Hypnobirthing is simply a generic term that means the use of hypnosis for birth.
We are all in hypnosis, without knowing it, about 60% of the day so this is something that comes naturally to us all. It occurs just before you fall asleep and just as you awaken. Other examples include losing track of time when reading a good book or when watching something interesting on television or when you do anything you enjoy doing.
Have you ever driven from A to B, arrived at your destination and not remembered how you drove there? If so, you were in the day-dreaming state of natural hypnosis.
In essence, hypnosis is simply a state of heightened relaxation and altered awareness. In hypnosis you are awake, aware of what is going on around you and you are in control.
So hypnobirthing is the intended use of hypnosis to allow you to tap into your inner resources, which we all have in our subconscious minds, to create feelings of well-being.
These feelings of well-being are created by using special breathing techniques to maintain calmness, positive affirmations, visualisation, colour for relaxation and healing and of course self-hypnosis which is created by using all these techniques.
When you are relaxed you cannot feel fear at the same time. When you are relaxed your body produces serotonins, a morphine-based hormone, that makes you feel good about yourself and is your body’s natural epidural. I call this hormone the ‘happy hormone’!
When you are anxious the body responds by producing the panic hormone, adrenaline, which causes all the skeletal muscle to contract, the heart to beat faster and your breathing to increase. So you feel tense, scared and you do not allow your body to work as it should do, especially when giving birth to your baby.
I am a biologist, as well as a hypnotherapist, and I feel that today we have lost sight of the fact that the female body is, in fact, perfectly designed to give birth naturally.
When you are in a relaxed, hypnotic state then you work with your body to have a wonderfully natural birth creating a magical experience as nature intended. When you are relaxed your intuition tells you what is going on in your body and the baby can flow out much more easily.
Hypnobirthing is not just for the mum-to-be. It is also for the dad-to-be who plays a vital role in helping his partner maintain her self-hypnosis during the birth.
Hypnobirthing helps you to:
- put things in their true perspective
- relax, stay calm and in control – in a calm, relaxed state your muscles and skin can stretch easily and naturally in a pain-free way
- stay focused on the process that your body is going through and be in tune with what your body and your intuition are telling you
- be healthy and sleep well
- heal quickly and recover faster
- bond with your baby
- breastfeed easily, if you choose to do this
- be happy and have confidence in your abilities as a mother
- get back to pre-pregnancy weight, shape and dimensions very soon after the birth
Hypnobirthing does not guarantee a pain-free birth. It does, however, give you the tools to make it as comfortable an experience as possible and an enjoyable, empowering one.
Hypnobirthing can also help you if you have; nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, needle, doctors and hospital phobias; swollen extremities; placenta previa and how to move the placenta to a safe place for the birth and how to turn a breach baby. (Written by Paola Bagnall)