There’s no experience more beautiful and terrifying than giving birth. Especially for a first-time mother, the fear of the unknown can steal some of that pregnancy magic away, making her dread the day rather than welcome it. If you’re pregnant, you might find yourself wishing that there was a healthy, medication-free way to release that anxiety—a way to make the birth experience more calm, more empowering, and less intimidating. No need to wish. This medication-free method is called hypnobirthing. And it may be just what a frightened mom-to-be needs.
What is Hypnosis for Pregnancy?
Hypnosis for pregnancy, also called hypnobirthing, is a calm, serene, and gentle way of giving birth. Using a combination of relaxation techniques like guided meditation, visualization, and controlled breathing, hypnobirthing lets a woman experience the beauty of giving birth without the anxiety or fear.
Women grow up being told horror stories about giving birth. Most stories they hear about birth include the pain, frustration, and anger the women felt. It’s rare to listen to a story about joy and celebration in association with giving birth. Because of this, women have a mental expectation that giving birth will be about pain and suffering. All too often, this negative expectation makes a pregnant woman worry too much about giving birth. The stress and anxiety about birth can cause a pregnant woman’s body to tense up. Tense muscles make the process of giving birth more painful and excruciating than it needs to be.
Nature’s intention for women is for a calm and relaxing birth. Less tension in the body means less pain and a lower need for pain medication. Hypnobirthing helps to create the relaxed state; a woman needs to have a safe childbirth, with less of a need for pain medications. With hypnobirthing, a mother can meet her child for the first time without being under a cloud of drugs and fear.
Is It Effective?
Hypnobirthing has been used effectively by women who want a more natural and simple way to give birth. Used during either vaginal and C-sections births, hypnobirthing makes labor quicker and reduces the need for medications. When a woman is undergoing vaginal births, hypnobirthing decreases the probability of needing a C-section.
Hypnosis for pregnancy is so effective that it’s good enough for royalty. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, spoke about using hypnosis for her three births in a podcast called Happy Mum, Happy Baby. She had experienced severe nausea and vomiting, called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), throughout her pregnancies. To control her HG and make her births more comfortable, she used hypnosis, which worked exceptionally well for her. Kate believed hypnosis gave her a sense of control over her mind and the ability to manage her own body’s responses.
Interestingly, hypnosis is so effective that the British hospital where Kate went through labor routinely uses hypnosis with their patients who are pregnant!
How Does it Work?
Hypnobirthing uses affirmations, guided imagery, prompts, and meditations to shift a woman’s beliefs and emotions about childbirth. A mom-to-be can learn these methods along with her partner or perform them by herself. Hypnobirthing gives a woman control of her own body, allowing her to be calm and give birth naturally, the way nature intended. Achieving a deep relaxation state in the mind also gets the body to relax its muscles, making childbirth easier.
A woman can either perform hypnobirthing on herself using learned self-hypnosis techniques, have her partner tell her the prompts or recorded audio can be played to guide a mom-to-be through the process.
Hypnosis for Any Pregnancy
Any woman who can use hypnobirthing to make giving birth a happy and serene experience. For women who have pregnancies with complex medical needs, hypnobirthing can work to supplement the necessary therapeutic interventions, ensuring a more positive outcome. Hypnobirthing is a great gift for any mom-to-be.