Techniques for Hypnobirthing
October 21, 2021Childbirth is a beautiful and natural experience. While every mama-to-be wants to feel safe, comfortable, and positive during labor, everyone approaches the process just a bit differently. One approach for preparing for labor and delivery is called hypnobirthing. Here is an explanation of hypnobirthing, and what you can expect.
What is Hypnobirthing?
The words hypnosis and hypnotism are derived from the Greek word hypnos, which means sleep. Hypnosis means a “trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration.” The method of hypnosis used during childbirth is called hypnobirthing.
Influenced by the ideas of the natural childbirth movement, the term hypnobirthing was coined in 1989 by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan. She believed that severe pain during labor can be controlled if the body is relaxed.1
How Hypnobirthing Works
A chaotic delivery room might be the last place you would think you’d be able to achieve a state of calm, but through several different self-hypnosis and other techniques, soon-to-be-moms can learn to relax their bodies before and during labor and birth.
Controlled breathing. A successful hypnobirthing experience begins and ends with proper breathing. It allows your body to relax and sends more oxygen through your uterus. Three different breathing methods used during hypnobirthing include calm or relaxation breathing, surge or up breathing, and birth breathing, also called down or J breathing.
Positive words. Words have power, and replacing negative words with positive ones can create a more soothing, stress-free environment. For example, use the words “wave” or “surge” instead of “contraction.” Instead of asking, “Are you in pain?” ask, “Are you comfortable?”
Visualization. Guided visualization is a relaxation technique that can help reduce stress, anxiety and tension, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and improve oxygenation by creating a daydream-like state where you float in and out of what’s happening.
The Benefits of Hypnobirthing
At its core, hypnobirthing uses self-hypnosis to help tackle fear and pain during labor and birth. It may also:
- Shorten the initial stage of labor.
- Naturally manage pain without the need for meds.
- Lessen the need for medical interventions.
- Reduce the fear of labor and birth.
- Allow you to remain alert and awake.
Hypnobirthing methods involve classes with a set number of instruction hours. There are many certified hypnobirthing instructors around the country. If you’re interested in hypnobirthing, ask your family doctor or obstetrician for a referral to a trained practitioner. You can also contact your hospital or birthing center to ask if they’ve had hypnobirths and if they can provide you with a list of hypnotherapists specializing in childbirth.
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