What does “Hypnobirthing” mean?
Across the UK, the generic term “hypnobirthing” is used to describe both, fertility aid and helping the birth process through the use of hypnotherapy.
But are the two as closely related as they are claimed to be?
The idea behind the “hypnobirthing” concept is to decrease or eradicate any fear or anxiety around the idea of conception, parenting and the actual birth process. It aims to:
- Decrease the levels of stress and anxiety, for you and for your baby;
- Increase your parental confidence;
- Help mothers feel like they have all the control they need to get them through the birthing process.
There is not one thing that limits fertility. Instead, there are many different factors, many of which can contribute all at one time. Some of the most common are:
- Factors associated with anxiety, stress or concerns surrounding parenthood;
- Tokophobia: the fear of the childbirth process or event;
- Issues surrounding the lack of or loss of control.
The aim behind using hypnotherapy to increase fertility is to:
- Help both partners explore, overcome and eradicate any psychological barriers which they may have;
- Allow and teach the mother to trust her body;
- Increase conception chances multi-fold.
Hypnosis and Birth
Hypnotherapy has long since been used as an effective technique to support labour. There are records dating back to the mid-1800s detailing the use
of hypnosis and the effects it had on mothers to be.
More recently, during the past 15 years or so to be exact, the positive correlation between the body and the mind for increasing the ease of labour have been made more apparent. Thanks to research proving this, many antenatal classes have used hypnosis as part of their programme.
Antenatal classes have used hypnosis as a technique during the classes because hypnosis has had a positive impact on the following:
- labour time;
- Lessen the amount of pain relief required during birth;
- Decreasing the amount of intervention needed by both the mother and her child;
- Minimising the risk of postnatal depression (PND) which is a commonly suffered mental disorder.
How does Hypnotherapy help babies?
- The baby being calmer in general, including being less needy, crying less and having reduced attachment needs;
- The baby will sleep better, allowing mum to get a good, full night’s sleep, too;
- Baby will feed more ably, thoroughly and more easily.
What do Midwives think about Hypnotherapy?
The majority of midwives view hypnotherapy as a very positive approach to the pre-birth process. Many mothers feel anxious, wary and are scared about losing control of their bodies, but midwives who have trained as hypnotherapists as well, have seen the impressive impacts on the mothers they have cared for.
It has been noted that mothers who have had some pre-birth hypnosis are:
- Able to birth their babies calmly;
- Less anxious about giving birth and how their body will cope;
- Feel good and in control
For both midwives and specialised hypnotherapists, there are many different approaches to uses to help expectant mothers, but all of the approaches use similar techniques to reach the desired end goals.
The different programmes can include:
- HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method
- Blissful Birth
- Mindful Mamma
- Confident Childbirth
- Natal Hypnotherapy
Before choosing your therapist and the type of hypnotherapy programme you wish to undertake, be sure to check that your chosen practitioner is a fully trained hypnotherapist and is fully registered. Use the Hypnotherapy Directory to check that this is the case to ensure that both you and your baby are safe.
A useful point to mention is that the founders of Blissful Birth, Confident Childbirth and Mindful Mamma are all fully qualified hypnotherapists and are all NCH registered.
We all too frequently hear horror stories about giving birth and are filled with terror at the prospect of how painful, scary and traumatic it can be.
These negative messages are portrayed to us in many forms:
the media, on the TV, from our friends and even our own mothers. It is engrained in us as women to be scared of the birth process. But should this be the case?
Well, to put it simply, fear creates pain, so the calmer women are when they are giving birth, the less painful the process will be for them.
The primal instinct of protecting our young occurs within the subconscious, so if the mother is experience something new or something she is unsure of, then she automatically wants to protect her unborn child.
Often when fear is apparent labour is inhibited. This is a natural response as well because no mother would want her child to be born into a threatening environment.
Hypnotherapy or hypnosis, work by altering how we perceive birth by working at a subconscious level. The idea behind hypnotherapy is to use it to help birth to be as positive and pain-free as possible.
It is also for mothers to show themselves that they can trust their own body.
When the fear of birth is eradicated from the mother, she will feel fully in control of the experience, the birth, and her body, allowing the process of having a baby to be a very positive experience.
What to expect from pre-birth Hypnosis?
- It is a hands-off and non-invasive approach;
- You will feel much more relaxed;
- It is an enjoyable experience;
- It is safe for expectant mothers to use;
- You will sleep better, deeper and more soundly;
- You will have a calmer pregnancy.
What happens during pre-birth Hypnosis?
- On average, you will have 4 to 12 sessions;
- Session lengths and frequency depend on your hypnotherapist and the programme you choose;
- You usually receive a birth CD from your therapist for daily practice;
- A variety of techniques will be used so that you can find the techniques most helpful and effective for you, your body and your baby;
- Your partner will be encouraged to participate and learn techniques too;
- Techniques are designed to help you to achieve the birth you want;
- Find ways to increase your own confidence;
- Learn to trust in your own capabilities, power, strength, and stamina;
- Pain management techniques are discussed and taught;
- The responses that your body may have to certain elements of labour will be discussed so that you have an increased understanding and learn more about the birthing process, as well as how it affects your body;
- There will be suggested ways in which your partner can increase your calmness during your delivery;
- Self-hypnosis techniques will be explored.
Finding the best for you
Choosing a programme that makes you feel comfortable is the most important aspect to bear in mind. You want to be able to speak freely, openly and honestly with your therapist.
There can be very personal fears surrounding birthing, and you want to feel able to discuss them so that your fears, feelings, and worries can be addressed.
If it is possible, find a hypnotherapist who has a specialism in birth.
By simply making a phone call, you can ask questions to help you to decide if a therapist is able to help you in the ways you require.
Longer courses do not always mean that they are better courses or that they will be more effective when it comes to your time to give birth.
The better the practice, the better your birth will be, the more positive the experience.