Thursday, 19 January 2012

Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis for Childbirth

I posted a Hypnobirthing video last month that was received with great interest (click here to view) and so to follow that up I found a great article by Cathal O'Briain, a published author of Hypnotherapy and secretary of the Hypnotherapy Association of Ireland. Enjoy reading.


When giving birth, it is possible to change the sensation of pain to pressure. The more relaxed a mother-to-be is, the easier, faster, and less complicated labor and birth become. Some mothers become so relaxed, they find it almost impossible to identify when exactly they are having a contraction. Through self-hypnosis they turn pain into pressure. When the mother's body is this relaxed, the baby just flows out and sometimes after just a few pushes. 

From the moment a woman realizes she is pregnant, preparation for the big day using relaxation techniques and positive imagery should be used to remove fear. We should see the process of giving birth as a happy and wondrous event, eagerly anticipated. But many cultures tend to view it as something to be feared because of the pain they associate with it. This expectation of fear and pain is what makes labor so difficult. If a girl grows up believing that childbirth is a comfortable and joyous experience, providing she doesn't hear otherwise, she should remain free of fear, tension and pain when her time comes to give birth. By reprogramming your mind to expect relaxation and pressure, instead of fear and pain, less adrenaline is produced. Adrenaline is one of the main reasons why labor normally becomes dysfunctional. There is less chance of needing a cesarean section during a natural, hypno-birth. 

The woman using self-hypnosis during birth trains her mind to produce anaesthesia when and where it's needed. The feeling of building pressure is used as a cue to relax even deeper. So as labor progresses, instead of it painfully intensifying, the buildup and pressure now create a sense of relaxation in the mind and body. When the body is instructed to flow harmoniously along with the birth process, this opens up and releases tightness and tension. It also helps the downward movement to work easily and effectively, resulting in a shorter birth. By reducing the amount of trauma to the baby during the birth process, the baby is more likely to be happier and more relaxed. 

The Benefits of Using Hypnosis during Labor and Childbirth 
Hypnosis shortens labor time and the second stage of labor. This is because it minimizes the resistance of the muscles used in birth as a response to pain and stress. 
Hypnosis enhances comfort and sleep during and after pregnancy. 
Hypnosis helps control nausea and vomiting. 
Hypnosis helps to stop post-partum depression beginning. 
Hypnosis creates a stronger bond between mother and baby. 
Hypnosis creates a peaceful birthing environment. 
Hypnosis may reduce the need for episiotomies and anesthesia. 
Hypnosis helps to remove negative beliefs about the labor process. 
Hypnosis helps adjust blood pressure naturally. 
Hypnosis increases the mother's confidence in her own ability to give birth naturally, putting her in control of herself, while at the same time letting nature do its job in a proficient manner. 
Hypnosis helps to create the level of relaxation needed to stop the flow of catecholamines, the stress hormone released during labor. 
Catecholamines make it difficult for the circular muscles of the uterus to relax, causing the uterus muscles to work hard, creating longer, harder contractions. Catecholamine release is a fear-based response that creates constriction in the muscles. Self-hypnosis turns off catecholamines and switches on endorphins. 
The experience of pain in childbirth is the result of an unnatural process of fear. Fear produces tension, which then creates tightness and clamping of the muscles. Tension works in opposition to the body giving birth. Self-hypnosis removes the fear, which removes tension, which removes tightness and clamping. The end result is pressure, not pain. 
Fewer drugs or no drugs at all mean less risk of side effects for mother and baby. Birth is then completely natural; the way nature intended it to be. 
There are fewer interventions and complications during labor. 
There is a time distortion with hypnosis. This makes labor time feel much shorter than it actually is. 
Because hypnosis helps with the second and active stage of labor, including the delivery of the baby, there is less need for operational delivery. Complete anesthesia of the perineum eases delivery, episiotomy and suturing of the perineum. 
With hypnosis there is less shock to the system and a quicker recovery.

1 comment:

SamFos said...

Thank you for a really straightforward account of hypnobirthing. I used it for the birth of my daughter and it was a lovely experience. I managed without any pain relief. I was so relaxed when I got to hospital that the midwives didn't believe I was really in labour at first. My partner managed to convince them, as they were all for sending me home. My beautiful daughter arrived around 45 minutes later!