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.

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HypnoBirthing: What Is It?

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32 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    im gonna pass this article to my friend she would love to do this 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    This is interesting. That is how everyone is tense up but next time gonna try to relax.

  3. Rose says:

    HypnoBirthing is definitely something to look into. Just reading about it sparks a huge interest. Now to find someone in Alaska that educates in this area…

  4. Cocuh5 says:

    That is very interesting, I never know that’s what it was called, I guess with my last two labors i was doing some HypnoBirthing techniques. I was relaxing my self and breathing through my contractions and focus my contractions to a certain part of my body. The head nurse was happy I was not a screamer LOL and the student nurse was amaze that I looked like I was sleeping through contractions that was going off the charts.

  5. TaKeisha says:

    I need more information regarding this…

  6. mommy nhoj says:

    Interesting! I wonder if I can do the breathing techniques correctly 😉

  7. gfeld says:

    I can never do breathing techniques while in labor. Squats help me mainly and if I can catch some shut eye too, then that’s the best.

  8. Rachel says:

    Definitely helpful information!!!

  9. JaMeika says:

    This is my first baby and I’m very adamant about natural childbirth I want no form of drugs whatsoever. Although I am a bit nervous about it I’m excited and this HypnoBirthing thing sounds interesting. I think I need more research but I would love to try it!

  10. Jessica says:

    I got to learn about this in nursing school; the techniques often involve things such as effleurage (a form of large-diameter nerve stimulation), breathing patterns (which is a part of the birthing process for everyone these days anyway, the use of imagery and/or music, and other general distraction and relaxation techniques. This kind of pain management can actually be used by anyone for any kind of pain; in fact, most of us have already used a form of large-diameter nerve stimulation to relieve back, neck, or foot pain. Applying a warm pack or wrapping up in a warm blanket stimulates large-diameter nerves, making it difficult for the brain to receive nerve impulses from smaller nerves, because the impulses from the large-diameter nerves are so great. The thing to remember about any form of pain management is that it will more than likely not take away all of your pain, only some or most of it.

  11. casey says:

    i have several friends who used this technique and it helped them immensely during labor!

  12. Phammom says:

    Will be using some of this during my labor.

  13. KEIYONDA says:

    I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS TECHNIQUE.

    • Jessica says:

      Try going on to google scholar and typing in ‘non-pharmacological birthing techniques’, you should be able to find a few good medical and nursing articles that go into a lot of detail about it.

  14. maybay says:

    I have been wondering about hyopnobirthing! Great article!

  15. RBirri says:

    I am still 2 months away from delivery but we are 5 weeks into our Hypnobabies class! I am absolutely loving it and really believe I will have the beautiful peaceful birth I want for myself and my baby. The course is all about confidence in your body and the idea that your mind controls so much of what your body feels. My husband and I have gotten a lot closer and learned to communicate much better throughout the course too. I really strongly recommend it… I’ll try to remember to update once i’ve gone through my birthing time!

  16. MrsPearson says:

    Its actually a lady on youtube that does the hypnobirthing an the way she did it was like she was so cool… i mean i understand the whole thing but she made it seem so easy… i had my first natural but its so crazy how you can forget the feeling of labor. Its just no other feeling like birth

  17. Dario says:

    Well she doesn’t get scared easily but the birthing might..I will let her read this

  18. Dario says:

    Well she doesn’t get scared easily but the birthing might..I will let read this

  19. JNay28 says:

    Definitely worth looking into!

  20. I have never heard about this but it would be great to try!

  21. Tina says:

    never heard of it, but it sounds interesting. I’m not sure if I would be able to relax like that during labor.

  22. LadyTitan says:

    Sounds interesting

  23. Stephanie says:

    Hopefully I’ll make sure to remember cause at the moment anybody forgets

  24. julia rios says:

    o yes i forgot always use a breathing tecnic i couldt have done it with out that

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