Although the word hypnobirthing conjures up images of hippies in trances dancing around flowers – it is far from that! It is basically relaxation – learning how to become relaxed, and how to remain relaxed during labour and childbirth. It has been proven that hypnobirthing reduces the need for pain relief during labour and helps the mother enjoy her labour.
Hypnobirthing is based on the following principles:
1. Using relaxation exercises to reduce pain during labour
Fear leads to tense muscles, which leads to pain. When we are anxious/stressed/scared we tense (back problems are a common symptom of stress). This tension in our muscles is much more painful than when they are relaxed (try pinching your arm while tense, and then again while relaxed and notice the difference). By relaxing our muscles during labour, we are reducing the pain and enabling the birthing process to happen more easily and comfortably.
2. Using hypnotherapy exercises to remove the fear of giving birth
Society today teaches us to be afraid of childbirth and the pain that goes with it. We are taught about all the things that can go wrong during childbirth and given details of all the pain relief available, as we are expected to need it during labour. By confronting these fears through simple exercises and providing reliable information, we are able to remove them.
3. Gaining confidence in our bodies and our ability to birth naturally
Women in our modern society have lost confidence in the female body and its ability to do what it was built for i.e. fertilising, incubating, growing and birthing babies. By learning about the logical process and how the female body changes to accommodate pregnancy and childbirth, we are able to understand how the female body works, and have confidence in women’s ability to labour and birth naturally without intervention.
Hypnobirthing is not magic. It doesn’t guarantee a pain free birth (although this does happen!), neither does it guarantee a natural birth – but it does:
- Reduce the expected pain of labour by allowing natural endorphins to be released to replace the stress hormones that create pain
- Give women confidence to allow their bodies to birth when they are ready, reducing the need for medical intervention
- Enable the mother and partner to remain relaxed, calm and confident throughout the labour and birth, for all birthing methods – from natural vaginal birth to emergency caesarean section.
The Katharine Graves Hypnobirthing Teacher Training Course is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives
Please also refer to the following links for further information:
The Hypnobirthing Association: www.thehypnobirthingassociation.com
KG Hypnobirthing: www.kghypnobirthing.com