Rachel Foy, Clinical & Cognitive Hypnotherapist talks about the history and benefits of Hypnobirth.
What do Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and rumoured Kate Middleton all have in common? They all allegedly used hypnobirthing techniques when having their kids.
Hypnobirthing is a childbirth preparation class which focuses on using self hypnosis, breathing techniques and relaxation to help with the birthing process. The foundation of the entire course is based on the understanding that fear creates tension within the body and this tension then creates pain. The techniques taught within the course help to eliminate or significantly reduce fear and therefore help the body to do what it is designed to do and birth a baby in a calm and peaceful way.
Despite its growing popularity over recent years, hypnosis for childbirth is actually one of the oldest recorded uses of self hypnosis as we know that Aristotle in 350BC used states of deep relaxation to help with birth complications.
So how does social conditioning affect the perception of childbirth? Most films, TV shows and stories you see and hear almost always involve a traumatic birth involving lots of screams and stress. Society around us tells us that childbirth is something to fear, hours of painful agonising work which women just have to get through. Sadly so many women enter into childbirth with this expectation and whatever the mind perceives the body believes. Entering labour in a fearful state creates tension and therefore more pain and discomfort. But what if birth didn’t have to be like that? What if it could be an incredible calm and controlled experience and for some women pain free?
Many renowned advocates for natural birthing believe that pain is not necessarily an element of a normal labour, but rather sensation is and it’s more about the woman’s state of mind rather than anything else. If a sensation such as a contraction is perceived as being something to fear then this triggers the fear tension pain cycle resulting in an intensified feeling of pain. When you think about it no other bodily function causes pain and childbirth should be no different. The animal kingdom is a prime example of how nature allows birth to simply happen, mammals birth their babies usually at night when everywhere is peaceful and quiet with no assistance and also without fear as, unlike humans, mammals have no expectation that childbirth should be feared.
The aim of hypnobirthing is to help mum-to-be trust her body so she can enter labour feeling calm, confident and in control as no anxious woman can give birth in a natural way as nature intends. When she is able to change her expectation of birth she can truly start to trust her body and believe it knows what to do rather than allowing panic and fear to take over which start to hinder this natural process.
Many people often have the misconception that hypnobirthing is about having a pain free labour and that any medical intervention is to be refused. Although many people report having pain free labours this is not the aim of the course. It is about empowering a woman to have the confidence in her body so she feels in control and calm throughout. Hypnobirth can also incidentally be used by women who may have planned c-sections due to medical complications.
Much research has been undertaken to look into the benefits of hypnobirthing and amongst many positive findings, it has been shown to help with shorter labours, significantly reduce surgical births and medical intervention. Hypnobirthing babies are also often reported to be calmer and more content and mums report a faster rate of recovery and a lower incidence of post natal depression. It is well documented that a woman who is relaxed and calm during her labour often has an easier and quicker birth and is far less likely to need medical intervention, such as a c-section. Birthing a baby is such a powerful and life changing experience which most woman only do a few times in their life and those who are able to manage anxiety levels and pain report a far more positive and empowering experience.
For information on group Hypnobirthing courses, please call Rachel Foy on 04 450 3525 for the next class dates or visit www.hypnobirthdubai.com.