HypnoBirthing: What Is It?
After you get over the great joy that two pink lines on a pregnancy test brings, you begin to think about your birthing experience. We have all heard the horror stories of the excruciating pain, tears, stitches, and hours of pushing that can accompany childbirth. Deciding whether to get an epidural or to go through labor without pain medication is probably one of the biggest decisions you will make throughout your pregnancy. There are several different methods of natural birth available for pregnant women. One of the methods growing in popularity is HypnoBirthing. Here, we will give you a rundown of what to expect from HypnoBirthing.
Flight or Fight
Our body's natural reaction to fear, something commonly experienced during labor, is to tense up, and begin to produce hormones called catecholamines. These hormones slow digestion, speed up the heart rate, force blood to the arms and legs, and reduce blood flow to the uterus. All of these reactions result in pain, and an overall hindrance to the labor process. In essence, the pain women experience during labor is not necessarily from the process of giving birth, but from the fear of giving birth.
How Does HypnoBirthing Reduce Pain?
HypnoBirthing is a process that has been in practice since the beginning of time. Dr. Grantly Dick-Read re-introduced the concept of natural birth in the 1920’s, and began teaching that pain did not need to be an integral part of the labor process. His techniques were later built upon by Marie Mongan, founder of HypnoBirthing® – The Mongan Method. According to Mongan, “It is physically impossible for the body to be relaxed and in fight-or-flight mode. By replacing fear with relaxation, a different set of chemicals come into play: oxytocin, labor hormones called prostaglandins, and endorphins combine to relax the muscles and create a sense of comfort.”
What Does HypnoBirthing Involve?
HypnoBirthing is a method in which you are relaxed and in-tune with your body during labor. You will learn breathing techniques, self-hypnotizing methods, and visualizations that allow you to envision an easy birth. HypnoBirthing mothers replace common negative words, such as “pain” and “contractions,” with positive words, like “pressure” and “surges.” In HypnoBirthing, you will also learn several different exercises to help you relax, like squats and different positions for your body.
How to Learn HypnoBirthing?
There are several different methods of HypnoBirthing available to pregnant mothers. The first step in contacting a HypnoBirthing practitioner is to speak with your doctor or midwife. They should be in total support of your birthing choice, and will give you recommendations for HypnoBirthing educators in your area. Take the courses, which range in price, with your partner so that you will both be prepared for the challenges you may face during labor. There are also several books and information available online regarding HypnoBirthing.