Over the centuries women have been looking at birth as something that has to be endured, feared or at best tolerated in order to have a baby. Birth has been perceived as a medical incident that is best to leave to professionals to deal with and can be completely medicated or even scheduled as an operation if really desired.
What I would like to talk about in this article, is the 95 percent of families whose pregnancies fall into the normal, low-or no risk categories and yet are being treated otherwise. For most of their lives, women have been inundated with the negative stories of other women's experiences. They have been conditioned to believe that excruciating pain is associated with birth; and because of this, women today fear giving birth.
This belief that all childbirth must be painful puts women in a vulnerable position so they willingly relinquish their power over to the medical professionals instead of embracing a birth as a rite of passage to motherhood that is to be celebrated as one of the most exciting and life transforming events of one's life! Women who are drawn to HypnoBirthing® and similar birthing philosophies have long been searching for a way out of this typical medical model of birthing and are looking for new ways that helps them give birth as calmly, safely, and gently as possible.
The myth that all childbirth must be painful can be traced to the time of the Middle Ages when most women that were healers or midwives were persecuted as witches, leaving the birthing mother to birth alone in fear of complications, in which case the field hands or the goat herders (who were the only people allowed to assist in these complications) were to cut through the woman's abdomen, take the baby and leave the mother to die. This was the beginning of women fearing birth and therefore creating the Fear-Tension-Pain syndrome (when fear is present, tension is created within the body, constricting the birthing muscles which then creates pain) we are still needlessly experiencing today.
Women's bodies are perfectly designed to birth the baby in calm and comfortable manner just as we can see in some cultures (that don't associated birth with pain) experience smooth and easy birthing. We can also observe this in nature with other mammals that give birth easily. So are women in the "Western" world any less equipped to deal with birth in a comfortable manner and destined to suffer? It doesn't make sense logically or physiologically.
Women don't really need to be taught how to birth, they simply need to learn about birth and trust in birth itself, embracing the concept of normal, natural birth as a choice.
HypnoBirthing® is a wonderful method and philosophy of birthing that will provide you with tools to prepare for an easier, safer, more comfortable and more joyful birthing. Through a very simple program of self -hypnosis and education, women learn to release emotions tied to fear-based stories and misinformation, and they are to see birth as normal. They learn to trust that their bodies know how to bring their babies into the world in the calm and gentle way that Nature intended.
So what is hypnosis?
There is a great deal of misconception about hypnosis as the only exposure most people have about hypnosis is what they seen on TV as entertainment (the stage hypnosis), where someone is being hypnotized to act like a chicken and they do! Remember these are volunteers (mostly highly suggestible) who want to have a good time and would willingly do whatever the hypnotist suggest to them.
This is not what happens in hypnobirthing classes! The self hypnosis used in hypnobirthing classes is just like being in sate of deep relaxation; it is a naturally induced state of a relaxed concentration-natural state of mind and body in which we communicate suggestions to our subconscious mind.
We naturally live in this state throughout the day without even realizing it, when we daydream, drive on auto pilot or become so immersed in a movie that we emotionally react to what the actors are experiencing.
Although you will be totally relaxed while in hypnosis you are always in control and can choose to come in and out of hypnosis whenever you want to. The value and power of self-hypnosis comes from reaching that level of mind where suggestions that you give yourself effectively influence your physiological experience.
The HypnoBirthing ® Advantage
- Teaches deep levels of relaxation to eliminate the fear that causes tension, and thus pain.
- Eliminates or greatly reduces the need for intervention and painkillers.
- Shortens the first stage of labour by several hours.
- Eliminates fatigue during labour, leaving mother fresh, awake and energetic for actual birthing.
- Eliminates the risk of hyperventilation from "shallow" breathing methods.
- Helps keep oxygen supplied to baby during birthing.
- Promotes special bonding of mother, baby and birthing companion.
- Reduces the risk of pelvic floor damage.
- Fosters more rapid postnatal recovery.
- Makes for a calmer and easier resolution in the event of a special circumstance.
- Promotes fewer breech presentations and other special circumstances.
- Results in a calm and alert baby.
Author: Veronika Scurr is a Hypnobirthing®practitioner with Sacred Child Birth. For more information you can contact Veronika on 0403 876 861 or visit her website www.sacredchildbirth.com.au.