Me - "Hypno...WHAT?"
That is what my mind was telling me when I first heard about HypnoBirthing, from my midwife six years ago.
In nursing school, Lamaze and The Bradley Method were the childbirth courses you were taught that mothers used for natural childbirth. I had never heard of HypnoBirthing and honestly the name instantaneously made me skeptical.
My nursing mind went into full research mode and I read about it online. I purchased and read the book of the original program, developed by Marie Mongan. I watched the amazing births on YouTube. I was in awe.
Like many, hypnosis is often viewed as a person being suggested or influenced by someone else to do something they do not wish to do or have a desire to do (stage hypnotism). I never really cared to look into it until I was given this program name from my midwife. What I learned in my research was that hypnosis was not that at all.
When it comes to birth, our culture has inundated women and men that childbirth is a dangerous, painful, unpleasant experience. How do we rid our mind of the fear we have of birth, and return our natural birthing instincts and power to our belief system? Hypnosis and deep relaxation.
Our subconscious mind is what holds our memories and beliefs. Hypnosis is a zoom lens on the subconscious. Much is buried below the surface of our conscious minds. In hypnosis, we are creating visualizations with a certain goal in mind. In birthing, that may be a natural birth, or a birth without fear, or a medicated calm birth. We are changing our belief that "My body is flawed and this is a dangerous medical event" to "I have an amazing body and I can birth a baby." While some births do have special circumstances that come up and there is medical care that must be given, for healthy moms and healthy babies birth is natural.
All hypnosis is self hypnosis. You must be willing to go into hypnosis. The hypnotherapist or trained professional is only there to assist you into that state.
HypnoBirthing is taught in a series of five classes and it truly helped me prepare my mind for birthing. It has done so for thousands of women worldwide. You learn with dedicated preparation several relaxation techniques, breathing methods, and visualizations to think on. You easily memorize affirmations to affirm your trust in your body, your birth and your baby. You also learn the best massage technique for those difficult, intense moments to help create that rush of endorphins.
I walked into the hospital with our first child at 9 cm relaxed, feeling calm and thinking I was there too early. Luckily, our amazing doula helped guide us and make the decision to go in and we were glad she did.
Mothers I have supported as a doula have calmly walked into the hospitals in active labor, other mothers I have supported have rocked HypnoBirthing cesareans due to special circumstances. The name might weird you out, but I promise it is an amazing method and philosophy and every mother can appreciate it and learn so much from it.