies. 

This fear-tension-pain cycle can be broken at any point.  Medicinal anaesthesia and analgesics break the cycle at the point of pain. 

Hypnobirthing techniques break the cycle at the fear-tension point, before the body experiences pain.

 Hypnosis can help you relax and accept your contractions, minimizing tension in the body and allowing the birthing muscles to work in harmony while encouraging the flow of oxytocin and endorphins, your body’s own anaesthetic which is 10x more powerful than morphine. 

 

A hypnotic trance involves an altered state of awareness in which you concentrate so intensely that your subconscious mind becomes highly responsive to suggestion and you are able to tune out distractions.  In this state of highly focused concentration, you can use the power of your mind to alter your perception of pain.  

With hypnobirthing you will experience the sensations of labour but you won’t interpret them as pain.

Hypnobirthing involves training in relaxation, anxiety reduction, deep breathing and the use of imagery and psychological suggestion to cope with pain.  It feels a lot like daydreaming, you are awake and fully aware of your surroundings but you are able to screen out and disregard outside noises and other distractions.  

We have all been hypnotized thousands of times without knowing it.  When the ocean waves lull us into a dreamlike state of mind, when staring at the monotonous white line down the center of the highway causes our eyes to feel heavy, or when we get so wrapped up in a novel or movie that we lose track of time and cannot hear the sounds around us – these are all situations that involve the induction of a trancelike, hypnotic state.  During hypnosis the mind is focused to the point that it screens out ideas and stimuli in the world around us.  

We often close our eyes to hear a piece of music more acutely; we do this to focus on what we are hearing.  We are more alert than we would be if we were doing more than one thing at once.  

The induction of a trance state is part of human nature – mothers instinctively rock their babies back and forth and pat them on the back to soothe them and induce an almost hypnotic state of calm.

For hypnosis to be successful, you must believe in the process and your goal.  If you believe in the power of hypnosis, it will work for you.

No matter what kind of birth experience you have, your training in hypnosis may help you to experience the following:-

  • Most people are capable of achieving hypnotic anesthesia, if they are willing and able to work at it.
  • Minimize your need for medical pain relief medication or epidural.
  • Relaxation and reduced anxiety.
  • Speedier recovery.
  • A shortened first stage of labour by approximately three to four hours even for first time moms.
  • A raised resistance to fatigue during labour, thus minimizing maternal exhaustion.
  • Feeling strong and confident. 

 

Most of labour is spent opening the cervix – if you have a textbook fourteen-hour labour the only thing that happens for about twelve of those hours is that the cervix is opening.  At the most basic level, labour involves your uterine muscles involuntarily contracting and relaxing.  Your labor will be shorter and more manageable if you are able to stay calm, comfortable and relaxed. This is possible using hypnobirthing techniques that you have practiced throughout pregnancy. 

Birth can be joyful if you have confidence in yourself and your instincts.

While this basic idea has been around for centuries, the specific term was coined in the 1989 book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life written by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan. Her ideas are influenced by early “natural birth” proponents Dr. Jonathan Dye and Dr. Grantly Dick-Read.

In 1955 the British Medical Association approved hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment and an effective form of pain control during childbirth.  The American Medical Association followed suit in 1958 concluding that the use of hypnosis has a recognized place in the medical armamentarium.  

 

How HypnoBirthing works

With HypnoBirthing one is able to truly empty one’s mind and breathe your way into birthing your baby. It allows your body to relax to the point where any pain is dimmed out. And feel your body respond how it is meant to.

Again, relaxation is the name of the game with HypnoBirthing. But during all the potential chaos of contractions, how can you possibly get into a Zen-like state? Well, there are various techniques to try, like controlled breathing.

Controlled breathing

HypnoBirthing teaches various breathing techniques to help trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and keep you out of the fear-tension-pain cycle. You will be prompted to practice daily so that its instinctive when you go into labor. 

A focus on positive thoughts and words

Focusing on positive thoughts and words is another useful technique. You will learn different words to describe what is happening and what you are feeling and find affirmations that resonate with the birth that you desire. 

Guided visualization

You will have several guided visualisations to listen to during pregnancy. Each one takes you on a different journey in your mind, fast forwarding to the moment when you are in labor and effectively creating a blueprint for how your labor will unfold. Your mind cannot distinguish between imagination and reality so each time you do the visualisations you are prepping your mind and body for the real thing. By the time you go into labor you have done it so many times in your mind that it feels comfortable and you know you have the techniques to manage the intensity. Your body responds by releasing oxytocin and endorphins that allow your labor to progress smoothly. You may:

  • be fully aware of what’s happening to you and able to come and go out of hypnosis as you please
  • become more relaxed, keeping your body out of the fight-or-flight mode that can be induced by the unfamiliar environment of a birth room
  • be more able to manage pain and stress hormones by the release of endorphins

By controlling pain and stress hormones, the body may let go and submit fully to the task ahead.

At the Due Date Club we are offering a course on Hypnobirthing

The next hypnobirthing workshop starts on 28th March.

  • Its a 6 week interactive workshop with ongoing access to course material and updates. 
  •  Practice sessions with your partner are highly encouraged and there will be weekly home practice exercises. 
  • Some of the video lessons will be specifically for partners to learn the support techniques. 
  • Each week you will get audio downloads with a recommended listening schedule. 
  • Each week  there will be a live Q and A session. 
  • Includes a creative workshop based on the book “Birthing Within” using birth art and journalling to facilitate your Birth Vision Board 
  • Includes a powerful Fear Release process. 

The hypnobirthing workshop is included for all Gold Member. More information and course details here

 

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