What is Hypnobirthing and How it Differs from Traditional Childbirth

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Hypnobirthing is a natural childbirth preparation method that teaches expectant mothers to use the power of their own mind, together with breathing techniques, pain management methods and self-hypnosis. The underlying philosophy is that birth can be an empowering experience instead of just another medical procedure.

For most women, the idea of giving birth without medication sounds terrifying – but not for those who have been trained in hypnobirthing. It’s a completely different mindset, one which views labor as more like an intense workout than anything else; something you might even put on your calendar months ahead of time. With hypnotherapy classes and home exercises available online these days, there’s really no reason to let fear stand in the way of a pain-free labor.

What’s more, hypnobirthing is not only for women who want to go natural. Many pregnant women still opt for epidurals or other medications – and that’s fine. The most important thing with hypnobirthing is that it’s not so much about trying to avoid pain, but rather it’s all about how you perceive the pain.

“It is a way of thinking that will allow women to get through the natural process of birth with more ease,” says International board certified hypnotherapist and life coach Dr. Tricia McCannon. “Women who learn this technique will benefit from it throughout their lives, as the mind is a powerful tool that can be used to help deal with pain and stress.”

“The way hypnobirthing is taught now is completely different from how it was 15 years ago,” says Amy Woodruff, co-owner of HypnoBirthing® International. “I believe [the method] is more effective now because we are teaching people to use their innate ability to relax and listen to the body during pregnancy. We teach them that birth is not a medical event but rather, a natural process where women can have complete confidence in themselves.”

What you’ll learn in hypnobirthing classes:

Traditional childbirth classes focus on educating women about the medical procedures and routines that will be used during labor and delivery. However, when it comes to hypnobirthing classes, you’ll learn something entirely different – instead of focusing just on the physical aspects of birth; you will also learn how to relax mentally, as well as how your thoughts affect your experience.

There are three main components into the hypnobirthing method – breathing techniques, self-hypnosis and pain management. With proper training, these three aspects can provide you with all the tools you need to have a natural labor and delivery without medication or unnecessary medical interventions.

Breathing Techniques:

The mind is a powerful tool that affects your body in numerous ways. When it comes to childbirth, pain is often the result of fear – and if you let go of the fear, your body can naturally manage or even eliminate that pain altogether. With hypnobirthing classes, you’ll learn various breathing techniques that will help take away any stress or anxiety while increasing a sense of control over your labor.

Not only can it help you feel relaxed, but the increased oxygen supply will help your baby grow stronger too – and that’s something worth smiling about.

Self-Hypnosis:

When done right, hypnotherapy is thought to be a great pain management tool during childbirth. This is especially useful for women who are planning on using pain medication during the delivery – as it can ultimately help them manage their pain while also enhancing the effectiveness of pain-relieving drugs.

Hypnobirthing uses self hypnosis to prepare both mother and baby for childbirth. The main goal is to enhance a woman’s strength, resolve, confidence, wisdom and intuition to naturally deal with any pain she may feel.

Pain Management:

Like we mentioned above, hypnobirthing focuses on the mind rather than only the body during childbirth. Instead of trying to avoid pain, this method teaches women that by changing their perceptions and thoughts about labor and delivery, they can actually manage or even eliminate it altogether.

“There is so much more involved in the mind-body connection than initially thought,” says McCannon. “When we go into a state of fear or stress it causes the body to panic and tense up, which can make pain even more severe.”

“The techniques taught in hypnobirthing classes are designed to get you into a relaxed frame of mind and turn down the volume on the pain,” says Woodruff. “By teaching women how to relax through mental imagery and positive affirmations, it gives them the confidence they need to let go of fear and stress.”

Not only will you learn how to relax during labor; you’ll also be taught how to adapt these techniques throughout your pregnancy so that you can keep your body calm and comfortable as you go through the various stages of the nine-month journey.

Other Benefits of Hypnobirthing:   One of the main goals behind hypnobirthing classes is to empower women – and not just during labor and delivery, but for years to come too.

The methods taught in these classes will not only help eliminate pain during labor; but can also help you feel relaxed and stress-free throughout your pregnancy. It will also teach you how to cope with the postpartum period – as well as give you valuable tools to bond with your baby too.

“The benefits of hypnobirthing go beyond just less anxiety and pain during labor,” says Woodruff. “It will also help you get rid of the fear and negativity associated with childbirth, which is something that can be passed on to a new mother’s child.”

“A baby has an instinctual connection to its mother,” she adds. “This can come from the sound of her voice and how she communicates with her baby. When she has a negative view of childbirth, it gives the baby an unspoken message that all is not well. By reversing this belief through hypnobirthing, it can help lay the foundation for a calm and happy child.”

“For some women, their mental state during pregnancy will affect their baby’s health,” says McCannon. “By teaching these women the power of hypnobirthing, it can not only alleviate fears and stress – but help them recognize that they are creating a positive environment for their baby.”

How Hypnobirthing Works:

The main goal behind using hypnosis is to reduce fear and pain while also increasing your strength, wisdom and self-awareness. The methods taught in hypnobirthing classes can help eliminate fear, bring about self-love and confidence – ultimately giving you the strength to deal with any pain that may occur during labor.

Pain Relief:

While some women won’t need any outside help when it comes to managing their pain during childbirth, others may opt for natural methods in order to deal with any discomfort they feel. The techniques taught in hypnobirthing classes can help reduce pain or even eliminate it altogether by changing your thoughts and perceptions about what the experience will be like.

During childbirth, many women end up experiencing stronger than usual contractions. These contractions have a way of getting more intense throughout the process – which can make it difficult to remain calm and focused.

“The contractions are much different than when you are in labor,” says Woodruff. “The pain is a lot stronger and the sensations more intense.”

But by using relaxation techniques, positive affirmations and mental imagery – you can help yourself manage these strong feelings while keeping your mind as relaxed as possible. Your body will also respond to these techniques; as you are able to calm down and relax more, your muscles will become less tense and any pain you feel will gradually go away.

“When women train their bodies to learn how to self-hypnotize, it not only leads to a positive childbirth experience but also gives them the ability to control what happens with their body,” says McCannon.

One of the most common ways in which you can use hypnosis to help manage your pain is by using mental imagery. This involves setting a clear intention while picturing your mind and body working together – reaching a state where all your efforts are focused on getting rid of any discomfort you have.

Depending on your level of pain, you can use mental imagery to cope with contractions during labor by simply sitting back and imagining that it isn’t there. This might sound a little crazy at first – but the more you do this, the better you will get at controlling your mind and body. Furthermore, as you continue visualizing these images and thoughts, it’s likely that you will find yourself feeling much better.

“With practice, your body and mind can easily learn how to work together,” says McCannon. “You begin to see what can be done to alleviate pain…and once again it becomes a natural process of reducing the impact of discomfort.”

Self-Confidence:

When you are about to go through a challenging situation – like giving birth for the first time – many women find themselves feeling unsure about how they will cope and react when it comes time. The more worried or frightened you feel, the more likely that your emotions can get the better of you during labor. But by using hypnosis techniques, such as mental imagery and relaxation, you can turn your fears and worries into confidence.

If you don’t know much about the process of giving birth to a baby – or even if you are very educated on it but still find yourself feeling anxious, self-hypnosis may be able to help. The techniques used in hypnobirthing classes teach women to tap into their inner resources and trust that they will be able to use these tools to help them not only manage the pain but also birth a child.

“When women are trained in hypnosis, it gives them a sense of confidence because they know what is going on within their body,” says Woodruff. “The more confident you feel during the birthing process, the better your body will react to situations and put you in a position where you can have an easier delivery.”

If you are worried about how painful childbirth can be – or if you think that it will hurt more than anyone is telling you it will, self-hypnosis techniques may help alleviate these fears. Many women also find themselves extremely worried about how they will react to the pain – and what kind of noises or movements they may make while going through it. But hypnosis can help you relax enough to learn how to concentrate on your breathing, which is essential for staying calm, relaxed and confident during labor.

“If a woman is uncertain about how she will handle the pain of childbirth, she needs to learn how to be comfortable with her body,” says McCannon. “She needs to practice staying calm when nurses and doctors are taking care of her. And she also needs to know that everything will be okay.”

Being present:

One thing that many women worry about during pregnancy is the possibility of having an accident during labor. Sometimes, women get so caught up in how they feel that they can end up missing out on important parts of the birthing process – like their newborn baby or even meeting him for the first time.

When your mind is filled with thoughts about how much pain you are feeling , it’s far too easy to forget about all the other things that are happening to your body. One of the best ways to combat this while giving birth is by using mental imagery and self-hypnosis techniques . These can help you to stay in the present moment – focusing on what’s going on around you rather than how uncomfortable labor is feeling.

The human brain is a powerful thing. It can be used to learn new skills, overcome fears or get in the right mindset for childbirth. But it’s also important that you know how your mind and body work together – which is why self-hypnosis techniques are so crucial during labor. If giving birth seems like an intimidating process, these tips might help put your worries at ease and give you more confidence as you prepare for this exciting time in life.

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