These days many people are hearing all about the natural birth technique that just keeps growing in popularity known as self hypnosis for childbirth. Most people who want to use this method will either learn from Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing
While there are some differences between the two, both methods have a lot of similarities. Both methods concentrate a lot on helping a laboring mom learn to find what helps her become completely relaxed and allow her body to do what it needs to rather than fight against it.
These methods are some of the most successful methods out there for helping a woman achieve a natural birth. I believe that the experience of birth is very mental and being in the right state of mind is an important element of successful natural birth. I think knowing that your body can give birth without any help is empowering. With self hypnosis study you get to watch and read about women who have had amazing births. You are taught how to visualize things going smoothly and have a positive attitude.
Admittedly, being a self hypnosis mom does not guarantee you a successful natural birth. Your natural birthing method is one element of many required to have a successful natural birth. Having only supportive people with you (family, nurses, care providers, doulas) plays a huge role in a successful natural birth. As does a comfortable, calm, and peaceful environment. And of course most human beings have their limits, even with all the right pieces in place, some woman may come up against unexpected hurdles that push them past their ability to cope. The one that effects my clients the most is necessity for artificial induction or augmentation with pitocin. Once pitocin is introduced the natural ability to produce endorphins and other happy drugs gets cut off and the power of the mind stops being enough. I have seen pitocin moms have a successful natural birth but they are more rare.
I do feel that there are a lot of physiology details that are left out of these methods (Hypnobirthing in particular) and it does sometimes leave mothers in the dark about what is happening, especially if things don’t go as planned. Also the notion of “pain free birth” that Hypnobirthing discusses is not going to always be the case even for the best student. A woman in labor needs to understand that feeling pain does not mean she has somehow failed. What matters is is how well she is coping and that she is keeping the end goal in mind and not letting pain become suffering.
A lot of my clients struggle with this method because it feels “too hippie.” We have been very well trained in western culture to stay in our conscious mind. We are not used to letting go in the ways that these methods sometimes suggest. Truthfully not every element of self hypnosis will work for everyone. I tell my clients to simply take from the program what does work for them and what they are comfortable with.
The main goal is to find what helps you relax and go inside your birthing body. If it’s not one of these two methods, then find out what it is for you!
If you have any questions about self hypnosis for childbirth or need help finding a Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing instructor in your area, let me know.