What birth experience do you want? Hypnobirthing could make the difference.
Giving birth should be a wonderful experience without excessive pain or trauma because it is a natural physiological process that women’s bodies are designed for. For a lot of women the experience is far from easy and can indeed be quite painful and traumatic.
We listen to birth stories from a young age passed from our mothers, female relatives, friends, colleagues and from the media and they are usually portray labour and giving birth in a less than positive light. The thing is, if we expect pain then that is usually what we get. Expectations are pretty low for mother and father/ partner.
For labour to proceed we need to produce a chemical called oxytocin, because it stimulates the muscles of the uterus to contract which helps to push baby along the birth canal. Unfortunately when a woman feels scared or anxious she produces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which puts her body into fight or flight mode. These stress hormones inhibit the production of oxytocin which causes the uterus to stiffen and resist contractions. We are programmed not to give birth anywhere that is dangerous, so if we are frightened or we perceive danger then the whole birthing process stops. So in a nutshell – fear stops labour. No wonder we all think of giving birth as an ordeal.
It doesn’t have to be like this because birth is an automatic and involuntary process and doesn’t have to be managed or controlled. If you feel safe and have a calm state of mind your body will produce the necessary hormones and neurochemicals that will ensure that labour progresses naturally.
How does hypnobirthing help?
Hypnobirthing focuses on teaching a woman how her body is designed to give birth calmly, comfortably and gently and empowers her to do just that by using relaxation and breathing techniques. Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and focused attention which means that the woman remains conscious and in control but calmer and more relaxed.
The benefits of hypnobirthing include:
- Reduce or eliminate fear
- Produce pervasive relaxation
- Significantly diminish or eliminate the need for medication; thereby eliminating its risks and post-delivery effects for both mother and child
- Increase the rate of spontaneous vaginal birth, reducing the need for intervention
- Shorten the period of labour; by reducing anxiety during each stage
- Make it possible the management and control of sensations of discomfort
- Promote a steady recovery
- Foster and increase positive emotions during the entire birth process
- Help you create of an experience which has positive memories attached
- Reduce incidence of post-natal depression
- Stimulate and maintain a strong energy level into the post-delivery phase
- Promote lactation for breast-feeding
- Calmer, more laid-back baby
Hypnobirthing allows the father or birth partner to be fully involved and is encouraged to take an active role in supporting the mum to be.
My name is Carolyn Kennerley and I am a qualified hypnotherapist who is also trained in hypnobirthing and I am able to offer hypnobirthing classes either in small groups or with individual couples. The classes will teach you self-hypnosis, relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques and to trust your body to do what comes naturally.
If you would like a more positive birthing experience then hypnobirthing could be for you.