The philosophy of ‘hypnobirthing’ was created by Marie Mongan.
We all want to experience a birth with minimal pain, no complications, and the outcome of having a healthy baby.
If we allow ourselves the experience, we are able to not only have a birth with much less pain, but experience birth as a tranquil, powerful, transformative experience where we realise our own inner strength as a woman.
The exercises in the hypnobirthing book and classes include positive thinking, relaxation, visualisation, breathing and physical preparation for birth.
Hypnobirthing teaches you many things, one being to expect that some complications may occur during birthing, and your ‘plan’ may not go the way you wanted it to. In this circumstance, you can take what you’ve learnt from hypnobirthing to stay calm and remain in a positive mind frame.
In my personal experience of hypnobirthing, which I started to practice at seven months pregnant, I truly wanted to have an all-natural birth with no interventions.
When it came to my birthing experience, I had gone through ten hours of labor with no pain relief, and was only four centimetres dilated.
My baby’s heart rate was dropping because of a sudden complication called ‘cord compression’. Panic started to erupt in the delivery room and I had to be rushed into the theatre in preparation for a ceasarean. To my surprise, I remained perfectly calm and practised my breathing, just trusting that everything would be okay.
When I got to theatre, I decided I wanted to try once more to have her naturally, which they allowed me to do; after one hour, she was born, perfectly healthy.
Some common questions which come to mind to people that don’t know about hypnobirthing are:
What is this? How can you have a birth that you actually enjoy?*
Is this a form of hypnotism? Am I not going to be in control when I give birth?*
Hypnosis isn’t designed to make you do anything against your will. You are in a state where you can come back to your original state whenever you choose to do so. It is about listening to a voice and giving yourself permission to enter the state they are describing to you.
Many of us have grown up in a society where we hear horror stories of birth with lots of blood and gore. This instills a subconscious fear in us, which then comes out in our own birthing process.
This strategy of hypnobirthing is giving people a realisation that birth does not have to be a fearful experience, far from it.
As you relax in labor, your body will release ‘feel good’ hormones such as serotonin and endorphins. This helps by making the birthing process much less painful and sometimes, completely painless.
However, the more tense and nervous we are, the more the body releases stress hormones, which causes the muscles to tighten, and ultimately, lead to complications.
During Hypnobirthing classes, partners are taught how to describe birth in a new vocabulary, using words such as ‘surges’ or ‘waves’ instead of ‘contractions’, and ‘intense’ instead of ‘pain.’
There are visualization techniques such as visualizing a beautiful rose opening petal by petal, and easing the baby down through the birth canal with each breath.
The only disadvantage about hypnobirthing is that it costs time and money. It is a twelve hour course ranging from $200-$500. It is strongly advised you attend all of the classes to really achieve as much knowledge as you can from the experience. I attended my hypnobirthing classes in Paddington, Brisbane, and I strongly recommend it.
So many women have been empowered by this wonderful experience of natural, relaxed birthing. On the Hypnobirthing Australia website, you can read birth stories, listen to hypnosis tracks, and look into it a bit more for yourself.