HypnoBirthing: A Calm Alternative
When I first heard about HypnoBirthing®, I was already a practicing Doula and had started to notice that the average person’s perception of birth was that birth was scary, excruciatingly painful, and something to fear. Not only that, but it was clear that the more fear and stress women carried into labor, the more their fears were realized, therefore validating their original perception of birth.
So, when I learned that the premise of HypnoBirthing® was that birth could be gentle and calm if there was less fear and more relaxation – well I jumped on board.
HypnoBirthing® is not “new age”. You don’t have to love granola, wear Birkenstocks or be planning to cloth diaper for HypnoBirthing® to be the right choice for you – but it’s okay if that’s your jam. The concepts behind the HypnoBirthing® method really make sense, regardless of where you stand in your perceptions of birth. We know that our bodies and minds are connected in every way. Our thoughts create physical and chemical reactions in our bodies. For example, fear, stress and worry correspondingly cause our bodies to tense, which makes our birthing muscles have to work harder against the tension. This can make the birthing process less comfortable and unnecessarily prolonged. Comparatively, relaxation allows our bodies to full function as they should, making birthing emotionally and physically more comfortable.
HypnoBirthing® also believes that humans are animals – wait, that’s just a fact. Birth is a normal physiological process and like other mammalian birthers, our bodies instinctively know how to do it. When was the last time you heard of wild animals being afraid to birth, needing coaching and writhing in pain? So why does that have to be our fate as human women? HypnoBirthing® doesn’t believe it does! If we can release our society-taught fear of birth and learn how to deeply relax, we can turn off our thinking brains, access our more instinctive primal nature and avoid adding unnecessary tension to our birthing bodies.
“But how do we do this?” you ask… Well one way is by participating in HypnoBirthing® classes. The unique prenatal education series covers everything needed to prepare to have a calm birth. The curriculum includes relaxation exercises, deepening techniques, affirmations, visualizations, special breathing and all the topics you would expect to find in most other childbirth education classes; anatomy, the physiology of labor, phases of labor, birth choices, etc… All in all, it’s a complete prenatal education.
About now you’re probably wondering what the hypnosis part of HypnoBirthing® is all about anyways. Good news: hypnosis is not as complicated and mysterious as you may think and you won’t quack like a duck – unless you want to. Hypnosis is simply using techniques that most people are often already familiar with; meditation, visualization and focusing exercises, to become deeply relaxed. With a calmed conscious mind, hypno-birthers can access their subconscious where positive suggestions are more readily accepted. When practiced regularly in pregnancy, these techniques can help a woman replace old-fear based programming with positive beliefs about birth and allow her to quickly access a deep state of relaxation when desired.
Does full breathing, deep body relaxation, decreased muscle tension, less fear and a calm state of mind sound like how you’d like to labor and birth? Then HypnoBirthing® may be a good fit for preparing for your baby’s birth. I as a Doula and Childbirth Educator, couldn’t be happier to be teaching the HypnoBirthing® program. My dream is that more and more women will learn to trust their innate birthing strength and release the fears that cause their perception to become their reality.