Hypnobirthing is a technique that uses visualization and breathing exercises to help you through discomfort during childbirth. It’s a medication-free method that may reduce pain and stress during labor.
Mongan says hypnosis allows your muscles to work the way they’re supposed to during labor. It’s also safe for your baby.
It’s a form of pain management
Pain management during childbirth can be divided into two broad categories: analgesics and hypnosis. Analgesics prevent or block pain, while hypnosis relieves it by reducing your anxiety and helping your body relax. Both methods have been found to be effective in clinical trials, but not all women will experience the same level of relief. This is because there are many variables that influence the way your brain interprets pain signals, including your personal history, beliefs about birth, and the behaviour of your caregivers.
Hypnobirthing combines visualization, breathing exercises, and affirmations to help you achieve a relaxed state during labor. The technique is based on the work of Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician who wrote the book Childbirth Without Fear in 1944. He used hypnotic relaxation to help laboring people break what he called the “Fear-Tension-Pain” syndrome.
Another reason why hypnosis works to reduce labor pain is that it affects the part of your brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The ACC interprets sensations and decides whether they are acceptable or not. If the ACC accepts a sensation, you will be able to cope with it, but if it doesn’t, you will find it difficult.
You can take hypnobirthing classes through your antenatal program, or you can attend a hypnotherapy practice that specializes in childbirth. Some hospitals and birthing centers also offer hypnobirthing classes. You can also ask your health care provider for a referral to a practitioner.
It’s a relaxation technique
Hypnobirthing is a childbirth pain management technique that uses visualization, breathing exercises, and affirmations to help a birthing woman through discomfort. It is supposed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation, which allows the muscles to work as they should during labor. It is a very popular approach to childbirth, and it can be taught by trained professionals. There are many different methods to practice hypnobirthing, but most of them include a combination of visualization and breathwork. The most common method is HypnoBirthing, created by Marie Mongan, a Harvard University Ford Foundation fellow and certified hypnotherapist. It involves taking courses with an instructor, but also offers self-hypnosis exercises that can be done at home.
Another popular type of hypnobirthing is Hypnobabies, which is a more comprehensive course than the Mongan Method. It includes a comprehensive workbook, and CDs that teach the mother how to relax her mind, body, and spirit. The program encourages mothers to release fear and doubt about their ability to give birth, and provides confidence-building techniques. It focuses on positive statements about the physical experience of labor and delivery, and emphasizes the importance of the baby’s wellbeing.
During a Hypnobabies class, the mother learns a technique called the “Finger-drop Technique,” which is a cue to enter self-hypnosis at the onset of contractions. The more often she practices the cue, the deeper she goes into hypnosis, and the more comfortable she will feel when her birthing time arrives.
It’s a hypnotherapy technique
During this process, a woman learns a series of relaxation techniques to reduce her stress levels and help her body move through the labor process as naturally as possible. It has been linked to a shortened first stage of labor, improved infant Apgar scores, and fewer C-sections. It is also believed to decrease the need for pharmacological augmentation of labor and pain medication.
Hypnotherapy involves deep relaxation and is a technique that many women find helpful during childbirth. It allows the mother to connect with her unconscious mind, which controls most of the things we do without our conscious awareness. It manages our emotions, memory, and automatic behaviors, such as breathing. Hypnotherapy helps the unconscious mind release “feel good” hormones, which counteract the fight or flight response and activate what is known as its antidote-feed and breed or rest and digest.
Many women expect their birth to be painful because they have heard horror stories from friends and watched movies that depict painful births. These fears are a major cause of stress and can prevent the muscles in the pelvis from functioning as they should. The hypnosis session for releasing fear allows a woman to release those fears and realize that her birth doesn’t have to be painful.
Some people choose to use self-hypnosis for childbirth, while others prefer a professional therapist to teach them the techniques. Those who want to use hypnosis for childbirth often listen to a tape of verbal affirmations or visualizations that can help them relax.
It’s a childbirth philosophy
The philosophy of hypnobirthing combines positive affirmations with deep relaxation. It reframes childbirth from an event that many women dread to an exciting and enjoyable experience. It may also help them avoid the need for pain medications during labor. However, it is important to discuss the risks of hypnosis with your health care provider.
Hypnosis is often misunderstood. Some people believe that hypnosis is mind control or a form of sleep, but this is not true. It is a very relaxing state of consciousness, similar to a daydream or being engrossed in a movie. You will be aware of what’s going on around you, but you will be able to focus your attention and relax.
Kristen Olberz, RN, is a labor and delivery nurse who has used hypnosis in the births of more than 1,500 babies. She has found that this method helps her clients have a better experience during labor and delivery. It can even reduce the use of pain medications, according to a 2023 study.
Hypnobabies classes teach “medical-grade somnambulistic hypnosis,” which recreates the effects of anesthesia. They are well-known for helping women have shorter, easier and more comfortable labors. Their patented “eyes-open” hypnosis allows mothers to walk, talk and change positions during labor. This is a huge difference from other hypnosis-childbirth programs, which require them to stay immobile.