the Fear and Pain of Childbirth Using Hypnosis
Learning to birth with hypnosis—especially for first time moms—means learning to birth without fear and pain. The first goal in the process is to overcome the fear of childbirth that has been embedded in each woman's consciousness, a natural consequence of cultural conditioning. Probably from before a woman has even thought about having a child or becoming pregnant she has been taught to believe that childbirth will be the most painful experience of her life. This is what we call being negatively hypnotized. This is not to say that giving birth is easy, it certainly is not—it probably will be the hardest work a woman will ever have to do with one of the most sensitive parts of her body—that is why it is called “labor.” However, it can also be one of the most fulfilling, wonderful and ecstatic events in a woman’s life, one that can impact many aspects of her life for years to come. How a woman gives birth can have a powerful effect on many aspects of her sense of self, her feelings of self confidence and personal power, her feelings toward her body and new born; and her feelings toward her sexuality as well as the resumption of her sexual life with her partner.
Learning to birth with hypnosis can do more than just teach a mom to approach labor without fear. It also teaches her to relax and divert her attention away from each contraction. There are many false impressions around birthing with hypnosis because of the numerous commonly held misconceptions that exist about hypnosis itself. As a practitioner and teacher of the hypnotic process, I know from personal experience that many people who could benefit from the technique stay away from it because they do not understanding how hypnosis really works. Hypnosis is a heightened state of focused concentration. It is a natural cognitive function and something we experience every day when our attention is so completely absorbed on one thing that we are able block out all other distractions. It does not have anything to do with one person having power over another, which is the most common misunderstanding of hypnosis. Rather, the technique enables the person using hypnosis to have more power over his or her own body or behavior since all hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis. It is a tool, taught by the hypnotist to the client that inherently empowers the individual using it. When used in childbirth it enables the laboring mother not only to relax her body but also to determine what she would like to feel with each and every contraction, which I will refer to as a “surge.” For example, instead of tensing her body with the onset of each new surge she relaxes her body and experiences it as a sensation that she has chosen and has previously rehearsed in self-hypnosis training. She may wish to experience a surge as a sensation of pressure, or a pulling up or stretching, but not pain. In addition, when using hypnosis, time can be condensed. Moms that birth with hypnosis, are trained to experience each new surge as lasting no longer that 15 or 20 seconds.
Hypnosis is an active, conscious and mindful process, one that can be learned with training and practice. Through this process the expectant mom learns to over come long held fears that have become a part of her consciousness and that are reinforced daily by the comments of well-meaning friends and family. These comments help to maintain the negative hypnotic spell that fuels the worry. After the learning the “fear release technique” the mother is asked not to listen to any more negative stories, stopping however politely or impolitely, the next negative birthing story that comes her way. She and her partner are given the opportunity to incorporate the fear release technique into there at home practice.
is taught in Group & Individual sessions.