The aim of hypnosis for childbirth, or hypnobirthing as it is commonly known, is to help you give birth in a relaxing, calm environment free from stress, anxiety or fear.
Being anxious, tense and stressed during labour (all very common feelings at this time) can prevent the birthing muscles of your body from working as they should. The hope is that by attending hypnobirthing classes you can learn techniques to foster a sense of calm and tranquillity.
What is hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is the term used to describe using hypnosis in childbirth. The idea is that as an expectant mum, you attend hypnobirthing classes to learn self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques. You can then take what you’ve learnt into the delivery room.
The ultimate goal of hypnobirthing is to provide you with a better birthing experience. Of course, all births are different and hypnobirthing is not a guarantee that all will run smoothly. Rather, it looks to give you back control and a better chance of feeling relaxed, calm and happier throughout.
It is an increasingly popular choice for mothers looking for a natural approach, i.e. those who would rather steer clear of medication/drugs during the process. It is also popular for those who feel anxious about giving birth. This may be the case if it is your first child, or if you had a stressful past experience during childbirth.
During labour, if you feel anxious, highly stressed or even scared – stress hormones (like adrenaline) will be released into your body. Adrenaline is the hormone that puts us into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means your blood will be pushed towards the bigger muscle groups in your limbs, in case you need to run away from the impending ‘threat’.
In this case, the perceived ‘threat’ is giving birth, something that no matter how fast you run, you cannot get away from! With the blood flowing more readily to these muscle groups, your womb is not getting as much blood/oxygen, which can make the muscles less efficient.
Stress hormones can also make the body less likely to produce oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’ which eases the pain of labour. While stress is naturally going to happen when you’re in labour, keeping it at a low level can help your body better cope with the process and help reduce your perception of pain.
I like to run sessions in groups, and talk about what fears you have, turning these fears away, thinking more positively about the massive journey you are about to embark into parenthood.
Contact me to find out if there is a group running near you.