Hypnosis for Childbirth?
How do you want to feel?
Focus on how you want to feel during your birth. You want to feel calm and relaxed, right? Focus on what you want to achieve often enough, and it's much more likely you will achieve it!! Science is beginning to catch up and realize that hypnosis has positive, measurable effects.
What do the studies say?
Hypnotherapy provides effective pain relief, reduces the need for anesthesia (epidurals), and provides a more satisfying experience by reducing the anxiety, fear, and pain so often related to childbirth in our culture.
One study in teenage mothers showed a reduction in complications, surgery, and hospital stay! In another study, moms with intrauterine growth restriction were trained in self hypnosis in addition to medical management, and had significantly lower preterm delivery rates, fewer low birth weight babies, and significantly reduced rate of C-sections.
Researchers know hypnosis can help manage complications of
pregnancy (like premature labor), and reduce the chance of early labor
and premature birth in high risk patients. Hypnotherapy can help treat excessive morning sickness, and pregnancy induced high blood pressure. It can even help turn a breech baby!
Why do we need to train ourselves to remain calm?
We've hidden away our births, and our girls and young women no longer participate in other women's births, so we've lost our knowledge of what a joyous experience birth can be. Most of us only see births on television, where only the most traumatic births are chosen for their dramatic cliffhangers, which will keep mothers watching through a commercial break.
There is a way to regain the calm that could come from familiarity with the process, having watched births in your local community your whole life. You can imagine that kind of birth for yourself, and prepare yourself for it through hypnosis.
Hypnosis gives you a sense of control and helps you manage your own anxiety, and gives you a tool to help yourself feel better during your birth.
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in learning more about how hypnosis can help you have a relaxed, easy birth, check out the two national childbirth education courses (with local teachers!) dedicated to providing self-hypnosis instruction to pregnant moms:
Although I am certified in Hypnobabies, I think both courses are wonderful, and I don't have a preference between them (I always get asked!). Whichever course is closer to you, and being offered at a time that fits your pregnancy schedule, that's the one you should take if you feel called to this type of meditative practice.