Originally written for Glam-O-Mamas website
When I was pregnant with my daughter I thought I had chosen the most informed approach to childbirth - I fed my mind only positive stories, I went out of my way to stay fit and healthy and I had a firm plan for a wonderful home water birth. I am very blessed everything worked out exactly as I wanted and I had the most wonderful home birth experience that I could possibly imagine. However, the news of hypnobirthing somehow did not cross my path on my pregnancy journey. It was only after when still high on oxytocin (hormone of love) from my home birth I went ahead and became a doula to accompany other mamas in their births, the whole new world of birthing “hypno” opened up for me.
Or how about independently adjusting your level of hypnosis in order to be able to interact with the medical staff while keeping your sensations in check? Or my favourite – breathing your baby out instead of the hard work of pushing!
When I was taking my certification for Hypno-doula with Hypnobabies this sounded to me as a farfetched theory. Honestly, it was quite hard to imagine this in practice despite the evidence of thousands successful hypno births world-wide. It was not until the first hypno-birth that I attended as a hypno-doula that I was completely sold to the method.
The first time mom, who prepared herself during pregnancy using a self-study hypno course from Hypnobabies, walked in the hospital all smiles while clearly in active labor. She was checked and found to be 5 cm dilated. To the question whether “she had any concerns” she replied again with the smile that she did not have any and was excited to see her baby soon. Then what followed was a night of magical zen-like labour and a beautiful birth to a mother who stayed relaxed, confident and in control of her experience.
To my delight I discovered that it is a pattern with hypno births – no matter the surroundings, be it a water birthing suite, a regular labor room, a delivery room or a home birth setting – the mothers seemed to be having the whole show under their control, they would remain calm, confident and very relaxed, and many indeed would breathe their babies out! While I recognize hypno birth is not a magic bullet to a birth of your dreams – especially if you dream of an un-medicated birth – I can testify that going “hypno” would definitely empower you with certain tools to make the dream birth a much more easily achievable goal.
If this got you to be hypno-curious, here are 5 amazing facts about hypnobirthing that will make you understand the hypnobirthing even better.
1. Hypnobirthing is not a labor pain-coping technique; it is a totally different approach to childbirth.
While most childbirth preparation classes focus on pain-management by natural means, hypnobirthing will affirm something completely different. It will invite you to re-program your views and expectation of childbirth and will condition your mind to perceive childbirth as “an easy and comfortable process”. In Hypnobirthing you will learn that your mind controls your body completely and that if you let go off the commonly held conditioning about pain in childbirth, you will be able to condition you mind that birth is easy and comfortable.
2. Words used to describe childbirth define the ultimate childbirth experience
Now pose for a second and register your feelings when you hear the words such as “labor”, “contractions”, “delivery” when talking about birth. How do they make you feel? Calm or anxious? Most likely these words do not convey a very comforting feeling, don’t they?
In Hypnobirthing one of the first things you learn is to choose your words wisely and to have your support team speaking the same positive language about birth that will reinforce, not undermine your conditioning to see birth as easy and comfortable process. So, for example, we are no longer talking about “contractions” but “surges” or “waves”, it’s no longer “labour” but “Birthing Time”, then definitely not a “delivery” but “birth” and by all means we drop the word “pain” out of the vocabulary and talk instead about “pressure”, “sensations”, “tightening” and so on. As you become accustomed to this language, you will become more aware of the importance of this mental transition.
3. You have absolute control over your hypnosis
And all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. When you are hypnotized, you are aware of all suggestions given to you and will not do anything against your will or your moral principles.
For instance, using a technique “Lightswitch” as thought in Hypnobabies hypnobirthing self-study course you can regulate the level of hypnosis you prefer to maintain. While riding a wave you can go deep into hypnotic relaxation and in between the surges you can adjust the level of hypnosis so that you can interact with you care providers, change positions or have a sip of water while still staying calm, relaxed and in control. ‘
4. Deep relaxation is the foundation of self-hypnosis during birth
What is the first image that comes into your mind when you are thinking of a woman in labour? Mostly likely you imagine a woman profusely sweating and tensing up every muscle of her body to push the baby out.
Women who trained themselves in Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies methods do exactly the opposite. They relax deeply and unconditionally. By entering the state of outmost relaxation they do not fight the birthing sensations, but absorb them and ride out one wave at a time.
Deep relaxation is an acquired skill. This is why Hypnobirthing methods offer a range of specially developed tracks and scripts that a hypno-mom should listen to daily in order to train her body to go totally limp and deeply relaxed. Cue words and additional scripts can be used during the birthing time for additional deepening of the relaxation.
5. Hypnobirthing facilitates “foetus ejection reflex”
Have you ever wondered why other mammals give birth seemingly without much effort? Calves, lambs and fawns seem to jump out of their mothers before getting straight onto their feet. While by nature’s design human babes won’t be standing within minutes after birth, human mothers are, however, as capable of easy and speedy births as out mammal counterparts. When the woman is confident, supported, relaxed and undisturbed – like animal mothers are in the animal kingdom – the normal physiology of birth will eventually lead to the moment when her uterus swell in one last surge and expel the baby into her loving hands.
This is the most exciting and delightful part of the undisturbed birthing process which I am eager to witness every time I go to attend a hypno-birth. Hypno-relaxation and mother’s sheer trust in the natural ability of her body to give birth make the babies slide out through the birth canals easily and uneventfully.
Now if you think that Hypnobirthing is something for you, go ahead and check out the Hypnobirthing self-study materials that will help you get prepared for the hypno-birth of your dreams.
Hypnobabies self-study course
Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan
For your inspiration here are the links to the accounts of hypno-birth experiences by several Filipino mothers who studied the method and gave birth the hypno-way.
My Gentle Birth Story by Martine de Luna
Our Daughter’s Birth Story by cat Juan Ledesma
Irina is a birth
keeper, mother and an advocate. As a certified Childbirth Doula and
Hypno-Doula she accompanies mothers through pregnancy, birth and postpartum to
ensure a joyful, balanced and pleasurable experience. It is her greatest joy to
see mothers to come out of birth feeling empowered, proud and honored.