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Historically the first way to give birth, natural childbirth is a philosophy that, if adequately prepared, women can give birth to their child naturally without unnecessary medical intervention. Since the beginning of time women have given birth at home, generally assisted by a midwife, local doctor, or members of the woman’s family.

Hypnobirthing is a new, modern way of natural childbirth education enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques that dates back to ancient times. It places an emphasis on pregnancy and childbirth, pre-birth parenting, and the unborn baby’s consciousness and teaches women to use their natural instincts so they have an easier, safer birthing experience. Hypnobirthing is based on the work of English obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read, author of 1944’s “Childbirth Without Fear,” which uses hypnosis during labor to ease fear, tension, and pain that make labor more difficult.

A method used for centuries, hypnosis speaks directly to the subconscious mind and bypasses the active and critical conscious mind in order to learn new attitudes and responses easier and faster.

What is hypnosis?

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis; the hypnotherapist is only the guide. A person who chooses to enter into a hypnotic state can stay in and come out at will. It is believed that about 90 to 95 percent of people can be hypnotized, with the main influential factors being willingness, belief, and motivation. Contrary to popular belief, those with a stronger mind or strong will are easier to hypnotize instead of the other way around.

Being in a hypnotic trance does not make a person give out any information or do anything against their will, and it has nothing to do with a specific religion. Instead, hypnosis is a way to direct the inner mind toward positive thoughts. During a hypnotic trance, a person is neither unconscious nor asleep, and they can come out of the trance any time they would like to do so.

Hypnosis is often successfully used in medical and dental procedures by patients who have life-threatening allergies to anesthetics, allowing them to undergo surgeries with no drugs and no pain. It is basically the act of the mind being trained to experience discomfort or pain as merely pressure.

Hypnosis for labor

Hypnotic techniques in labor are used to help a mother achieve total relaxation of her body and take away fear, tension, and pain. Studies show that if a mother is able to relax during labor using learned relaxation techniques and cues to help bring her to a state of complete relaxation, she can give birth without the pain and fear so commonly associated with labor in today’s society.

Hypnosis has been shown to reduce the need for medical interventions like pain medications as well as complications during labor and delivery, causing babies to be more social, eat and sleep better, and gain weight better than other babies. While being hypnotized does not take away the mother’s pain completely, it is thought to enable her to approach the birth experience as a joyous celebration instead of a painful event.

Focused concentration used in hypnosis is said to be a natural state of mind where the body and mind are very relaxed, yet the mind is completely focused and aware of all that is going on. Therefore, the pregnant woman can come in or out of hypnosis at any time she wishes, because she is in control at all times and is completely conscious to the actions taking place around her. Hypnosis during labor is thought to enable the mother to have a shorter labor with less bleeding, fewer complications, and a faster recovery time.

Hypnobirthing classes

Hypnobirthing classes operate on the theory of the Pain-Tension-Fear cycle coined by Grantly Dick-Read during the 1940s. Smaller classes with only two or three couples at a time are taught at a hospital or in private, and the class is used to teach expectant parents to trust in the woman’s ability to birth her baby. Recordings are used to help the mother through guided relaxation.
While childbirth education classes are generally thought of as being only for mothers who wish to have a vaginal, unmedicated birth, Hypnobirthing is used as knowledge in every childbirth based on the idea that educating oneself can alleviate any fears and actually reduce the length of labor. Therefore, anyone who is interested can do Hypnobirthing, even in the case of a high-risk pregnancy. It is even said to be helpful during a Cesarean section surgery by eliminating nervous and inducing relaxation.

Posted by Andrew
on Feb 8 2011. Filed under Allergies, Pregnancy, Weight.
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