Self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to prepare for and reduce the experience of fear, anxiety and pain related to childbirth. Here is the hypnobirthing.
You know that having a baby will change your life, so you may want to prepare yourself by taking the pre-natal course and reading several manuals. You may also want to think about alternative methods of pain relief and labor techniques, such as hypnobirthing. This technique is gaining popularity as some say it is a way to be born softly and calmly. But what is it and how does it work?
In this article
Hypnobirthing: what is it
“Hypnobirthing teaches relaxation, visualization and self-hypnosis skills”.
This preparation seeks to give pregnant women a positive view of birth and the belief that childbirth does not have to be painful. The goal is shorter, more comfortable and easier labor, with less need for surgery or pain relief. To bring in Italy this method, today, is also a new book entitled “Hypnobirthing. Practical methods to improve childbirth” signed by Siobhan Miller, Hypnobirthing expert and founder of The Positive Birth Company. The manual, published by Odoya, illustrates in detail techniques and benefits of this birth accompaniment program, considered revolutionary.
Hypnobirthing: how it works
Celebrities from Jessica Alba to Kate Middleton have used hypnosis and related techniques to prepare for labor and delivery, relieve feelings of fear and, yes, even manage pain naturally. The idea behind hypnobirthing is that pain during labor is a response to fear and that you can avoid it by learning the right techniques. Women’s pain experience can vary in intensity, but fear, tension, and anxiety can make it worse.
While this basic idea has been around for centuries, the specific term was coined in the 1989 book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life written by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan. His ideas are influenced by early advocates of “natural birth”, Dr. Jonathan Dye and Dr. Grantly Dick-Read.
Basically, HypnoBirthing aims to help a woman deal with any fear or anxiety she may have around birth. It includes various relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help relax the body before and during labor and delivery.
The idea is that when the body and mind are in a completely relaxed state, birth can happen more quickly and painlessly because the body doesn’t fight the natural process.
How can I practice hipnobirthing?
Those who have practiced it say that hypnobirthing can create an altered state of conscious awareness. Hypnobirthing involves learning techniques you can use during labor such as:
- pregnancy and childbirth claims
- deep breath
- self hypnosis
In Italy there are still no hospitals that offer real paths based on the Hypnobirthing method. An exception is constituted by the Mauritian hospital in Turin where it is possible to request birth with medical hypnosis thanks to the presence of obstetricians who were trained through the Ipnomed method.
What are the benefits of hypnobirthing?
Some women find that hypnobirthing helps them have a calm and positive birth experience.
- Reduce the work. In particular, hypnosis during birth can help shorten the first stage of labor. This phase involves both early and active labor, when the contractions become longer, stronger, and closer together as the cervix opens.
- Reduce the need for interventions. A 2011 review of studies showed that HypnoBirthing can help encourage vaginal birth and women using hypnosis do not need an epidural. A 2015 study found that only 17% of HypnoBirthing moms had cesarean delivery compared to the general rate of 32% in the United States.
- Manage the pain naturally. If you are looking for a drug-free birth, hypnosis can help you. In a 2013 study, 46 of 81 participants (51%) did not use any pain medication and reported their maximum pain level as only 5.8 on a scale of 10.
- Give a feeling of control. Women in the 2013 study also reported feeling more relaxed and in control. As a result, they were less afraid of labor and delivery.
- Result in healthy children. Scores from Apgar, the system for assessing babies in the minutes after birth, may be higher among babies born using HypnoBirthing techniques.
- Help women who have suffered trauma. HypnoBirthing can especially help people who have suffered trauma during childbirth or who have a general fear of labor and delivery.
On the official websites of the Hypnobirthing schools it is possible to find the list of teachers present in Italy, while for more info it is possible to connect to the Hypnobirthing Italia website founded by Ilaria Giangiordano, psychologist, Hypnobirthing teacher and editor of the Italian edition of the book.
What are the drawbacks?
It is not as easy as it may seem!
- There is little current research to support the theory that hypnobirthing makes women more relaxed, reduces pain, or encourages shorter labor.
- It takes time to learn about hypnobirthing, practice it and master the techniques of breathing, visualization and self-hypnosis.
- Hypnobirthing courses can be expensive
Article sources: Nct.org.uk, Healthline