Hypnobirthing Basics

World Hypnotism Day
Creative Commons License photo credit: jeff_golden

One of the most recent trends in birthing has been the practice of hypnobirthing. Even some celebrities, such as Jessica Alba, have come out as recent advocates for the practice.

The point of hypnobirthing, of course, is to make the labor and delivery process easier. In particular:

  • Hypnobirthing uses hypnosis to help you rid your mind and body of fear, anxiety, and pain during your labor and delivery experience.
  • Hypnobirthing uses the power of your own mind to help relieve your discomfort and the pressure on your body. It’s often used as a complement to or even substitute for pain medications.
  • Hypnobirthing puts the mother into a deeply relaxed state, both from the mental and the physical perspectives.

If you’re not experienced with hypnosis, you might have some concerns. You might be worried about how susceptible you are to suggestions (having watched one too many sitcoms about people being hypnotized and then clucking like a chicken). You might be skeptical about how effective it could be, as well.

Here are some basic principles regarding hypnosis in general and hypnobirthing in particular that you should be aware of:

  • Most folks can be hypnotized successfully.
  • Hypnosis isn’t a state of sleep or unconsciousness, and you can come out of hypnosis any time you want to.
  • Hypnosis can’t make you do anything that’s against your will.
  • There isn’t a religious component to hypnosis. Some groups do oppose hypnosis on religious grounds, but in many cases this is a matter of not really understanding how it works.

Hypnobirthing is relatively easy to learn more about. There are a number of different methods out there, such as those developed by Vincent Priya, Michelle Leclaire O’Neill, or Marie Mongan. Each has its ups and downs, and you’ll want to do a bit of research to see which you seem to be most comfortable with.

In the quest to find labor pain relief and comfort aids without potentially-harmful narcotics, hypnobirthing is definitely worth considering.

So, what about you? Have you used, or are you considering, any alternative forms of pain management during labor? Which ones, and why?


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