Photo by The Day Book Blog
Birth hypnosis sounds a little new age and strange, but we live in a society where childbirth is an event to be feared. It is wrought with deep concern about danger and pain. This view is perpetuated by sensational news stories and TV shows; it’s shared and gossiped about at baby showers and playdates. Labor and birth is largely viewed as a process to be managed and timed, monitored and moved along by those deemed to have the credentials to do so. In an effort to feel more informed about labor and birth, many women turn to childbirth classes to help them through this scary, unknown rite of passage.
A Variety of Choices for Childbirth Preparation
Childbirth education courses run the gamut in “preparing” women and their partners for labor and birth. Many hospitals have courses that focus on informing patients on what to expect when having a baby at their facilities, and includes information about how the birth process will be managed by staff and with pain medication. Other types of classes focus on empowering women and include information about the physiology of the birth process, education about the risks and benefits of common practices in labor and birth, and physical and mental methods for managing fear and pain.
Over time, a variety of childbirth philosophies have developed, so women can seek out classes and information that closely match their personal preferences and beliefs. While the vast majority of childbirth education methods teach women to embrace or numb pain during labor, there is a technique that is growing in popularity, one that will serve women and their families long after childbirth.
Hypnobabies – A Different Approach to Childbirth Education
Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth education course that is offered in a classroom setting by certified instructors, or through a self-study course. During the six-week course, students learn about staying healthy during pregnancy, changes in the body during pregnancy and labor, choices about medical procedures and medications, creating a birth plan, early days with baby, and more. What sets Hypnobabies apart from any other childbirth method, however, is how it mentally prepares mothers for birth.
Self-Hypnosis for Childbirth
Hypnobabies’ approach aims to do two things. First, it teaches women to use self-hypnosis techniques to deeply relax them during labor and birth. The type of birth hypnosis that women will practice is called hypno-anesthesia. Students learn to enter a state of hypnosis once contractions begin. During contractions, students turn on their hypno-anesthesia, a deep place of hypnosis where they look as though they might be sleeping, and their minds are trained to register sensations only as pressure rather than pain. In between contractions, students remain in hypnosis, but they are awake, can talk with others, and they can move freely to help baby move into an optimal position for birth.
Enjoy Your Baby’s Birth, in Comfort, Joy and Love
The second aim is that through dedicated hypnosis practice, during the course and up until the time the baby is born, women (and their birth partners) retrain their minds to override the beliefs and fears about birth that have been perpetuated over their lifetime. Birth hypnosis is a way through which new, positive thoughts about birth are introduced to and reinforced within the subconscious mind. Combined with the conscious avoidance of negative birth stories and the use of new vocabulary to replace the typical lingo used to describe pregnancy, labor and birth, the Hypnobabies method instills confidence in women and helps them have unmedicated, joyful and, dare we say, pain-free births. And while an unmedicated, pain-free birth is not a guaranteed outcome and is not always the case for Hypnobabies students, there are many who do have such positive experiences.
It may seem unbelievable that women could experience childbirth without fear and with little discomfort. Hypnobabies moms have peaceful, satisfying births at hospitals, in birth centers, and at home. The course also helps to prepare birth partners to learn how to support moms through their birthing time (Hypnobabies’ term for “labor”), though women are able to learn and use their self-hypnosis techniques on their own. Through Hypnobabies’ thorough study materials, students are informed about the choices that are available to them and can make decisions that are right for them and their babies, no matter what curves are thrown their way. And whether Hypnobabies students take a live class or do the self-study course, they have immediate and continuous access to a worldwide network of current and past students as well as certified Hypnobabies instructors, via social media and private forums.
Learn More about Hypnobabies
Information about Hypnobabies, live classes and the home-study course can be found on its website. You can see what people are saying about Hypnobabies on its Facebook page, and many wonderful stories and links are shared on its Twitter stream.
If you want some information on birthing at home, check out our article here.