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My Hypnobirthing experience with Katharine Graves

I consider myself a curious person who likes to explore new things. My main interests are ways of self-improvement & self-development. I’m also very keen on discovering secrets of conscious & subconscious mind. So this time I challenged myself to find out about Hypnobirthing. I took a Hypnobirthing course with Mrs. Katharine Graves May 5th-May 8th, 2011 and trained as hypnotherapy teacher/ practitioner. I really didn’t have any idea what to expect, so if you are curious too, let’s begin:


What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is one area which comes under the umbrella of Hypnotherapy for birth.  It is pre-natal series of classes using relaxation techniques, breathing, positive suggestion and visualisations to programme your mind  to reach the state of relaxation and harmony. This will enable you to be calm and collected even in otherwise stressful situations.

“It is simply a way of releasing some of the un-helpful and debillitating beliefs and assumptions that we have acquired on our journey through life. It can actually control pain.

There is no magic to achieving success with self-hypnosis.
Almost anyone who chooses to can reach deep relaxation and redirected focus.

Hypnobirthing is simply words, used in a positive and focused way, to help you release your worries and concerns about giving birth.

You will experience your birthing in an atmosphere of calm and relaxation, without the fear and tension that cause pain.  Your body’s natural anesthaesia (endorphins) will replace the stress hormones that create pain.” K. Graves

How does Hypnobirthing work?
Hypnobirthing will teach you how to be calm and collected in every situation, so you can experience comfortable birth.
Normally, in stressful situations body increases production of the stress hormone ADRENALIN which helps body to deal with stress: dilates pupils, increases the speed and rate of heart rate and directs blood flow and oxygen supply to extremities ( Fight/Fly response) which will decrease blood flow to uterus (womb) and baby.Certain levels of adrenalin are needed during the labor to cope with intense activity and provide energy but very high levels of adrenalin will interfere with labor hormones and labor may slow down.
When we are in state of harmony and balance, body releases hormone OXYTOCIN which has 2 main functions:
1. Behavioural actions: enables social interactions and love, promotes bonding
2. Peripheral actions: regulates contractions of uterus during the labor and let-down reflex of milk ejection during breastfeeding
Baseline is that body can release only one hormone at the time: either adrenalin or oxytocin, they cannot be released simultanously , so you will be either stressed or calm.When you will be calm, your  body will also produce ENDORPHINES which act as natural pain reliever and are more powerful than drugs.


Research confirms inhibitory effect of adrenalin produced during the stress on labor hormone oxytocine, thus it may be beneficial to use relaxation to reduce levels of adrenalin.
1. Lederman RP, Lederman E, Work B Jr, McCann DS: Anxiety and multiparous women in labor

2. Tadeusz Barowicz (1979). Inhibitory effect of adrenaline on oxytocin release in the ewe during the milk-ejection reflex. Journal of Dairy Research, 46, pp 41-46


4. Childbirth Connection: Hormones driving labor and birth

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