Natural childbirth? Yes, I’ve heard of that!
Easy and comfortable contractions … or surges?
Sounds too good to be true!
A growing number of couples are discovering the wonders of HypnoBirthing, a relatively new concept in the UK, which teaches them how to achieve easy, comfortable and natural childbirth, with many mothers experiencing little or even no pain. Not surprisingly it is rapidly gaining recognition in the birthing world and amongst prospective parents as the way to give birth.
HypnoBirthing is based on the belief that a woman’s body is perfectly designed to give birth without experiencing pain. When a woman is properly prepared for childbirth and when mind and body are in harmony, nature is free to function in the same well-designed manner that it does with all other creatures. After all, why should a woman’s uterus not function just as comfortably as other muscles in the body.
The reason, according to Marie Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing, that the uterus muscles don’t perform is because a culture of fear of childbirth has been developed over centuries, not due to the actual physical aspect of birth but due to the fear of what may possibly go wrong during and after childbirth. When we are fearful, we are also tense and when we are tense we experience pain. This is because the blood and oxygen necessary for the uterus muscles to work in harmony for an easy, comfortable birth, are directed to the parts of the body that are more important when needing to either fight or run for our lives. The uterus does not play a life saving role and is therefore not nourished when we are in danger and fearful.
HypnoBirthing is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique for achieving a satisfying, relaxing and stress-free method of birthing. It teaches couples a wide range of techniques and skills that can be used in all areas of life, not just childbirth. Couples learn how to use hypnosis, deep relaxation and breathing techniques to eliminate the fear and tension that cause pain. The result is shorter labour, fewer complications, less or no need for chemical painkillers and, of course, relaxed babies and mothers. Mothers find out how to tune into their natural birthing instincts, trust and work with their bodies and to release all prior programming about birth. HypnoBirthing teaches gentle birthing techniques that allow the mother to breathe her baby into the world without the violence of hard physical pushing.
Unlike many ‘traditional’ births where fathers are often left very much on the side lines, HypnoBirthing gives fathers a wonderful, integral role in the birth. This allows the mother to relax and internalise, focusing only on her baby, secure in the knowledge that the father is in control of all that surrounds the birth, including communication with the midwives and doctors commande cialis. He learns how to take the mother into a deep state of relaxation, or trance state through the use of hypnotic texts and affirmations, acting as a guide and anchor to keep the mother relaxed and focused as well as being the intermediary between the mother and midwives.
The classes are run over 3 weeks and are a mix of interesting background information and theory together with plenty of relaxation and practical work. Releasing fear about childbirth or parenting is a major part of the course and there is always a distinct change in attitude, particularly from the mothers, once this part is completed. Couples are fascinated as they view HypnoBirthing films showing labouring mothers, awake, alert, smiling and in good humour, with hardly a sound as their baby is born – they are very real proof that it really is possible to experience the serene and natural birth that nature intended. After all, only the western world has medicalised childbirth to the extent that elected caesarians are now quite the norm. In many cultures women give birth easily and comfortably and animals certainly don’t cry out in agony when their offspring is born.
Many couples start the course with a few doubts saying ‘it sounds great but I can’t imagine we’ll manage a birth like that!’ However, by the end of the course parents feel excited and confident, armed with techniques that allow them to take control of the birth of their baby, instead of allowing fear and lack of knowledge to influence the event.
The course offers a wide menu of techniques and skills for couples to choose from and they are encouraged to personalise the course to their own situation, practicing and using those techniques that work best for them. The hypnotic techniques taught are also very useful in other areas of life to reduce stress, increase confidence, cope with difficult situations and to feel more positive and energetic. The effectiveness of hypnotherapy to give up smoking, help clients lose weight, eliminate phobias or to treat stress related disorders such as IBS or ulcers is now widely recognised. Hypnotherapy has also helped many couples suffering from fertility problems.
Hypnosis is a state we are in several times a day, when dropping off to sleep, when daydreaming, when engrossed in a film or when driving 10 miles without knowing how we got there! It is completely safe and natural and in this deeply relaxed state the subconscious mind can be accessed directly without the conscious mind analysing and putting up barriers. As the subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between fact and fiction it means that positive suggestions can be made and taken on by the client, fears can be released easily without emotion and future events can be imagined and experienced as though they were reality.
Hypnotherapy often uses visualisation for a client to mentally experience a physical outcome they desire and this is extremely effective for childbirth, allowing the mother to visualise her body, uterus and birth path (vagina) opening up very easily and then imagining her baby moving down and out safely, comfortably and quickly. Couples are encouraged to look forward to the birthing day as a special day to be embraced not endured and, whatever route the birth may take, they will benefit from HypnoBirthing.
The power of words is important to understand – when you think of a lemon your mouth will probably tingle or water and this mental-physical connection works in many other areas. This is why HypnoBirthing has developed a much softer and gentler language for childbirth, talking about a ‘surge’ instead of a ‘contraction’, ‘waters release’ instead of break, ‘breathing the baby down’ instead of ‘pushing’ and ‘birthing’ not ‘delivery’.
There are only 3 different breathing techniques which are vital to understand – sleep breathing which takes the mother into a relaxed state, slow breathing that is used to breath through each surge and the ‘J breath’ which is used to breath the baby down during the final stage of labour as the baby moves down the birth path to crown.
Parents, midwives and doctors are constantly amazed by the wonderfully easy births experienced through HypnoBirthing.
‘HypnoBirthing gave us a most priceless gift, that of a fearless birth.’
‘My parents saw the video of my birthing and couldn’t believe I was even in labour.’
‘I’ve been delivering babies for 20 years and never seen anything like this!’
‘Nothing can describe the beauty of our birthing experience with HypnoBirthing – I had 2 other children using traditional methods and never dreamed labour could be as easy as this!’
What more could you want for the birth of your baby! It’s wonderful and it works!
Kristin Hayward, HypnoTherapy, HypnoFertility, HypnoBirthing Clapham, Herne Hill and Harley Street, London
Article Posted – 27th February 2007.
Copyright Kristin Hayward
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