Hypnobirthing has grown in popularity as some well known Royals and famous faces have openly talked about it’s virtues and their experiences with it. The foundation of HypnoBirthing is its aim to help any woman deal with her fear or anxiety surrounding birth. It involves various relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help relax the body before and during labour and the birth itself. Women are amazing and our bodies are designed to make birth as easy and painfree as possible, Hypnobirthing lets you access this ability that is in our female DNA.
What is Hypnobirthing?
It’s all about relaxing our bodies and becoming comfortable with the idea of being pregnant. Ultimately backing up this comfort is allowing ourselves to fall asleep. With hypnosis depending largely on the reality of your experience, the hypnosis also depends on the scenario that reflects your experience and setting you have been in. In a variety of ways, hypnosis can be used to manage or relieve a wide range of anxiety including fear of pregnancy. Many women encourage their friends and even family members to try hypnosis as they find it beneficial in freeing up their anxieties around pregnancy. Other women use it as an increasing means of coping with the normal level of stress that comes with the state of being pregnant. Others developing hypnosis because they want to master a language or achieve some artistic goal. Joan Collins (2013) from The Atlantic goes on to characterize hypnosis, a process of creating altered or altered states through the use of a suggestion. We scientists have found that those who rely on hypnosis have better quality of life. There is a range of tools you can use to influence the point of encephalization, one of which is hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is a hypnotic technique used to regulate thought processes, emotions, and behavior (see White 1987). While not scientifically proven to be a separate form of birth control, enough research has found it to have its place in hypnosis. In its simplest form, hypnosis can be defined as a suggestion or command to arouse or regulate a person’s mental state (Oster 2010). Anyone can hypnotize themselves something like telling yourself not to think about tomorrow, or doing any amount of fancy dance moves to relax. The ability to hypnotize oneself has been disputed as the technique is highly unlikely to work if the subject has not practiced the skill over a period of time (see Oster 2010). Of course, this is assuming you’re actually into hypnosis! Try it out. How does it work? One key difference to the use of birth control is that short, focused bursts of activities around orgasm can regulate the activity in the brain. During orgasm a woman produces a hormone that mimics progesterone and putting attention on this hormone or hormone related events is one way to reduce anxiety. Falling asleep for long periods of time or staying awake or actively awake can upset our circadian rhythm, which can have more of a negative impact on a woman’s ability to focus on childbirth like the reverberate hormones of orgasms (see Bodenhausen 2011).
How Hypnobirthing can help mother and baby
— No pain, No medical intervention and no waiting — — HypnoBirthing helps women with just that. If a service can help you with tiredness and anxiety whether before or during pregnancy, and birth, then why wouldn’t you try it?
Listen to your body — it is the most basic of information and has the most to say. — JK Rowling
When a woman goes into labour and she experiences intense contractions that last for minutes, she isn’t thinking “I wonder if there is a chance we might fall pregnant yet,” she is thinking “I wish my Mother was here to give me a hand.”
You can get a break in labour from your favourite podcasts, films or music to listen to while you put your labour into your body. Maybe you can see your favourite comedians perform during at your local cinema, or you can listen to a relaxing hypnosis story on Spotify or Apple Music. Sometimes watching movies is easier than listening to them as my husband struggled to sleep during the first 15 weeks of our daughter’s life simply because he was hoping for an encore.
Listen to the beginning and end of each episode, truly looking at the whole episode. Sometimes for example their shows can get confusing as the episodes cover so many different topics including:
Take a breather
Do you get distracted mid labour? Do you find it hard to remember or follow what they are saying? From doing the audio version myself I found that it helped to take a break. It sounded like a breeze when I was doing it on my own in bed, but a break gives you the opportunity to think and re-sync your mind only to go right back to reading while you relax.
We were often told to breathe during labour. Have you ever seen a subtle acting scene where it seemed like they were giving us cues for when to breathe?
An act you do between takes in a great theatre production is called a chord. Chord break the fort during a song and let the singer or musician notice when they need us to blow. A cheer or a cry might indicate to turn up the volume to 11, release the air during the words and give us that extra oomph for the actors success.
Hypnobirthing frequently asked questions
I am an experienced hypnoBirthing practitioner and it is a natural partner to me being an independent midwife. It fuels my creativity by allowing me to express myself and supports my clients in achieving the best possible birth experience. It helps me to support parents in their experience of childbirth and works well for first time mothers and those who have several children already but want a more natural route into labour and giving birth.
If it’s time for you to attempt your first hypno-birthing session! Remember, it is a completely natural process. ‘Consider this before you embark on a session: the intensity and relaxation needed in that first, first minute of being instructed in the technique could very well set you back days or weeks depending on where you get your dog.’
Here is more information on the basics of HypnoBirthing from the website of the International Association for Hypnobirthing.
‘While the suggestion has been that the bedroom and the womb are separate — in fact, they are one — you may find that a crawling sensation on the lowest level is actually the beginning of the birth process. You may also find that you can focus on the birth experience with greater ease and greater focus. And finally, after practice, you may notice that you are able to find more pleasure, more nourishment and more pleasure. Aside from the breathing and the visualization, the sole objective of Hypnobirthing is to help increase the woman’s awareness of the broad range of sensations which will occur during and after the birth.