What Is Hypnobirthing and Should You Try It?

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If you’ve ever wondered what is hypnobirthing, then let a professional hypnotherapist shed some light on this relaxing birth preparation technique. Hypnobirthing uses self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to prepare you physically, mentally and spiritually and will help to decrease fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth.

You can take hypnobirthing classes to learn these techniques which can be used alongside other birthing practices you may be looking into. Hypnobirthing uses a combination of music, visualization, positive thinking and words to relax the body and control sensations during labor. The benefits of hypnobirthing are many and some research suggests that it is effective at reducing labour pain.

Add Self-Hypnosis to Your Birth Preparation Plan

There are countless untold stories of calm and gentle births. The movement for a calmer birth started decades ago with the addition of self-hypnosis to birthing programs. One such method being used is hypnobirthing. Even royals and celebrities have taken to this method to alleviate the anxiety around giving birth.

The Uniqueness of Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing focuses on re-defining the birth experience and helping birthing partners regain control during the birth process. It incorporates different breathing techniques, visualizations, and hypnosis training that all contribute to building a better mindset about giving birth. By making both partners an integral part of the birthing process, hypnobirthing helps reinforce the bond between birth partners and between each parent and the child about to be born.

A Hypnobirthing Course

What’s involved with learning hypnobirthing? These are the 5 stages of the course.

  • Setting the stage: An introduction to the philosophy and history behind gentler births.
  • Pre-birth family bonding and preparing your mind and body: Both partners learn through in-class exercises. Relaxation techniques, visualizations exercises and breathing techniques will be taught.
  • Self- hypnosis, visualisation, and advanced deepening: This portion of the course builds upon the previous one and helps practice more advanced methods such as deepening. Birth plans will be introduced and you will start working on fears. The course ends with tips to prepare your body for birth, including light touch massage.
  • Overview and summary of childbirth: Learn to recognize the hallmarks of labour and review different scenarios such as what to do if labour stalls and go through a birth rehearsal. This class walks you through the birthing experience.
  • Birthing: Focusing on the big event, learn how to breath down the baby, consider possible birthing positions, experience birth imagery and discuss breastfeeding and bonding.   

You might be interested in: Wondering what it’s like to give birth in Hong Kong? Hulda Thorey shares her take.

Who is Hypnobirthing For?

Hypnobirthing considers both the mother and the birth partner. In the hypnobirthing program, both partners will become empowered to take control of the birth of their child through education, rehearsal, and practice. The success of this method is predicated on regular practice.

baby scan: what is hynobirthing

Hypnobirthing Mothers Learn How To:

  • Allow the body to birth naturally
  • Alleviate fear and anxiety around giving birth
  • Regain control over the birthing process
  • Leverage the state of self-hypnosis to release endorphins

Hypnobirthing Partners Learn How To:

  • Assist with light touch massage and visualizations techniques
  • Provide helpful prompts as needed depending on the birthing phase
  • Assist and support during the different phases of labour
  • Create an environment that is conducive to a calmer birth through soothing music

The Importance of Mindset

There is a general consensus that the mind influences the body and therefor mindset influences the birth experience. It is well known that state of fear creates tension, narrows the field of vision, and activates reflexes aimed at protecting our bodies. From a physiological standpoint, fear leads to the secretion catecholamine which is responsible for the “fight or flight” response and at the same time the production of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) is interrupted. During childbirth women naturally secrete endorphins which contributes to a feeling of comfort. Letting fear take over the birthing process can deprive women of the natural and beneficial mechanisms built in to help with the process.

How Does Hypnosis Improve One’s Mindset?

Hypnobirthing operates at multiple levels. First by challenging the belief that birth should be difficult, it helps create more relaxation and a greater sense of control and gives both partners the ability to be active participants. Second, by helping reframe the unfamiliar discomfort occurring during childbirth, it alleviates fears, creating a virtuous circle between the mind and the body. Third, because it puts emphasis on practice, it helps embed habits that will become second nature at the time of birth.

These three benefits can be achieved through the help of hypnosis, a practice approved by many medical and psychological associations in the world. When you train with a certified hypnotherapist, you can even get some help to turn the baby to the optimal position in case the baby was in breech.

About Christine Deschemin:
Christine Deschemin is a hypnotherapist in Hong Kong, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the oldest and biggest hypnotherapy association in the world. She is the founder of the Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre and creator of the UpNow self-hypnosis app. The Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre offers bespoke hypnosis sessions and workshops as well as hypnobirthing classes.

For more info on giving birth in Hong Kong, check out our Maternity page.

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