Expert tips by Jo Thomson (Hypnobirthing Practitioner)
Many people hear the term HypnoBirthing and because they relate hypnosis to the most common form people see – Stage Hypnosis – they don’t really understand what it is or how it could possible help with having a baby. What follows is a brief explanation of what HypnoBirthing is, how it can help woman wanting a natural, drug-free and intervention-free birth, what is involved in attending a class and how and when is best to do so.
What is HypnoBirthing®?
The definition given by the HypnoBirthing® institute is
HypnoBirthing® is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. It is a rewarding, relaxing, stress-free method of birthing that is based on the belief that all babies should come into the world in an atmosphere of gentility, calm and joy. When a mother is properly prepared for birthing physically, mentally, and spiritually, she can experience that sort of joy, birthing her baby in an easier, more comfortable, and often, even pain free, manner. Through a well thought out program of deep relaxation, self-hypnosis and education, HypnoBirthing® returns to a woman the art of birthing in a way that allows her to summon her natural birthing instincts and to birth her baby in safety and with ease. HypnoBirthing® is based on the belief that severe discomfort does not need to be a natural accompaniment of birthing.
Mother’s learn to embrace their body’s innate knowledge of birthing, to relax into the birthing body and work with her body and her baby rather than against it. With all the negativity and horror stories that women frequently are bombarded with surrounding birth it is no wonder they go into labour with great fear and trepidation. One of the processes learnt in HypnoBirthing is releasing the fears held about labour and birth.
What will I learn?
One of the biggest barriers to a natural birth is preconceived ideas and fears about birth. As mentioned above one of the things that a woman and her support person or people will learn in class is releasing the fear. Fear causes tension in the body and tension causes pain, it is because of this Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle that so many woman experience unbearable pain in labour. In addition to teaching how to release the fear in the first place, HypnoBirthing® teaches deep relaxation techniques or self-hypnosis along with breathing techniques to enhance the level of relaxation obtainable. For some people visualization is a method that works well to also enhance relaxation and progression in labour. Some of the other topics that are covered include: Bonding with your unborn baby, care providers and birthing environment, nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, birthing and what to expect, positions for labour, natural induction ideas, circumstances requiring attention of caregiver and deciding on birthing preferences.
What are some of the Advantages of HypnoBirthing®?
Teaches deep levels of relaxation to reduce or eliminate completely the effects of the fear-tension-pain cycle
Reduces the need for chemical painkillers/drugs
Helps keep oxygen supplied to the baby during birthing
Reduces the need for an episiotomy
Reduces fatigue during labour
Empowers parents with techniques to achieve a gentle, calm birth for themselves and their baby
How long are the classes?
Classes are usually run over 5 weeks and are of 2 ½ – 3 hours in duration. Classes are made up of between two to six couples although private classes are also available by arrangement.
When should I attend classes?
It is highly recommended that you start classes between 25-30 weeks gestation as this gives you plenty of time to practice the techniques learnt in class before the baby’s birth.
Where can I find a HypnoBirthing® Practitioner?
All practitioners are listed on the HypnoBirthing institutes website www.hypnobirthing.com and many are listed on pregnancy, baby and parenting website service directories.
Jo Thomson is a HypnoBirthing Practitioner, Life Coach and Midwife. She is based on the NSW Central Coast where she conducts HypnoBirthing classes and specializes in pregnancy and parenting life coaching. For more information about any of her services she can be contacted via her website at www.destinybychoice.com.au or on 0411441405. To see all of Jo’s articles, click here.