Hypnosis For Childbirth 101: What It Is and Why It Works
Hypnosis is often misconstrued as some sort of parlour trick used to embarrass people on stage by having them bark like a dog or act like a monkey. However, hypnosis is used medically every day in therapy sessions and even during surgery in place of anesthesia.
- Better sleep during pregnancy.
- Shorter labors as a result of relaxation. Most birthing mothers work against their natural birthing waves by tensing, which actually slows labor. Hypno-moms flow with those waves (Abramson and Heron).
- Fewer drugs or no drugs (Harmon, Hynan, & Tyre, 1990). That means fewer or no drugs for baby, which is known to help with bonding and breastfeeding just postpartum.
- Deeper feeling of connection to baby. Greater feeling of security and less fear during birth (Tiba, Frater, Balogh, & Bognarne-Varfalvi, 1985).
- More comfortable birth experience, or decreased pain sensation (Dillenburger & Keenan,
1996; Barber, 1996; Oster, 1994; D'Eon, 1989; South, 1988; Mairs, 1995).
- Fewer interventions and complications during labor (Mehl, Donovan, & Peterson, 1990).
- Some hypnobirthing programs help to turn breech babies.
- Faster postpartum recovery and a greatly decreased chance of postpartum depression
In addition to being completely relaxing, hypnosis for childbirth is easy. It requires two main ingredients: willingness and practice. In fact, 80% of success with hypnosis depends on willingness. You simply have to want it to work. That is not so difficult! If you practice regularly you will be even more successful..
Furthermore, most people (about 95%) are able to be hypnotized. This is because hypnosis is a completely natural state. We all experience hypnotic states during daily activity, as when taking a peaceful walk, doing the dishes or watching a movie.
1 - Private Hypnotherapy: One on one sessions with an experienced and trained hypnotherapist can do wonders. One on one sessions are often most effective because the therapist is working specifically with you. The therapist gets to know you intimately and can speak directly to your own fears and needs.
Here are the most common questions we are asked about birth hypnosis followed by our answers.
It is a common myth that hypnosis renders you powerless and controlled by the therapist or hypnotist. As Kerry Tuschhoff of Hypnobabies says, “all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis.” In other words, you choose to relax, you choose to deepen that relaxation and you choose to be open to suggestion. When you are in a hypnotic state, you are fully conscious and in control of your mind and body. The hypnotist or hypnotherapist is simply an experienced guide.
Most certainly! The core of any hypnosis is relaxation. Hypnosis, like meditation, is shown to reduce heart rate, slow breathing and change brainwave activity to that similar to a dreaming state. When you “wake” from hypnosis, you feel rejuvenated, refreshed and much more relaxed than when you started.
Mavi Gupta, M.D., C. C.Ht. and her husband, Jeremy Dyen, C.Ht. are the creators of the Birth Relaxation Kit, at www.birthrelaxationkit.com, the only birth hypnosis program presented by a board certified physician and hypnotherapist who also birthed using hypnosis. They successfully used certain advanced birth relaxation techniques when Mavi birthed their daughter at home, pain-free. They are passionate about empowering expectant mothers (and fathers!) to visualize the birth they want–a birth without fear, without discomfort and even without pain in any setting. They also offer a free comfortable childbirth video presentation and a free hypnobirthing mp3.
Mavi Gupta, M.D., C. C.Ht.
Board Certified Physician, Headache Specialist and Hypnotherapist. Mavi is a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and The University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. Certified Hypnotist, professional musician and teaching artist.