Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI
Founder/Director of Hypnobabies
Mention Labor & Delivery to an expectant mom in her last trimester, and chances are good that her heart will begin to race, her mind floods with concern and in some cases, she panics. She knows that the day is coming when a force much bigger than herself will take over and her body will govern itself completely. For some women birth is a very fearful event, but for a Hypnobabies mom, it is an eagerly anticipated challenge, because they use hypnosis to eliminate discomfort and fear from the birthing experience.
In the past, the word “hypnosis” conjured up images of stage hypnotists re-creating Elvis, or memories of having seen people mesmerized into embarrassing situations. Today it’s becoming more and more common for hypnosis to be used therapeutically in the areas of medicine, dental and surgical anesthesia and personal therapy sessions. Even so, there are many misconceptions regarding hypnosis that can dissuade those contemplating this powerful tool.
Here are a few FACTS:
When learning how to use hypnosis for childbirth, women are taught that the uterine muscles will work efficiently together, as they were designed to, when the body is completely relaxed. The depth of relaxation necessary is achieved with hypnosis so expectant moms learn these skills in class, and practice them at home every day until their baby arrives.
Important: Comfort in childbirth depends on much more than deep relaxation, so in a complete hypnosis for childbirth program, moms must be taught the most in-depth hypnotic anesthesia techniques that exist. These make a huge difference in creating your truly comfortable birthing experience, and are easily learned and practiced.
Your Birth Partner plays a very integral role in the preparation process: by listening to the hypnosis tracks, reading the handouts and guiding the Hypno-mother into deep relaxation with hypnosis scripts. Birth Partners are also an invaluable part of the labor and birth process as they help moms to focus and concentrate, as well as supporting them physically.
Please note: Mothers without partners can easily learn, practice and use Hypnobabies on their own. All aspects of labor and birth are covered in Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis classes, as well as information on Nutrition, Exercise, Avoiding Complications and Back Labor, Fear Clearing Sessions, Birth Plans, Consumer Issues and Postpartum Preparation, Newborn Care and Breastfeeding, as well as much more.
In other cultures, childbirth is regarded as a natural, normal event in a woman’s life. The birthing women are given support from other women, and children are often present to witness the event. In this way, birth is celebrated and honored. Young girls then grow up with the belief system that birth is a positive event and their expectations of childbirth reflect this attitude. As a result, their births are similar to their predecessors; without pain and fear. They have a positive expectation of childbirth.
In our culture, it is very much the opposite. For many generations we have been told that delivering a baby will be untold hours of painfully agonizing work, to be faced with fear and trepidation. We have heard stories from well-meaning friends and family that send shivers up our spines, and so the legacy continues. We experience discomfort in childbirth, in part because we very much expect to!
In Hypnobabies classes, you are taught to surround yourself with only positive people and messages during your pregnancy, to create a positive view of childbirth and the expectation that your birthing with be a beautiful, peaceful experience. Hypnobabies “Fear Clearing” hypnosis sessions are integral to this process, since they allow you to address fears, work through possible solutions and then release them.
Fear in labor can create tension, which creates pain, then more fear, and the cycle continues. Fear and anxiety can also create adrenaline production in the body, causing the labor to become dysfunctional, a common reason for Cesarean Section surgery. Freedom from fear can make a significant difference in the birthing experience.
By learning and practicing hypnosis, you will be able to enter self-hypnosis instantly, and how to create your own natural anesthesia whenever and wherever you need it. This is important since any drugs taken by a laboring woman can be dangerous for her, and her baby. Hypnobabies childbirth hypnosis allows you to remain in control over your body and emotions, and be an active participant in your birth process.
You are always aware of everything around you, and as labor progresses, you’ll go deeper inside yourself, trusting in your body’s natural ability to give birth with ease and comfort. Your mind istrained and programmed to give you exactly what you need as you give birth to your baby.
Can women actually give birth without drugs or medications in a very comfortable way, perhaps without experiencing any discomfort? Many birthing mothers can, and it is important to understand that there are quite a few variables in labor and birth that can affect the outcome! Couples need to have a positive but realistic view of hypnosis for childbirth.
Each pregnant woman and her partner must take responsibility for the choices they make while in labor and how they can affect the dynamics and outcome. Many a wonderful birth has been thwarted by not realizing how to make positive, informed choices and yet these issues are easily addressed and learned in a good consumer-oriented childbirth hypnosis class such as Hypnobabies.
Without a doubt, all of our Hypnobabies moms are much calmer and more relaxed during labor which automatically creates more comfort, as well as having *powerful* post-hypnotic suggestions to actually eliminate pain and fear. When expectant mothers feel supported and nurtured during their birth preparation, their satisfaction with childbirth is greatly enhanced.
Our Hypnobabies instructors all have taken courses in hypnosis and have experience with childbirth education, so they are able to address each woman’s personal needs to help her achieve her goals for childbirth.Our goal at Hypnobabies is to help all women have a much easier and more comfortable childbirth experience. Most of our natural childbirth mothers do indeed enjoy these benefits, and many moms who originally planned on having some labor medication actually surprise themselves by having a natural birth by practicing and using Hypnobabies!
Statistics: The following are statistics for Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis only: (based on our very successful 6 week course, and 18 total hours of instruction)
1) Very Comfortable births - 70-75%. Women who report that they felt mostly pressure, tightening or mild cramping sensations.
2) Comfortable until transition – 15%. Pressure only, until the 10-60 minute transitional period, with mild to intense degrees of sensation thereafter. “Very manageable.”
3) Comfortable until active labor – 10%, with mild to intense degrees of sensation thereafter This group can have any number of things that affect their birth experiences; prodromal labor, posterior or asynclitic presentations that do not resolve, other labor complications, emotional issues, lack of support, or they simply did not do their homework! (45 minutes a day) Hypnosis for childbirth won’t help a mother or a couple that is not willing to do the work involved in preparing for their baby’s birth.
All women reported that the Relaxation and Fear Clearing in the Hypnobabies program were invaluable to them during their labors.
It is well worth the time to look into Hypnobabies as a wonderful birthing option, both for yourself and for your baby. Natural Childbirth without intense discomfort has many benefits to mom and baby, and Hypnobabies has even helped many a nervous birth partner to enjoy pregnancy and childbirth, since they experience hypnosis in Hypnobabies class as well!
In addition, the skills you learn for relaxation and hypnosis will benefit you both for the rest of your lives.