Everything You Should Know About Hypnobirthing
Hypnobirthing is a birthing method that uses self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help a woman deliver without feeling fear or pain. Here's all you need to know about this method.
As their due date draws near, most expecting mums are anxious to hold their newborn in their arms. But along with that comes the fear of pain during delivery. Hypnobirthing provides a solution for dealing with the pain.
What is Hypnobirthing?
New mums often speak about the painlessness that Hypnobirthing brings. You may have seen videos where women in labour look calm. Instead of pain, these women experience an orgasmic feeling that you can link to HypnoBirthing in some instances. Simply put, what Hypnobirthing does is it to teach women that their bodies are built for childbirth. Most women go into labour expecting that it has to be painful, but the practice teaches your body that it doesn't have to be.
Marie Mongan, a counsellor and Certified Hypnotherapist, can be said to be the mother of Hypnobirthing. In the late 1950s, Mongan started to study childbirth principles developed by Grantly Dick-Read, an author known to be the father of natural birth. At the time, Mongan was readying to go through childbirth herself. Mongan may have gone into studying Grantly because she wanted to give birth naturally, but her first and second pregnancy proved to be beyond natural delivery. However, during her third delivery, she insisted that no drugs be used on her and that her husband must be present in the room. She succeeded in having a natural delivery.
Later in the late 1980s, Mongan became a certified Hypnotherapist, combining what she knew with the principles of Grantly to develop new ways of preparing for delivery. Mongan's invention of HypnoBirthing was successful though the use of relaxation and breathing techniques Then in 1992, she published the first edition of her book titled HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life.
Training for HypnoBirthing
Some women teach themselves the art of HypnoBirthing through books or videos, while others attend Hypnobirthing classes. Either way, the aim is to get the body ready for childbirth.
- Releases fear
During delivery, your body reacts physically because of fear. Your heart rate and blood pressure may go up, muscles becoming tense, and breathing gets quicker. There's a popular belief that you need all your muscles to push the baby out. This is simply not true. The thing you need most during delivery is to let go of fear, relax and let the baby come out easily. But how can you let go of fear? That's exactly what you learn from HypnoBirthing.
- Positioning the baby
When the baby is in the right position, labour becomes easier. The ideal position is for the baby to be head down and facing forward and not it's back to your back. When you're training for Hypnobirthing, there's yoga which positions the baby appropriately to enable easier childbirth.
- Preparation against tear
Hypnobirthing can help to prevent tears during childbirth. During the training, there are exercises such as pelvic floor exercises and the perineal massage that are designed for this specific purpose. What these exercises help you do is to relax and know how to release your muscles, allowing them to stretch to accommodate the baby.
Movement in labour
One of the most important tricks during labour is to stay as mobile as possible. What movement does for you is to help your circulation and your hormones flow, preventing all that tension that makes contractions so painful. With movement techniques like hip circles, rocking and rolling, and grape treading, Hypnobirthing keeps you moving during labour.
- Breath control
Breathing that is intentional, slow and deep goes a long way in helping you during labour. Hypnobirthing shows you how to not just inhale for oxygen but for strength, as well as sighing and yawning to get your body to release your natural pain relief. The training comes with visualisation exercises for "up breathing" and "down breathing," which will help you deal with contractions.
Benefits of this delivery method
- Shortens labour: Hypnobirthing shortens labour, especially the first part of labour. The process of Hypnobirthing helps you get out of this stage as quickly as possible.
- Less intervention: Women who went through Hypnobirthing do not need medications as a way of helping them out with childbirth.
- Natural pain management: Many women go into labour thinking about the unbearable pain they'd have to endure. But with Hypnobirthing you won't need pain medication.
- A feeling of control: It grants you a feeling of confidence which helps you let go of delivery fears. Essentially, with this confidence comes a lack of fear and tension.
Amazingly, you can use Hypnobirthing every time you give birth. A 2006 study found that women who used Hypnobirthing experienced less pain than those who didn't. But if you want to use this method you have to start training around the 25-week mark.