Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a comprehensive birthing class that fully prepares you for birth with the knowledge and confidence you need to birth calmly and gently. It focuses on deep relaxation, working with the body, working with the birthing instincts, releasing fear, and replacing it with confidence and trust in the birth process. With Hypnobirthing you'll have the knowledge to make confident decisions with your labour options, for a safer, faster, healthier labor for you and your baby.
The concept of Hypnobirthing is not new, but rather a "rebirth" of the philosophy of birthing as it existed thousands of years ago and as it was recaptured in the work of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician, who, in the 1920s, was one of the first to forward the concept of natural birthing. The method teaches you that, in the absence of fear and tension, or special medical circumstances, severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labour.
Hypnobirthing is based on the philosophy that when a woman is properly prepared for childbirth free from fear and stress, she can allow her body to function in the same well-designed manner that it does in nature.
Hypnobirthing prepares the mother with the knowledge to birth confidently and comfortably.
While other methods teach the woman how to cope with and manage pain; Hypnobirthing provides women with the information needed to feel relaxed, free of society's expectation of pain, and ready to allow her body to birth in the manner it was designed to.
When women understand that pain is caused by constrictor hormones, created by fear, they learn, instead, to release fear thus creating endorphins—the feel good hormones.
They are then able to change their expectations of long, painful labor and are able to replace them with expectations of a more comfortable birthing.
Rather than exhausting, shallow breathing and the distraction techniques of typical "prepared childbirth" programs, Hypnobirthing parents learn deep abdominal breathing and total relaxation, enabling the labouring mother to work in harmony with her body and her baby. This allows her to achieve a shorter and more comfortable labor for herself and baby.
Hypnobirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many Hypnobirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage easily.
When the cause of pain – fear that constricts the birthing muscles – is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably.
A relaxed mother's body will produce more endorphins, nature's own relaxants. Hypnobirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure; but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations, and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who choose other methods of preparation for birthing.
The Birth Companion is an integral part of the Hypnobirthing experience.
He or she practices with the mother in helping to prepare for deep relaxation. During labour the Birth Companion guides the laboring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, and visualizations, provides comfort measures, and joins in welcoming the new baby, often by receiving the baby as he emerges.
What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with Hypnobirthing? Can I still use this method and how can they help me to achieve my Hypnobirthing goals?
More and more care providers are becoming aware of the benefits of Hypnobirthing. Many hospitals offer Hypnobirthing as an option in their childbirth education programs, and Hypnobirthing iis now taught in some schools of medicine to student doctors.
If your care giver is not knowledgeable about Hypnobirthing, take the opportunity early in your pregnancy to discuss the techniques you will be using and the type of calm birthing environment that you desire.
In class, you will learn how to create a plan of Birth Preferences, which will help you to communicate your birthing goals and preferences to your doctor or midwife. Also, your Hypnobirthing instructor will contact your provider with information on Hypnobirthing.
Many Doctors & Midwifes love Hypnobirthing. Educated, confident, deeply relaxed mothers, who feel empowered to birth naturally and have much fewer complications; That's what attendants at Hypnobirthings have seen and love!
Will Hypnobirthing be useful to me if I don't opt for a natural childbirth or if I need medical intervention or a C-section?
Absolutely. Hypnobirthing classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience.
In the event that medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control.
Mothers who have needed scheduled cesareans report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many report that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.
You are definitely conscious during self-hypnosis. The Hypnobirthing mother is deeply relaxed, but she is also an active participant in the labour process. Though she is deeply relaxed, she is totally aware and may return to a conversant state or choose to become mobile whenever she desires. Hypnobirthing mothers often find that they experience time distortion and are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, while they focus on their birthing and their baby.
Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxed concentration and focus. What you experience with Hypnobirthing is similar to the daydreaming or focusing that occurs when you are engrossed in a book, staring at a fire, or are driving a car. You will be fully in control and able to carry on normal conversation. You can remain in touch with the instruction, encouragement and support of your birthing companion. You will be aware of your surges (contractions), but you will feel relaxed and calm.