Sadly, these days women are often ridiculed or shamed if she shares that she would like to give birth naturally without pain medication. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and even medical caregivers are quick to dismiss her exclaiming, "Well, you can try to give birth without an epidural, but I don't believe you will be able to do it." When remarks like these come from an authority figure, it is known as what we refer to in hypnosis as a prestige suggestion. Negative prestige suggestions like these can completely undermine a woman's belief in herself.
When a woman’s subconscious is programmed with negative beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth, it causes her to doubt herself, her body, and her ability to give birth to and mother her child. If it is her first pregnancy, her subconscious mind does not have any previous personal experience to refer to. Therefore, it references everything that she has been told by others, watched on television or in movies, and viewed on the internet. If her subconscious is programmed with is scary and disempowering thoughts, beliefs, and images, she will go into fight, flight, or freeze mode in order to protect herself and her baby. This can make for a more stressful pregnancy and a painful, frightening birth experience for them both. The beauty of hypnosis assisted childbirth is its ability to ‘de-hypnotize’ these negative messages and beliefs that are constantly coming at pregnant mothers in all different directions from the media, caregivers, friends, family, and even strangers.
Fearful thoughts and/or negative emotions can inhibit the hormonal balance necessary for laboring efficiently. The hormone oxytocin, which is released by the anterior pituitary gland, regulates uterine contractions. Oxytocin is less likely to be released if a mother is upset. At the same time, the stress hormones released when she is very tense can impair labor. This fear and tension cause the muscles around the cervix to tighten. Longer and harder contractions become necessary to open the tight cervix. Tension also decreases the available oxygen to the uterus when a woman enters into fight, flight, or freeze mode, leading to more painful contractions. A confident, relaxed state eliminates the Fear- Tension- Pain Cycle, thus maintaining the necessary birthing hormones and enhancing the release of endorphins. Endorphins are our own natural pain relievers which are 200 times stronger than morphine! With hypnobirthing, you will learn how to tap into nature's own epidural and call upon your body's own natural relaxant, thus lessening, or even eliminating discomfort and the need for medication.
My hypnosis assisted childbirth classes provide women with deep, powerful relaxation techniques that are taught in an incremental approach. Each session of the four-class series builds on the next, facilitating the release of fears. My classes help you to connect with your own inner wisdom and define your own beliefs about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. The effectiveness of these classes comes from the synergistic blending of a comprehensive childbirth education with creative visualization, guided imagery, self-hypnosis, fear release techniques, positive affirmations, and the development of a relaxation habit within the mind and body. Women naturally go inward during labor, and hypnosis assisted childbirth skills help you to more effectively maintain nature's own labor-land. Even though you are in a deeply relaxed state, you are still able to easily interact with others, utilize different labor positions, etc.
This relaxation habit is a tool you can use on your own, whenever you may need it. I feel this is vitally important, especially during labor. If I make a woman dependent on me, a partner, or a doula to help maintain this relaxation, I am not serving her well. Of course, a birth companion reinforcing the skills is extremely valuable. However, that is not something that every birthing woman has or every birth partner is able to provide.
Using birth hypnosis techniques during pregnancy and birth positively impact your baby and you. Purposely taking time each day to relax lessens tension and fears reduces the amount of stress hormones present within your body and your baby's body. Research has shown that the hormones produced by a mother experiencing chronic stress will profoundly alter the distribution of blood flow in her baby and change the character of her developing child's physiology. Birth hypnosis elicits the relaxation response, which counteracts the body's physical and emotional response to stress, allowing it to return to a calm relaxed state. When a person elicits the relaxation response, there is a measurable decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle tension, and stress hormone levels. The relaxation response also causes normal waking brain-wave patterns to shift to predominantly slower patterns and pave the way for the hormonal and immune systems to return to normal, benefiting you both. A recent study concludes that "Babies who experienced the calm of HypnoBirthing® in the womb and during their birth were more likely described as calm, content and happy as both babies and older children. The Hypnobirthed babies were also more likely to be to be good sleepers, as well as easy and alert babies."
Mothers fondly remark on the deep connection and bonding present with their babies that took place during their pregnancies. These benefits extend beyond your birthing, for you will have valuable life enhancing skills that you can use for the rest of your life.