Hypnobirthing is a process by which women can achieve a state of calm and relaxation at the time of giving birth so that it becomes possible to deliver the baby without pain. It is the rebirth of an old technique. Hypnobirthing can be an option for expectant mothers of any age, for those who already have children and even those who may have got a C-Section for an earlier delivery. It is the most suitable method to give birth without medication and yet pain free. The most prevalent method of hypnobirthing is called the Mongan method. If you are thinking of adopting this method for delivery, you and your partner need to attend hypnobirthing classes.
The technique of hypnobirthing is actually centuries old. This is a process where you can condition your body to relax during labor so that the process of childbirth is smooth and pain free. This method was noted and described by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read in the 1920s. He was an English obstetrician who advocated natural birthing methods.
How does hypnobirthing work ?
From the time that you were able to understand the concept of childbirth, you were given the information that it is a painful and even dangerous process. Mothers, aunts and even sisters supply horror stories of labor and this is reinstated by books and movies. However, childbirth is a natural process. A woman’s body is naturally created in such a way as to go through this process. The negative information builds up a negative image of a completely natural event in your mind to such an extent that childbirth and pain becomes inseparable. Hence, when the time comes to give birth, you are so tensed up and afraid of pain that that actually interferes with the normal birthing process. Adrenaline is secreted as a fight or flight response is triggered in your body. Precious energy and blood flow is directed to your arms and legs as you panic instead of concentrating all your energy on the process of delivery. The blood flow to the uterus reduces which slows down the process of labor. Her partner can ease her pain by holding her hand.
In addition, the fear prevents the secretion of the hormone oxytocin when you most need it. This is the so called feel good hormone which relaxes the muscles necessary to give birth and fills the expectant mother with a feeling of joy and accomplishment. In order to prevent the above negative chain action from taking place, you can use the Mongan method of hypnobirthing. This is the best process of natural childbirth without any medication or unnecessary medical intervention. The process works in the following way:
- You will have to decide whether you want to opt for hypnobirthing. This is a natural method without medication and without pain.
- When you decide to go this way, you will need to enroll in a class of hypnobirthing with your partner. Start your classes between 25th and 29th week of your pregnancy.
- Your coach teaches you about the best positions to ease and shorten labor. You also learn deep breathing and relaxation techniques which will keep you calm at the time of delivery.
- Affirmative languages are used to replace certain words in the context of childbirth. For example, contractions are referred to as tightening or surges, labor pain is referred to as pressure.
- You remain aware and able to follow instructions during the process of labor. But you can coach yourself to sink to a deeply relaxed state. As the muscles in your birth canal relax, the baby is delivered much quicker and in a smoother manner.
Advantages of hypnobirthing – is it safe?
Hypnobirthing has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years. A Maryland based nurse-midwife reports that as many as 40% of her patients are now opting for this method. The various advantages are as follows:
- With the help of techniques of hypnobirthing, labor need not be an ordeal. Instead, you get to truly enjoy a beautiful experience that nature intended.
- This method avoids medication or other forms of intervention. It is a natural process of childbirth. Since normal delivery is the norm, you recover faster.
- It induces a calm and relaxed state in you and you can visualize the birthing process in the most positive light. It is reported by mothers that babies who were born with the help of hypnobirthing methods appear to be pore calm and relaxed.
- The relaxation techniques employed by the hypnobirthing methods lead to an easy and shorter labor.
- It helps to create a gentle and intimate atmosphere which is the best possible scenario during a birth. It is far removed from the battle scene of screams and gore accompanying labor as most women think of it.
- The greatest question that you must ask is that whether hypnobirthing is safe for you and your baby. This is the single most important point which has made this method so popular. It is completely safe and natural; however, hypnobirthing is not theoretically opposed to the use of medication and intervention when necessary. In fact, though hypnobirthing coaches allow that with this technique you can even give birth from the comfort of your home, they also declare that it is better to give birth in a hospital where there will be doctors on the standby, ready to intervene if the need arises.
In 2006, a research study was conducted on 5 existing groups. It concluded that women who adopted hypnobirthing methods are half as likely to use painkiller drugs during labor and only one third is likely to use an epidural.
Finally, you may ask whether it is a suitable choice for you. Hypnobirthing can be practiced by women of all ages, first time moms-to-be as well as those who have previous children who may have been born using other methods including C-section. The great advantage is that if any complication rises during delivery, conventional medical interventions may be made readily.