What is hypnobirthing? Hypnobirthing is a mind-body practice that teaches pregnant women how to relax their bodies and minds to have natural and easy childbirths, which may or may not involve medical intervention. You might think that this sounds like witchcraft or something new-age, but the reality is that it’s been around for decades as a method of relaxing the body during childbirth. It has just recently received more attention due to its growing popularity.
Hypnobirthing’s core idea is that the mind and body greatly influence a woman’s health during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. For this reason, [the mind and body] are considered the most important parts of labor and delivery.
The basic premise of hypnobirthing is that if women can learn to relax their bodies during labor, they can also relax their minds, allowing them to “let go” of pain. Believing that the mind and body are linked, hypnobirthing believes it is possible to fall asleep during childbirth as a method of helping you to relax.
According to some women who’ve practiced hypnobirthing, they’re able to relax their bodies enough that they can easily drift off into a deep sleep. This is sometimes referred to as “going into ‘hypnopompic sleep’ or ‘hypnocataplectic sleep.'”
So how does hypnobirthing work? Well, there are various ways that it may be taught. Some women opt for in-person classes, while others watch a video with a Hypnobirthing expert over the internet. Regardless of your chosen method, the idea remains roughly the same. During hypnobirthing classes:
– You’re taught that your mind and body are intertwined and affect your physiological processes, such as childbirth.
– You’re taught to visualize yourself experiencing natural and easy childbirth.
– You’re taught techniques that help you to relax your body, your mind, and your breathing.
– You’re encouraged not to take pain medications or medical intervention during childbirth because it might affect your future feelings.
Many women practice hypnobirthing because it allows them to do things differently during childbirth, helping them achieve the healthiest outcomes for themselves and their babies. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that can make childbirth pain-free. But some practices and beliefs can help reduce the amount of pain you experience, and hypnobirthing is one of them.
There are two types of hypnobirthing:
The first type is called “Practical Hypnobirthing.” This is relatively new and involves putting together mixed-media presentations, a book, DVD, or live “classes” for women. Practical hypnobirthing requires instructors to have a background in the health field. For example, Instructors may have read about mindfulness in pregnancy and childbirth during their education or trained at a midwifery school emphasizing “natural childbirth.” Because Practical Hypnobirthing requires women to learn about mindfulness during pregnancy and childbirth, some Hypnobirthing instructors use meditation and relaxation techniques to teach women how to relax during childbirth. For example, A Hypnobirthing instructor may teach you to “let go” during labor with deep breathing, imagery, or visualization.
The second type of hypnobirthing is called “Assisted Hypnobirthing.” This is an approach that involves a midwife or doula helping you to visualize and relax during childbirth. While the instructor isn’t actively doing anything, they’re simply a “mindful presence.”
The most significant difference between Practical Hypnobirthing and Assisted Hypnobirthing is focusing on pain relief. Practical hypnobirthing may use natural interventions like deep breathing, imagery, and visualization to help you relax during childbirth. In contrast, Assisted Hypnobirthing is more likely to use massage and other medical interventions during labor as a means of pain reduction.