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After positive parenting, the concept of positive childbirth is slowly gaining popularity. This method focuses on a stress-free, natural and painless childbirth without any medical intervention.
Pregnant women nowadays go through a lot of stress when they think about what will happen to them and their baby during childbirth. This fear gets a grip on them so tight that they often forget about the most important fact that a woman's body is completely equipped for childbirth.
This is where different childbirth techniques like hypnobirthing come into the picture. These techniques not only educate pregnant women on ways to calm themselves during pregnancy, but also give them the courage to go through labour and childbirth without the interference of medicinal painkillers.
In our latest article on birthing techniques, we will be discussing hypnobirthing, a unique and relaxed method of childbirth whose benefits will stay with the mother and the baby for a lifetime.
What Is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a type of birthing method that involves the mother and different practices such as deep breathing, visual aids and labour comfort methods to work in tandem and give a painless experience of birth. It uses self-hypnosis to relax the mother, reduce her awareness of the pain and gets her mentally and physically relaxed for a natural birth.
Women who have taken the hypnobirthing classes often know exactly how their bodies will react to the labour pains and are able to guide their minds and bodies into a deep state of relaxation during labour, much like when being hypnotised, therefore the name.
The hypnobirthing technique is also known as the Mongan method, under the founder Marie Mongan. Her book on the subject, "Hypnobirthing- A Celebration of life" which was published in 1989, contains all information regarding the birthing technique, which is now quite popular in many countries.
Marie Mongan began developing the idea of hypnobirthing when her daughter expressed her desire to have a painless birthing experience. This reminded her about the time when she had a calming and painless birth by using the theories of Dr Grandly Dick-Read.
She then went on to develop a birthing technique using her counselling background and skills as a master hypnotherapist. The success of the programme on her daughter and two other friends made the news spread wide about the latest technique of natural birthing which reduces the pains of labour.
Because of its ability to use mind over matter, the hypnobirthing method soon spread over many different countries.
How Does Hypnobirthing Technique Work?
The concept of hypnobirthing is based on the principles of Dr Grandly Dick-Read, who states that every living being on earth being animals or humans, is capable of giving birth painlessly.
He states that when a woman is crying of pain during labour, the mind gets alert for a fleeing response to danger in which the body draws blood away from the uterus and diverts into the limbs for fleeing. This leaves the uterus without blood and oxygen to perform its functions effectively. This went on to become the base for hypnobirthing, where women are taught to accept the pain as a part of their natural being.
It is believed that fear and tensions are the things that cause labour pain and eliminating these can help the uterus to perform its function effectively and reduce pain. If the woman is in a relaxed state of mind, the body releases oxytocin which helps kick in the contractions and endorphins, which helps numb the pain and makes the mother feel good. That is why, relaxing is a major part of this birthing technique.
When Can You Start Taking Hypnobirthing Classes?
The ideal time for hypnobirthing classes is said to be between 25 and 29 weeks. Some of the pregnant women can also take classes around the end of their term, which will also be quite beneficial. It is usually a four-session course which touches upon topics of self-hypnosis, managing pain and being in a relaxed state of mind.
Pros And Cons Of Hypnobirthing
Just like all things good, hypnobirthing has its pro and cons as well. Here is an extensive list of pros and cons of the technique which will help you decide if it is the right kind of birthing technique for you.
1) Hypnobirthing focuses on creating a calming state and helping cope with the pain without the need for medical intervention. This is eventually good for the health of the mother and the baby.
2) It encourages women and helps build trust upon themselves and their bodies to be able to handle a natural birth.
3) It is said that children born through the method of hypnobirthing are calmer and relaxed after entering the world as a calm mother gives birth to a calm baby as well.
4) Mothers who give birth through hypnobirthing are said to have reduced chances to suffer from postpartum depression. The natural state of their bodies also helps them recover sooner.
1) Hypnobirthing may not be helpful for women who find it difficult to control their thoughts and have to resort to different techniques of coping up with the pain and stress.
2) Mothers who have undergone hypnobirthing may often not put to use the techniques into action due to the pain or timing restrains. This leads to the feeling of failure seeping in.
3) Many women may never believe in the concept of mind over matter or hypnosis and the failure of putting the teachings of hypnobirthing into action.
Does Hypnobirthing Work For Everyone?
Provided with the right kind of information and properly inculcating the techniques into action, hypnobirthing can benefit anyone who is looking for a more natural method of birth. The techniques of hypnobirthing are not just mental, they are backed by powerful science of childbirth which makes it a quite potent method of painless childbirth.