The ability to create, nourish, and finally bring a completely new human life into this world is nothing short of a miracle. Having a baby is one of life’s greatest gifts. However, when many women consider the actual practice of giving birth, the concern of pain and ways of preventing it is at the top of their concerns list. Although there are medications available to take the edge off or for pain treatment, many mothers prefer a more natural path.

Fortunately, for such mothers, hypnobirthing is one such solution. While the prominent method of delivering babies remains C-section (41.2% of births in the UAE happen through C-section, according to Dubai Statistic Centre), hypnobirthing is also gaining more recognition now.

Here is a guide to know more about hypnobirthing.

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a birthing practice that combines self-hypnosis and relaxation methods to help a mother feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually equipped for childbirth, while also reducing her sense of fear, anxiety, and discomfort.

While particular programs vary, hypnobirthing programs usually teach participants how to relax the body and regulate sensations during labor by using a combination of music, imagery, positive thinking, and language. While the underlying concept has been around for years, the exact term was introduced in hypnotherapist Marie Mongan’s 1989 book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life. Her beliefs are motivated by early proponents of “natural birth”, Dr. Jonathan Dye and Dr. Grantly Dick-Read.

The concept is that when the body and mind are totally calm, birth may occur more swiftly and painlessly, since the body is not battling the natural process.

How does Hypnobirthing work?

Hypnosis can assist birthing women to overcome the “fear-tension-pain syndrome”, which makes delivery more difficult. The condition leads the blood to flow away from non-essential organs like the uterus and towards big muscle groups in the legs. Experts have asserted that hypnosis-induced relaxation can prevent this from happening.

With the use of hypnosis, a woman may induce a state of deep relaxation in her body, allowing the muscles to operate as they should during labor. She compares it to daydreaming or becoming engrossed in a book or movie. People who have tried this approach say they feel comfortable, peaceful, conscious, and in control.

Hypnobirthing techniques

The power of suggestion lies at the heart of the Hypnobirthing procedure. Positive affirmations, ideas, and visualizations are used by the laboring woman to calm her body, direct her thoughts, and manage her breathing. She can perform it alone (self-hypnosis) or with the help of a hypnotherapist. Other methods include controlled breathing and focusing on positive thoughts and words.

Benefits of Hypnobirthing

  • It enables you to stay attentive and awake
  • It gives a feeling of control
  • It can help to reduce tension and anxiety during delivery
  • During labor, it might give comfort, relaxation, and relief
  • It improves the postpartum experience
  • It is a natural method of pain relief. There are no medicines that might harm you or your baby

Hypnobirthing Myths Debunked

There are numerous myths about many of the methods available to assist you to bring your kid into the world, including hypnobirthing. Here are some of those myths and their reality:

  • Hypnobirthing promises a pain-free birth

While hypnobirthing is beneficial in assisting mothers throughout labor by employing breathing methods meant to increase oxygenated blood and enhance key painkilling and relaxing chemicals inside the body, it does not guarantee pain-free birth for everybody. Pain is a subjective experience, and what one woman considers excruciating may be nothing for another.

  • Hypnobirthing is for hippies

Some people may be put off by the term because it implies that only “hippies” will benefit from it — the word conjures up thoughts of incense and chanting, yet nothing could be far from the reality. Hypnobirthing’s concepts are all rooted in the biology of the human body.

  • Hypnobirthing is only for drug-free natural births:

Contrary to the popular belief, hypnobirthing is effective for different types of deliveries, not just drug-free or water births. Of course, if that is the conception you desire, the approaches will be quite beneficial. It is worth noting though that even if you choose a C-section, the skills and methods you will acquire on hypnobirthing training will prove helpful. You will always want to meet your baby calmly, relaxedly, and comfortably.

  • You will be hypnotized

This is a widespread misconception, and while it is understandable that people might associate hypnobirthing with being hypnotized, they couldn’t be more wrong. Hypnobirthing is an evidence-based, rational, and scientifically accurate antenatal education program designed to help women have the most pleasant birth experience possible. In reality, hypnobirthing has nothing to do with hypnotizing.

  • Hypnobirthing is for a particular kind of person or birth:

The only criterion that makes you eligible for hypnobirthing is being pregnant. It is truly suitable for all types of people and all types of births, whether it is your first or fourth child. It makes no difference where or how you intend to undertake it.

If hypnobirthing appeals to you, inquire with your doctor or midwife about classes in your area. There are also a number of resources available online. Even if your delivery does not go as planned, the techniques you learn in hypnobirthing sessions may be useful to you long beyond pregnancy.

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