Hypnotherapy for Birth
"Hypnotherapy for birth" is a broad term describing the number of processes using self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to make it easy for you as a mother to give birth to your child. It is a term that is being used more and more and goes hand in hand with a mother's desire to give her child and herself the best possible start in this world.
Hypnobirthing is without doubt the most well know 'brand' in the hypnotherapy birth arena, but there are some similar systems including "Hypnobabies", "Natal Hypnotherapy" which are similar, though of course they naturally claim to have some differences.
Typically some of these techniques include much more than simple hypnotherapy. Many mothers at our classes are heard to make comments like "when is the hypnosis going to begin?", because no body has started waving pendulums in front of their faces, or told them they are going to sleep! In reality the process is really much more subtle than that, and might better be described as "relaxing while practising thinking about a certain action or process in order to make the practice of it easier later on!" It includes a variety of techniques to help you relax and be in control of your own body and mind.
So What is the Childbirth problem that this helps?
As a result of the changing way in which we give birth, most of our experiences are now in a hospital under bright lights, tended by a legion of medical professionals. There are good reasons for this having come about of course, yet in previous times it may have been quite different.
How has this changed?
- A mother would have been attended mainly be her personal family and close female friends, in a place in which she was comfortable and at home.
- There is every prospect that she would have attended other births before as a younger female family member, and so would be quite familiar with the process.
- There may even have been a different emphasis because - imagine back - she would have been fulfilling her duty to her husband, family, society and to God by having this baby (this is not a religious lecture by the way!), which would have been a far cry from the modern situation, which might often be described as "An unwelcome break in her career which is likely to make life much more complex, as well as potentially harming her prospects of advancement!". No wonder we are putting off babies until later and later in life these days!
So while I'm thoroughly for being a good career girl ( I am one myself by the way), perhaps we can agree that a women's approach and attitudes to having children may have been very different a hundred years ago?
Now lets look at the media and the "Classic" Hollywood labour and birth. ("Labour" says all you need to know doesn't it!) Towels! Water! Screams! We've all seen it a thousand times re-enacting what appears to be a primitive yet un-necessary medieval torture inflicted quite unfairly only on the female of the species. ("Why can't MEN do this" - "try peeing a golf ball" - we've all said it or thought it!)
Likewise when anybody is newly pregnant they will ask around all friends and family to find out what they are going to experience. Inevitably they are told lots of horror stories and they are told not to read the last chapter in the pregnancy book for fear it might put them off the inevitable! Ask lots of Mum's about their memory of having their child is and you will be surprised by the number of women who really do not remember or choose to remember having a child. And yet surely this should be one of the best days of their lives.
So the media and our friends and family sets us up to be terrified, and we have no direct experience of childbirth with which to compare what they tell us.
And what comes with fear? - Tension.
And what comes with tension? - tense mussels, contraction, rigidity.
And how does the baby come into the world then? - With considerable difficulty.
The whole thing becomes an absurd self fulfilling prophecy. Fear followed by tension followed by pain.
So how is it that Lucy was able to say this?
"By 5am my surges were well established, so we called the midwife, who asked if the pain was manageable. When I told her I was in no pain she told us that, as this was my first baby, they would call around 7am to see if things had progressed", and "I can't wait to have the next one!"
You won't hear that on "Casualty"...
"it was really a lifeline when I felt absolutely at my lowest. You made it possible for me to pick myself up off the floor and recover from the ghastly doctor doom."
So to wrap up - the point of this process is to become more relaxed during labour, which in turn allows you to remain more in control, and gives both you and your baby a chance to make the process as easy and relaxing as possible. Many many mothers now have found out that the old way - the natural way, can be the most safe and fulfilling way of giving birth to your baby, and using hypnosis is one of the best options for making this come about.
You can use this method for making your birth easier. KG Hypnobirthing offers courses around the UK and Katharine Graves offers courses on Hypnobirthing in London, click here for more details.
I hope you will decide to have a look at the "hypnosis for birth" it really is a truly amazing process!
Background information about Home births