Hypnobirthing is a term used in the hypnotherapy and medical professions for the use of hypnosis or hypnotherapy in childbirth. Recently there has been a lot of publicity around Hypnobirthing, with several celebrities reporting having had fantastic experiences of childbirth while using the technique. In fact there is evidence that women were ‘Hypnobirthing’ at least as far back as ancient Egyptian times!
So what is a Hypnobirth? Put simply, it’s a method of using hypnosis to remain calm, relaxed and in control during childbirth. You won’t be asleep or in a trance, you’ll be able to chat, move about, do what you your body need to do to safely deliver your child into the world. You’ll be fully aware of everything going on around you.
As medicine has developed over the centuries, childbirth has become very ‘medicalised’, yet giving birth is natural, the female body has been designed to do just that, your body knows what to do! At this point, it should be noted, that sometimes medical intervention is absolutely necessary, no Hypnotherapist would ever suggest otherwise. However, when a mother stays calm and relaxed, the need for medical intervention is greatly reduced.
How Does Hypnobirthing Work?
Our bodies are amazing things, they way they function couldn’t have been invented even by the cleverest scientists! Many things about the way we function have developed as we evolved, but we still have some very primitive reactions to situations. When we are scared, anxious and stressed, our bodies go into Freeze, Flight or Fight mode. First we freeze, this was useful when we needed to hide from a rampaging mammoth and hope it didn’t see us. If he had spotted us, we would need to either fight or run away - flight. To help us to do this, our bodies have the amazing ability to shut down all the organs we don’t need for fighting or fleeing, our digestion system, reproductive systems and so on. All the energy and power goes into our arms and legs, the parts of our bodies we need to fight or run. Our bodies still do this. Hopefully you will not be encountering any rampaging mammoths, but we do still react to fear, anxiety and stress in the same way.
When a mother is about to give birth, the least useful parts of her body are her arms and legs, if she is scared and anxious, they are the parts with the power - not much help really!
By learning the techniques of Hypnobirthing, the mother AND her birth partner can learn to remain calm, relaxed and in control, and so keeping the functions and power in the organs needed to deliver your baby safely. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Babies born using hypnosis tend to be calmer, feed better, sleep better, and experience less trauma, because they are gently breathed into the world at their own pace. Scientific research has also shown that the babies usually have higher Apgar scores too. ( This is a measurement of how alert babies are immediately after birth and then 5 minutes later).
If you or someone you know is pregnant, then why not Hypnobirth when the time comes to meet your baby? The program consists of three, 2 hour sessions, usually at 30, 32, and 34 weeks, (although these dates are flexible). At the sessions you’ll learn:
Breathing techniques that actually assist the birthing muscles to dilate your cervix ( and it is not the panting that most people think that they have to do. Think about it why would you want to hyperventilate during labour?)
How to reduce the need for any medication at all.
How to reduce your risk of perineal trauma during the birth with a massage technique.
How to be confident and informed when dealing with the medical staff, when to question, what to ask, and when it is time to let then take over.
How to release any fears you might have about childbirth, regardless of where they have come from.
How to bring about your own easy start of labour with simple, natural techniques, if you go beyond your 'estimated due date'.
Most importantly, you'll know how to relax and stay calm and in control, regardless of what is going on around you. Hypnobirth is designed as a structured but informal class, that teaches about the physical and emotional aspects of birth. You will learn why your body does what it does, as well as how.
I can’t promise you a pain free birth - no one can - but I can promise you a much, much, more comfortable and relaxed birth than you would have had otherwise.
Like to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you, or to book an appointment at my Bournemouth Hypnotherapy practice, contact: www.lindsayshepherdhypnotherapy.co.uk or call 01202 511096