If you are interested in, or considering hypnobirthing, you are in good company!
Olympic Gold Medalist Libby Trickett, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen have all used hypnobirthing, and are very positive about its effects in helping to have a pain-free labour.
The Duchess of Cambridge is also reputed to have used hypnosis and hypnobirthing for the birth of Prince George.
The article, “Can hypnobirthing make labour easier and less painful?” states that the benefits of hypnobirthing are:-
- a shorter first stage labour
- less intense pain
- a shorter stay in hospital
- less fear and anxiety after the birth of your baby
The article also states that hypnosis and hypnobirthing enables the pregnant woman to remain calm and free of fear. It also encourages endorphin release. These opiate chemicals decrease pain and increase positive feelings of calmness. If expectant mothers feel pain, or fear during labour, their body can release adrenaline which reduces blood flow to the womb, so that the muscles of the womb do not work as well as they could, making labour harder and longer. The baby will also get less oxygen. Less oxytocin (which eases labour) is produced, and also less endorphins (which numb pain).
ABC News article “Hypnobirthing: Hippie trend or legitimate practice?” states that the three main methods used in hypnobirthing are: breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and self-hypnosis.
These are practised during pregnancy and also used for stress relief and focus in preparation for, during, and after birth.
Allan Cyna, a senior anaesthetist and hypnotherapist from Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, also states that hypnobirthing uses hypnosis principles to change perceptions of what happens during labour, e.g., the mother can focus on each contraction meaning that the birth (and meeting their child) is coming closer. This is a much more positive emotion than feeling fear of any pain.
Hannah Dahlen, the Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney, is of the opinion that hypnobirthing helps to remove fear from childbirth, and thus reduce muscle tension, which increases the pain in labour.
Fear can be made worse by some of the things that medical staff can say to expectant mothers – e.g. “your pelvis is not large enough”, or “your baby is too large for a normal delivery”. In other cases, expectant mothers are encouraged to use medical interventions such as Caesarean sections, episiotomies and epidurals. These interventions can encourage mothers to feel increased fear. Of course, sometimes medical intervention is absolutely required to ensure safety of both mother and child.
Overall, hypnobirthing can improve the experience of labour for an expectant mother. If you are interested, several organisations run classes in hypnobirthing for expectant mothers and their partners.