Hypnobirthing is said to be one of the preferred birthing techniques for many celebrities. Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and even the English Royal Kate Middleton, are all said to be huge fans of the techniques used. So, what exactly is Hypnobirthing and is it something the average non-famous woman should consider?
Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about Hypnobirthing techniques and the benefits they can deliver.
What Is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is best described as a type of antenatal preparation. It’s designed to reduce stress and minimize pain during labor.
It is actually based upon the work of an English obstetrician, Dr Grantley Dick-Reid, in 1933. He published a book entitled “Childbirth Without Fear”, in which he hypothesized that fear during childbirth ultimately made it a more painful experience. The fear response is thought to send oxygen and blood away from the uterus, which is turn makes labor more painful.
When the body remain calm however, the muscles of the uterine relax, and endorphins and oxytocin are produced by the body as a natural painkiller. So, Hypnobirthing uses various techniques to calm the mind and body in order to make the experience much less stressful.
What Are The Different Techniques?
There are a few different techniques used within hypnobirthing including:
- Controlled Breathing
- Deep Relaxation or Meditation
Controlled breathing is used in many birthing classes as a way to focus the mind and stay calm. It involves breathing deeply, breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. It’s one of the simplest techniques to use and works wonders at helping you to remain calm and handle the pain during labor.
Deep relaxation and meditation are good to use within the hospital. It helps you to focus solely on your baby and body, ignoring all other noises and distractions around you. It can be hard to relax when you’re in an unfamiliar hospital setting, so trying out meditation could provide great calming benefits.
Visualization is potentially the hardest technique to learn. It involves visualizing the birth and how you want it to go. You can even just visualize a feeling you’re hoping to experience such as when you hold baby for the first time. This visualization helps you to stay focused, calm the mind and it also leaves you feeling more prepared for the birth.
These are just a small selection of the techniques used. Others include how to self-hypnotize, the positions you can use during labor and how to reach a deeply relaxed state quickly.
What Are The Benefits?
According to those who have tried it, there’s a lot of benefits that come from Hypnobirthing. As well as helping to reduce the pain, it is also said to reduce labor time too. After using the techniques, you’ll also feel much calmer, as well as energized, after you’ve given birth.
Other compelling benefits include the fact that Hypnobirthing techniques have shown to result in less surgical interventions. There’s also a reduced risk of developing pelvic floor injuries. As if these benefits weren’t enough, it’s also thought that babies born through Hypnobirthing techniques are also calmer and much more content, which leads to them sleeping and feeding better.
As an additional benefit, if you do manage to successfully master Hypnobirthing, you could go on to use the techniques in other areas of your life.
The benefits are pretty compelling, and most women are especially drawn to the techniques because of the pain reduction benefits. Some even report they felt very little pain during labor, while others say they had no pain whatsoever. So, could Hypnobirthing techniques really eliminate pain altogether?
Will It Eliminate Labor Pain Completely?
Sadly, Hypnobirthing doesn’t eliminate labor pain completely. Giving birth is still a traumatic even for the body so at the very least you’re going to feel some discomfort. However, how painful the experience is will depend upon each woman.
The idea is, when labor does start to feel painful, you utilize the techniques learnt and the pain will ease away. However, many women find that they still need some form of pain relief when they use Hypnobirthing techniques. So, it’s recommended you keep your options open just in case the techniques don’t work for you on the day.
Does It Work?
A lot of research and studies have been done into the pain-relieving benefits of Hypnobirthing. However, none have been able to prove whether or not the techniques do work. It appears each woman is affected differently, with some experiencing hardly any pain, and others noticing no difference.
A lot of it has to do with the woman’s ability to put the techniques into practice. It can be really difficult to visualize and tune out of the experience in order to zone out of the pain.
What Are The Potential Disadvantages?
Like any birthing option, there are some potential disadvantages you need to be aware of. Firstly, not every woman will find it easy to incorporate Hypnobirthing techniques into their labor experience. It can be extremely difficult zoning out from the pain and focusing the mind on other things. It definitely takes practice to learn.
There is also the costs involved. While you could learn Hypnobirthing techniques online, it’s typically better to head to a local class. That way, you’ll discover exactly how to perform the techniques and your birthing partner will also learn how to help during the birth. The costs of these classes can be notoriously high, with some charging up to $500 per class. This would explain why it’s a big hit with celebrities. However, for the average woman, the cost of classes is simply unaffordable. So, if you can’t afford it, it would be worth looking at online videos and tips to learn the techniques yourself.
Overall, Hypnobirthing techniques can prove effective and when done correctly, they can leave you feeling much calmer. However, before deciding whether or not this is the right method for you, it’s a good idea to research your other birthing options and compare the pros and cons.