What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a technique that uses self-hypnosis and other relaxation methods to help a mother in labour. Specifically, hypnobirthing helps ease the fear and pain associated with childbirth. It teaches a mum-to-be how to naturally deal with the discomfort and pain of giving birth. The philosophy behind this technique is based on the power of a mother's natural birthing instincts. Practitioners believe that every woman's natural maternal instinct kicks in at childbirth. This gift allows them to give birth with "joy and comfort," mimicking nature. 

How does it work?

Relaxation is the ultimate goal of this technique. To get into a Zen-like state while giving birth, there are several techniques you can use. One of these is breathing. You inhale through the nose for four counts; exhale through the nose for seven counts. A second breathing technique lengthens the inhalation and exhalation period. Hypnotherapists believe that slow breathing helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Once triggered, it calms you. Other techniques involve meditation, guided visualisation, and focusing on positive thoughts and words. All these bring you fully to the present. Consequently, they help you come in and out of self-hypnosis at liberty. By using these calming methods, you no longer have to be on fight-or-flight mode. 

What can you expect from a class?

The particulars are different in every program. However, the basics are the same. A hypnotherapist teaches breathing and visualisation techniques with your eyes wide open. Some of the methods were already mentioned above. Next, you will also be taught how to envision an easy and pain-free birth. One vision could be as specific as imagining your cervix opening wide. Hypnotherapists may use course books, hypnosis videos, and music to help you practice self-hypnosis. They will also teach you positive terms to replace the negative ones associated with childbirth. For example, in place of "contraction," use "surge." Instead of "pain," use "sensation." By using positive language, you train your brain to focus on the good. Hypnobirthing classes are usually done in small groups of couples. However, some hypnotherapists do give one-on-one sessions, as well. A class can last for a couple hours at a time. You may take as many as five classes. Some methods, though, can be learned in just one class. Specific courses may go beyond self-hypnosis techniques. They can also provide full training in childbirth. 

Which conditions can hypnobirthing help ease?

  • Fertility

  • Pregnancy


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