Hypnosis can work to counter any imprints society sometimes passes on to us about what to expect during childbirth. When a mom-to-be can stay relaxed, her endorphins and oxytocin will flood her body, bringing a natural high. She’s more relaxed. Her body is less tense. She’s more comfortable. Deep-hypnosis techniques can teach her to desensitize or to mute painful sensations.
In fact, brain imaging has shown that hypnosis can suppress specific neural activity, which inhibits the brain from interpreting pain. Women who use hypnosis during childbirth had significantly fewer complications, with less use of Pitocin and fewer C- sections, compared with women who simply received support, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.
How it Works
The main focus in Hypno-Birthing is to essentially teach you how to learn to reframe your thoughts on childbirth. A lot of the language around birth is negative and tends to feed fear. Everyone seems to have an opinion or horror story they want to tell you when you’re pregnant. Since the mind works through association, hypnosis works to change the associations to more positive ones. Their story is their story. It does not have to be yours. For example, instead of calling Braxton-Hicks “false labor,” a Hypno-Birthing practitioner would call it “practice labor.”
Another part of the hypnosis process is simply becoming educated on what happens to the body during labor and birth. Knowledge quells fear. For example, I teach my moms-to-be that when they feel a surge [contraction], it’s their muscles working to open the uterus and nudge the baby down. I don’t use scientific words, just clear visuals. Can I teach myself? Even if you meditate or already think you have a handle on self-hypnosis, it’s highly recommended that you book a session. Who is the person you are most susceptible to? Yourself. Getting proper guidance by a professional can make a world of difference. Optimal amount of sessions is 5 or more with your first hypnotherapy appointment starting at week 30.