Those searching for a calm, confident and natural approach to birth will at some point have come across hypnobirthing and ask themselves the question what is hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing is a series of simple but effective techniques, which empower a couple to experience a calm and natural birth. Women are taught how to get into a state of deep relaxation through self hypnosis and are also trained to use specific types of breathing during different stages of labour. The birth partner has an important role to play, both in helping the mother to practice these techniques, and during labour in assisting her to use the strategies learnt to greatest effect. The central principle of hypnobirthing is to teach the mother to relax and to believe that her body is perfectly designed to give birth.
WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING? – BACKGROUND TO HYPNOBIRTHING
WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING? – WHY IT MAKES SENSE
Many women approach their labour with fear and trepidation because of the negativity surrounding birth and the general assumption that it must involve excruciating pain for the mother. The problem here is that when we are frightened, our bodies go into the primitive fight or flight response and blood is directed away from vital organs to arms and legs. In labour, this means that blood is directed away from the uterus, making it dilate less effectively and, in some cases, slowing labour down.
Another side effect of fear in labour is that it causes the woman to tense up making her contractions more painful and less effective. The body has natural painkillers, which are released during labour and are said to be stronger than morphine, but they are only released if the woman is relaxed and calm. If the woman is frightened then instead she releases adrenaline and other stress hormones, which can be disruptive to the progression of labour.
Hypnobirthing teaches the woman that birth is a natural process and to trust her body and her own instincts. Many women who have learnt hypnobirthing techniques report needing little or no pain relief during labour and giving birth to calm and alert babies. Generally, mothers who are practising hypnobirthing will require less medical intervention, as they are able to relax and let their body birth their baby naturally. However, if medical intervention is required, then hypnobirthing mothers have reported feeling much more able to deal with the situation, using the techniques they have learnt to relax and control their breathing.
Hypnobirthing is not just beneficial for the parents to be in removing the fear typically associated with labour and birth but it also allows for a tranquil and gentle arrival for the baby. This results in babies who are calm and contented and they often feed and sleep extremely well.
The final point to make is that hypnobirthing techniques allow the mother and her partner to stay in control of their labour and birth. They are empowered to make informed decisions about their care and this, in itself, will contribute to a positive experience.
If you would like to know more information about hypnobirthing or the detailed question of what is hypnobirthing or if you would like to book on a course for hypnobirth classes locally then please visit one of the following websites:
If you live anywhere in the North West region of the UK, from our own personal positive experience we would strongly recommend that you visit BumpandMe. Speak to Emily Street and Jane Ingleby. These are honestly two of the most passionate and inspirational people that we have ever had the pleasure of meeting and they will help, support and guide you with your hypnobirth plan.
If you are in any other part of the UK then visit hypnobirthingassociation.com
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Now that you know what hypnobirthing is, you might be wondering does hypnobirthing work?