If you are pregnant then you may be worried about the birth. After all, you have heard all those stories of endless labour and pain to be endured. Surely there must be a more natural way?
One man thought that there must be a better way. Dick Grantly-Reid, a UK doctor, started some research in the 1950s that is still benefitting women and their partners today. He found that relaxation during labour could dramatically reduce pain. He also found that hypnosis was an easy way to achieve this relaxation. Thus, hypnobirthing was born.
Childbirth has to be painful doesn’t it?
As Western Society has progressed, so we have lost some of our connection with nature. Less developed societies have a much more natural relationship with childbirth, believing that the woman naturally knows how to do it. Western medicine has made huge advances that mean childbirth is a lot safer for both mother and baby than in the less developed parts of the world. This has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?However, a side-effect of this ‘medicalisation’ of childbirth is to take away from the mother the control of the process. This lack of control means that often mums-to-be enter into the hospital as labour starts in a state of apprehension and with this lack of control, tension can set in.
Dick Grantly-Reid in his 1950s research found that pain had a relationship to tension and fear in childbirth. He found that if the fear was removed, the tension and pain went too! Relaxation is the key, so if the fear is gone the pain goes too. But how do we do this without drugs? Hypnosis offers a drug-free way of relaxation that can help reduce the pain and fear of childbirth. By using hypnotic inductions, the woman can enter a state of trance where she is in control, even of the pain sensation during childbirth.
A bit of history
Hypnosis isn’t new. The ancient Egyptians had ‘Sleep Temples’ where priests performed healing rituals. We suspect they were using hypnosis. Until the birth of modern medicine, hypnosis was used in surgery routinely. Sadly since Victorian times, hypnosis has become associated with the stage and trickery. However, modern research is once again showing the usefulness of this ancient art.
What is Hypnosis?
Have you ever sat watching the TV or reading a book and you became totally absorbed? Time disappears… This is a hypnotic state, also like the feeling you get before falling asleep. Hypnotherapists use this state to explore problems and give helpful suggestions all in a state of relaxation. You are always in control, as all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Hypnosis and Childbirth Relaxation is key to managing the pain of childbirth. Hypnobirthing involves the woman learning a number of hypnosis techniques to enable her to remain in control all through labour. She learns:-Hypnotic inductions for all the stages of labour. She can listen to these on a music player or have her birth partner read them. Anchoring is another technique whereby practising a process of associating a positive memory with a place in the birth room, the mum-to-be can bring herself back to focus throughout the labour. It’s like having a magic switch that makes you feel better at once! Visualisation allows the woman to manage her body’s response throught the birth. Used with hypnosis, this can relieve pain and regain control and calmness. The conclusion is that childbirth can be an enjoyable experience if the fear and tension is managed. Hypnosis offers tools and techniques that can be easily learned and quickly used.
Research is showing that labour times are reduced and babies are happier too!