HypnoBirthing | The Facts

Many women want to give birth naturally. But the fear of labour and pain usually holds them back. Now there’s an alternative method that could help you overcome that: HypnoBirthing. By Claire Barnardo

When it comes to giving birth naturally, one of the latest trends that’s gaining popularity is HypnoBirthing. Although it’s considered quite an unconventional practice, HypnoBirthing is really all about the natural birth process. It’s empowering and practical too. Here’s how it can help you deliver successfully.

What is HypnoBirthing?

HypnoBirthing (The Mongan Method) is a birthing method that teaches expectant mothers how to give birth naturally by using self-hypnosis techniques. “It’s a complete antenatal course that prepares a mother and her partner for the best natural birth possible,” says Kim Young, HypnoBirthing practitioner and educator, and founder and owner of Beautifully Born Hypnobirthing. This birthing method is currently drawing a lot of interest. It helps moms to overcome their fears and relax by using their natural instinct to give birth. “When the mom is free from fear, her body (specifically her uterus) functions more efficiently. This means a shorter labour, less need for drugs or intervention and a much calmer, happier baby,” says Patti Good, accredited journey therapist of BabyJourney.

The term ‘hypno’ initially conjures up images of being ‘out of it’ and without control. But Good says: “Nothing could be further from the truth. HypnoBirthing is about deep relaxation for childbirth. In fact, it should have been called ‘relaxo-birthing’.” The method aims to help the body relax, which in turn makes the subconscious mind more receptive to suggestion. The more a mom can relax, the more she can trust her body, as well as her partner who’s helping her release any birth-related fears.
“This impacts the hormones positively (specifically endorphins which are 200 times stronger than morphine) and thus helps the inner circular muscles of the uterus to function more efficiently. It results in an easier labour and often a reduction in pain,” says Good.

How to prepare for HypnoBirthing?

Couples attend a series of five two-and-a-half hour classes and invest their own time to prepare for the birth. “Pregnant moms and their birthing companions learn a range of relaxation techniques, physiology, massage, practical advice regarding their birth choices, and how to manage all aspects of the birth process. By learning exactly how the body’s perfectly designed for birth, using deep relaxation (self-hypnosis) breathing and releasing fear, a mother’s able to work with her body through the process, instead of holding back. This significantly reduces and often eliminates the pain experienced during birth entirely,” says Young.
The partner also learns how to support the mother effectively throughout the birth. The couple works as a team, planning the birth through pregnancy, and remaining calm and in control throughout the birth – regardless of how it turns out. “When someone is free from fear and their body is filled with ‘feel-good’ hormones, the birth experience tends to be much gentler. In fact, we currently have a 68% natural birth rate in SA with HypnoBirthing, versus a 70% C-Section rate in the private sector,” says Good.

Pros and Cons of HypnoBirthing

Pros

  • Reduces pain and length of labour.
  • Reduces your need for medication and intervention.
  • Increases your chances of a faster recovery.
  • Makes babies calmer at birth.
  • Can make breastfeeding easier.
  • Fewer cases of post-natal depression.
  • Babies are more alert and have a higher Apgar score.
  • Highly beneficial for relaxing moms during C-Sections too.

Cons

  • Perception is that not everyone can do it.
  • It takes months of practice, preparation and dedication.
  • Birth is unpredictable and you may not get to use the technique unexpectedly.

 

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