The principles of Hypnobirthing
Giving birth calmly, safely and gently is every woman's and every baby's birthright. A woman's body has been perfectly designed to give birth to her baby. Free of fear, stress and anxiety her body is able to work in synchrony with her baby to naturally produce a beautiful blend of birthing hormones. When a woman is calm and relaxed the muscles which assist in the birth her baby are able to work harmoniously and effectively which means she has an easier, more gentle birth that is often also accompanied by a significant reduction in pain. These wonderful birthing hormones and muscles help to ensure that a woman can have the amazing, beautiful and profound experience that nature intended birth to be.
Hypnobirthing is not about training mothers to give birth. It is about helping women to release fear and anxiety and reclaim their confidence in themselves. Hypnobirthing is about learning how to use self-hypnosis and relaxation so the body and mind can easily go into a naturally deeply relaxed state which is perfect for birthing babies gently. Hypnobirthing is now widely recognised by birth professionals and is regularly discussed in the media. Hypnobirthing is commonly accepted as an effective approach to childbirth with many midwives training in the technique having witnessed 'hypnobirths' first-hand.
The History of Hypnobirthing
More natural and gentle approaches to childbirth including hypnobirthing began in modern times with the work, amongst others, of Dr Grantly Dick-Read, an obstetrician working in England in the early 19th century. His careful observations of women giving birth led him to develop the theory of the 'fear-tension-pain syndrome'.
Having witnessed women giving birth easily, calmly and comfortably he concluded that what made the process of birth painful was fear. Fear caused tension in the woman's body and disrupted the natural processes of labour and birth. Dr Dick-Read documented the negative effect of fear on childbirth. In his books he argued that childbirth did not have to be the painful ordeal that women had been led to believe they must suffer. He suggested that when fear is not present a woman can give birth comfortably and pain-free.
Unfortunately, the view that labour and birth are painful and traumatic continues to be one which is still widely circulated in the media. Even among well-meaning friends and family the negative view often persists and pregnant women are frequently bombarded with negative and fear-evoking images and stories. One of the main elements of hypnobirthing is the removal of such fears and the use of positive images, positive language and positive affirmations about birth.
Marie Mongon, an American hypnotherapist was one of the first people to use the term HypnoBirthing. She developed a teaching program for parents to be which she brought to the UK in the early 90's. Since then hypnobirthing has gained in popularity and many practitioners including Katherine Graves have gone on to adapt and enhance hypnobirthing techniques specifically for the UK. There are now many hypnobirthing practitioners and whilst each has a slightly different approach the key elements of hypnobirthing remain the same - free of fear and tension a woman can give birth to her baby calmly, safely, gently.
"If the birth is calm, gentle & drug free for you, it's also calm, gentle & drug free for your baby"
""My dream is that every woman, everywhere, will know the joy of a truly safe, comfortable, and satisfying birthing for herself and her baby."
teaches deep relaxation which keeps you and your birth partner free of stress and fear
facilitates your body's production of powerful, natural pain relieving endorphins and feel good hormones
helps to shorten the length of the first stage of labour
reduces the need for surgical interventions
helps to keep baby calm and well oxygenated
leaves you and baby feeling calm but alert and able to fully experience those special first few hours together
empowers you and your birth partner to remain calm and in control even if there are unexpected circumstances
"My son was born at 4:50am. I sat back having been on all fours, and just stared at him swimming up on his back, eyes open in the water. The midwife had to prompt me to pick him up. I came out of this trance-like state and I scooped him up and suddenly the power of speech returned and I felt euphoric."
AB, HYPNOBIRTHING MUM TISBURY