HYPNOBIRTHING - TAKING THE BIRTHING WORLD BY CALM
by Kathryn McGlynn
I did not push at all. I am so amazed that my body did it all. I did not need to do anything. " So states Jean, a HypnoBirthing mother. HypnoBirthing, a new paradigm in natural childbirth education, is an easy-to-learn method that is based on the successful application of self-hypnosis in birthing, helping to create happy births and happy babies.
HypnoBirthing enables mother to enjoy an unmedicated, safe and gentle birthing for her baby, often pain-free, often more quickly. "I heard the nurse say to my husband that she did not believe it was possible for me to have dilated from 3cm to 10cm in less than 1/2 an hour, but she checked me and sure enough that is what had happened," declares Tammy, an enthusiastic first time mom who used HypnoBirthing.
HypnoBirthing, founded by Marie F. Mongan of the HypnoBirthing Institute in Epsom, NH was, for many years, called simply "HypnoBirthing." This unique method of relaxed natural childbirth education is now known as "HypnoBirthing - The Mongan Method.
Based upon the work of the late English obstetrician, Dr. Grantly Dick-Read (who published his book Childbirth Without Fear in 1944), HypnoBirthing teaches mother to understand and release the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome which so often is the cause of pain and discomfort during labor. When we are afraid, our body diverts blood and oxygen from non-essential defense organs to large muscle groups in our extremities. Our face drains of blood and we are said to be "white with fear." In a fearful situation, the body, unfortunately, considers the uterus to be a non-essential organ. Dr. Dick-Read states that the uterus of a frightened woman in labor is literally white!
HypnoBirthing explores the myth that pain is a necessary accompaniment to a normal birthing. When a laboring woman's mind is free of fear, the muscles in her body - including her uterine muscles - relax, thus facilitating an easier, stress-free birthing. In many cases, first stage labor shortens, eliminating fatigue during labor and leaving mother fresh, awake and with energy for actual birthing.
The HypnoBirthing Institute hears endless stories about women who birth their babies in less than 3 hours in absolute comfort. "After talking with my husband about our birth experience, he said that I actually was smiling in between experiencing the surges. It was the most amazing experience of our lives and would not have been possible without the HypnoBirthing training. The actual labor was less than 3 hours. I was so happy to have not felt the need to take any drugs," says first time mom, Tammy.
The birthing companion learns how to support the mother throughout her pregnancy and labor and plays an active role during labor and birthing, facilitating profound states of relaxation for the mother. "The hospital was 30 minutes away, and I was trying not to push the whole way. My husband was wonderful, using the HypnoBirthing prompts to soothe me. I couldn't imagine doing it without him," asserts Kim, another first time mom.
Learning a new language of birthing is integral to the HypnoBirthing training. For example, instead of a contraction, a HypnoBirthing mother experiences a surge. When the mother's subconscious mind perceives the word 'surge', her body creates an immediate physiological response, a response quite different from that created by the word "contraction". And rather than delivering her baby, she births her child. "Pizzas are delivered, babies are birthed," according to founder, Marie Mongan.
By understanding how effectively the body responds to these gentler terms describing the birth experience, a HypnoBirthing woman becomes skilled at verbalizing and visualizing her natural ability to easily follow nature's perfect way of birthing. She is educated to understand the innate ability of her body to give birth, allaying the fears and negative expectations that our society has foisted upon young women for so long. Quickly learning to trust her body's birthing instincts, she knows that her body is designed to work in harmony with nature throughout her labor. "The intensive preparations using HypnoBirthing gave me such a calm, peaceful confidence about what was ahead. It was the most beautiful experience of my life. I felt such calm throughout the whole event", reports Amy, another satisfied HypnoBirthing mother.
In 1958, the American Medical Association approved the therapeutic use of hypnosis, yet only recently has hypnosis for birthing come into the general awareness of the public. Birthing is one of the areas in which hypnosis is MOST effective.
During class, videos are shown of women in labor, demonstrating calm, gentle births, free of discomfort. During surges, these women appear to be taking a nap! Imagine that! Profound relaxation methods and self-hypnosis techniques are taught and the birth companion learns how to effectively facilitate the mother's self-hypnosis state. Included with the course materials is the book, HypnoBirthing, as well as two audio tapes for home practice. One tape creates a powerful state of self-hypnosis which automatically leads one into a deeply relaxed state for easier birthing; many women choose to listen to this tape while in labor. The other is a tape of uplifting, empowering birthing affirmations. Several slow paced breathing techniques are taught and these can help to produce a shorter, more comfortable labor, because rather than pushing, mother "breathes her baby into the world."
"My husband and I have a birth experience to remember with much happiness and love," smiles Marie, who used HypnoBirthing for the birth of her second child. "I had an absolutely wonderful birth experience and am positive that HypnoBirthing was a significant contributing factor," Amy maintains. Yes, HypnoBirthing truly is taking the birthing world by calm. Listen to Rose, who used HypnoBirthing for the birth of her first child. "Every woman owes it to herself and her baby to have a HypnoBirth."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathryn McGlynn, CHt. is a professionally trained Certified Hypnotist, certified through the National Guild of Hypnotists and the American Board of Hypnotherapy. Additionally, she received certification as a HypnoBirthing childbirth educator in 1998, training personally with Marie Mongan, founder of HypnoBirthing. Kathryn is one of a handful of HypnoBirthing educators in Massachusetts who is also a practicing professional hypnotist. More than 300 couples have attended her HypnoBirthing classes in the past four years. You may contact Kathryn toll free at 877-217-3560 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.hypnobirthing.ws or www.hypnosis.ws.
If you are interested in more information regarding HypnoBirthing or simply using self-hypnosis for labor management, check out the following links:
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