Why Choose Self-hypnosis (hypnobirthing) in Labor

Hypnosis-birthing has gone from being a bit crunchy to becoming very popular, especially with celebrities like Jessica Alba and the Duchess of Cambridge (among many others) talking openly about how self-hypnosis helped them to achieve the birth of their dreams.

This month we are looking at the benefits of hypnosis-birthing and why so many pregnant women are trying out a trendy, natural pain-coping method for their births. Why are celebrities rushing to hypnosis-birthing when they have all of the resources they could ever want at their fingertips? What makes hypnosis-birthing so desirable?

Kate Middleton said that she "really quite liked labor" when using self-hypnosis practices, which she also used to get through severe hyperemesis.

Is it for you? Hypnobirthing allows women to feel in control of what is happening inside their bodies during labor and birth. They do this by practicing "self-hypnosis" relaxation techniques as much as possible. (I recommend everyday for at least 20 minutes. There are listening tracks that you can use while you are driving, sitting on the couch, taking a break at work, or reclining before bed.). They also attend a *class series with their husband or labor partner (*my class series are a 4-week series. Find out more HERE!)

Reported benefits are lower pain levels, speedier deliveries, fewer requests for medication and less need for medical intervention.

With hypnosis-birthing being such a known stress-reliever, it's not hard to see why women would choose a method that has benefits way beyond childbirth. Self-hypnosis is really about relaxing down to a cellular level. In labor, a woman's body creates endorphins that have been studied and known to be equivalent of high-endurance athletes during peak performances. The flow of endorphins reduces sensations of pain which in turn allows her body to produce more oxytocin (the love hormone). The result is a quicker labor that is very manageable, with minimal interventions. This is the best outcome for mother and baby.

Hypnosis-birthing is not about putting you into a trance. In fact, it is the exact opposite of that. It is about learning strategies that help you through labor and teach you to connect to your body and your baby (and your partner too!) throughout the process.

Self-hypnosis for labor is not just for unmedicated births. Because self-hypnosis encourages a strong mind/body connection, the benefits begin during pregnancy and extend into birth and beyond. Additionally, women who get an epidural are still in labor and they are still giving birth.

Every childbirth benefits from the relaxation principles and mind/body connection that hypnosis-birthing teaches. And even if you plan on getting an epidural, there will still be a part of your labor (up until that point) that you will labor without anesthesia where self-hypnosis will be incredibly beneficial to you. In fact, women who choose epidural anesthesia usually report their labors to be more painful than those who labor without medication. This is due to the fact that they are anticipating pain (which is why they are planning an epidural, right?- to get pain relief), whereas women who are not planning to get an epidural are counting on their body's own endorphins to get them through-- thus their experience is less painful because their relationship to pain is different. This is not to say one is right over the other. We all have a different relationship with labor pain that goes far beyond the physiology of childbirth. Rather, this is to highlight the benefits of hypnobirthing for ALL births, no matter what.

Cesarean births, inductions, epidurals, natural childbirths, water births, home births.... hypnosis-birthing classes will provide the tools you need to overcome the pain associated with childbirth and will help you to know your options and how to best communicate with your team of providers and support people. We have virtual and in-person group classes available. We also offer private class options for couples and birthing teams with unique circumstances (such professional athlete schedules, ex-pats, twins, rainbow baby births, surrogates, etc.).

For more information or to register, go HERE. I look forward to seeing you in class!

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