Natural labor doesn’t have to be painful and anxiety-inducing. Just because you don’t want medical intervention during your labor doesn’t mean you’re accepting of the pain and anxiety that comes with the natural process of things.
There are many natural methods of trying to reduce the pain level during labor. One evolving method has been Hypnobirthing.
What is it?
The AMA recognizes hypnosis as a state with an “enhanced ability to accept suggestion” since your mind is skipping the part where you consciously make a decision. Hypnosis has often been used for the treatment of mental illness, chronic pain, and now, during labor – in the form of hypnobirthing.
Hypnobirthing is the use of hypnosis during labor to make women feel less anxious and more relaxed. It works in some people to greatly reduce discomfort during childbirth without having to use any medical or surgical interventions.
How is it helpful?
The basis of hypnobirthing revolves around the idea that once your body is more relaxed and you’re not feeling as much pain, birth happens easily and quickly since you’re no longer fighting the natural process of it all.
According to a certified M.D, Dr. Read, hypnosis helps break the fear-tension-pain cycle during labor. According to Read, this cycle prevents labor from progressing as smoothly as we’d like for it to. It takes away blood flow from pelvic muscles and takes it to non-essential muscles and organs.
With Hypnobirthing, the body can feel more relaxed, which allows the essential muscle groups to receive the required energy and blood supply, allowing labor to progress more effectively.
How do you do it?
Hypnobirthing employs the power of suggestion and a number of techniques to help relax the mother. The mother uses visualization, positive affirmations, and controlled breathing techniques to feel more relaxed and in control of her labor.
The Hypnobabies model uses medically approved, somnambulistic hypnosis techniques to allow labor pain to be greatly scaled down so women feel more relaxed. Some women may want to have a hypnotherapist in the labor suite to aid them as labor progresses, other times they can use audio/visual aid to bring about the effects of hypnosis.
Hypnobabies also has Hypno-doulas that are trained doulas, familiar with the philosophy behind hypnobirthing. They can help incorporate the technique of hypnosis during labor more effectively and are of immense value to the process of hypnobirthing.
The whole idea of hypnobirthing is creating a way for you to find a space and routine during your contractions that is comforting and relaxing to help you through the different stages of labor. This can look different for every person and this can be a relaxing bath, dimming lights, or a certain playlist that allows you to ease discomforts and help you go to a calm state of relaxation.
If you have any questions about how to help you prepare for your natural birth, ask your midwife at your next appointment!