Hypnobirthing and similar methods were reportedly used by celebrities from Jessica Alba to Kate Middleton to brace for labor and childbirth, relieve feelings of anxiety, and even handle pain naturally.
Is it possible to be hypnotized when giving birth? Yes, of course. But, it’s not exactly what you would expect. It’s not just as easy as being really sleepy one minute and then having your baby the next.
Let’s take a more detailed look at this approach and its advantages.
Table of Contents
- About HypnoBirthing
- How HypnoBirthing works?
- Controlled breathing
- A focus on positive words and thoughts
- Guided visualization
- Various HypnoBirthing-like procedures
- Advantages of HypnoBirthing
Hypnosis is described as “a technique in which individual experiences suggested changes in sensation, perception, thinking, or actions.” HypnoBirthing is a marketed form of hypnosis used during the birthing phase.
Though the concept has been around for decades, the word was coined in 1989 by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan in her book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life. Dr. Jonathan Dye and Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, early advocates of “normal birth,” inspired her ideas.
HypnoBirthing’s primary goal is to help a woman overcome any fears or anxieties about giving birth. It uses a variety of relaxation and self-hypnosis strategies to help the body relax prior to and during labor as well as delivery.
The theory is that when the body and mind are fully relaxed, birth will occur more easily and painlessly because the body is not resisting the natural process.
How HypnoBirthing works?
Iradis Jordan, who chose HypnoBirthing for her baby’s birth, says, “With HypnoBirthing, I was able to completely clear my mind and breathe my way into birthing our baby.” “It made my body calm to the point that all discomfort faded away. “I felt my body react in the way it was supposed to.”
With HypnoBirthing, relaxation is the name of the game once again. But how do you achieve a Zen-like state amid all the possible instability of contractions? There are several methods to try, and they include:
Two of these breathing methods are shared by the HypnoBirthing Midwife. You inhale and exhale deeply through your nose in the first. Inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of seven.
The second method is somewhat similar to the first. You repeat the deep-breathing pattern but lengthen the inhale to seven counts and hold the exhale to seven counts.
Breathing in this manner is said to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in a calming effect.
A focus on positive words and thoughts
Another helpful approach is to concentrate on constructive thinking and vocabulary. Instead of using the word “contraction” to describe the tightenings that occur during labor, you could use the words “surge” or “wave.” Another example is substituting the word “release” for “rupture” of the membranes.
Other relaxation methods include guided visualization, in which you imagine something like a flower opening to help calm your body, as well as music and meditation.
It is hoped that you would give birth in a condition similar to daydreaming by using these strategies.
You have the option to:
- be fully aware of what’s going on around you and able to enter and exit hypnosis as you so wish
- become more comfortable, keeping your body out of the fight-or-flight mode that the unacquainted environment of a birth room can induce
- You will be able to better control pain and stress hormones by releasing endorphins
Controlling pain and stress hormones allows the body to relax and focus on the job at hand.
Various HypnoBirthing-like procedures
The Mongan Method is another name for HypnoBirthing. It’s known as the “initial” system, and it entails five two-and-a-half-hour classes for a total of 12 hours of training. There are many accredited HypnoBirthing teachers around the world.
This approach’s fundamental principle is that if the body is comfortable, extreme pain does not have to be a part of labor. Self-hypnosis and calming methods, such as directed visualization and breathing, are taught to participants.
Another way of using hypnosis during the delivery phase is hypnobabies. It’s focused on the Painless Childbirth Program developed by Gerald Kein, a master hypnotherapist.
Although this approach is similar to HypnoBirthing, it has a few key differences. Rather than focusing on basic coping methods, it relies on practical tactics to deal with pain.
Hypnotic compounding (repetition) and other “medical grade” somnambulistic (sleepwalking) hypnosis methods are examples of these strategies.
This course is also a little longer, with six three-hour classes totaling 18 hours of instruction.
Advantages of HypnoBirthing
Danielle Borsato, a mother who chose this delivery form, says, “I found the HypnoBirth[ing] program to be a very positive experience.”
“HypnoBirthing has taught me to trust my body and breathe my baby down with just a hot shower to assist me.”
HypnoBirthing can help you gain trust in the birthing process as well as:
- Reduce the duration of labor: Hypnosis during childbirth, in particular, can help shorten the first stage of labor. As the cervix opens, contractions become more extended, deeper, and closer together in this period, which includes both early and active labor.
- Interventions would be less necessary: According to a 2011 analysis of research, HypnoBirthing may help promote a vaginal birth, and women who used hypnosis didn’t need as much oxytocin augmentation. Following a 2015 survey, only 17 percent of Trusted Source of HypnoBirthing moms had cesarean deliveries, against the national average of 32 percent.
- Naturally manage pain: Hypnosis can be useful if you want to avoid using medications during your labor. In a 2013 survey, 46 out of 81 participants (51%) said they didn’t take any pain medicine and had a maximum pain level of just 5.8 on a 10-point scale.
- Give a feeling of control: In the 2013 survey, women said they felt more comfortable and in charge. As a result, they became less apprehensive about labor and delivery.
- The babies are well as a result: Babies born using HypnoBirthing strategies may have higher Apgar ratings, a method for evaluating babies in the minutes after birth.
- Assist women who have been through a traumatic encounter: HypnoBirthing can be especially beneficial to people who have had a traumatic experience during childbirth or have a general fear of labor and childbirth. Approximately 40% of the course trusted Source is dedicated to these topics.
While all of these advantages sound wonderful, the fact is that using HypnoBirthing or similar methods does not guarantee pain-free labor. Let’s face it: if it always worked that way, it would be front-page news and the most common form of childbirth.
One of the most significant disadvantages of self-hypnosis during childbirth, especially Mongan’s approach, is that it does not inherently prepare women for unplanned births.
Aside from various methods to calm the body, the coursework doesn’t detail pain-relieving steps. This approach also does not account for the numerous medical treatments that parents can face.
You should definitely practice this approach and plan to use it during delivery, but you should also consider what you’ll do if things don’t go according to plan.