By now you’ve probably heard about HypnoBirthing either from friends who have experienced it or via the news or social media. As a HypnoBirthing consultant, here are some things about you may not know about this method of birthing.
1. It’s Not a Course on How to Have Home Birth
This is a common misconception particularly in Malaysia and among medical practitioners. This could be because many parents who have undergone HypnoBirthing classes have opted to give birth at home.
Expectant mothers who learn HypnoBirthing techniques are confident and trust their bodies to work just fine with or without medical assistance. The truth is that HypnoBirthing is a technique of managing childbirth naturally and it is suited for births at home or at the hospital.
2. It’s Also for Mothers Who Opt for C-Section
Another common misconception is that HypnoBirthing is only for mothers who want normal vaginal births. C-sections are lifesavers in some circumstances that require medical intervention. In cases such as a drug-assisted childbirth, the stress and fear of being operated on may overwhelm the mother that she needs to get general anesthesia instead of a regional one. Bonding with the baby then may become harder to do as the effect of the strong drugs take over mother and baby.
HypnoBirthing techniques help to relax a mother so that she can get regional anesthesia and her baby can be placed on her chest immediately for skin-to-skin bonding, which will smoothen the breastfeeding journey. The more you need to do C-section or inductions, the more HypnoBirthing will be helpful as it can help make the birthing easier for you, baby and the doctors.
3. You’re in Complete Control of Yourself during Hypnosis
Many think that hypnosis is a situation where one is not in control of herself and would be doing things against her will. That type of hypnosis is called ‘entertainment hypnosis’ and as the name implies, it’s for entertainment purposes, which is why you mostly see that in TV shows and movies. In real life, some medical professionals use hypnosis in hospitals to calm down a patient for minor surgery.
In HypnoBirthing, the hypnosis is self-induced and initiated. You’re in complete control of yourself and nobody can make you do anything you don’t want to.
A father in one of my classes was a skeptic initially (very common among men). When I did group hypnosis with the parents, he fought very hard from doing what I suggested them to do. In that case, it was imagining their right arm going up, up and up and their left arm going down, down, and down. After realising that he could control himself and his arms were immovable despite my suggestion, he decided to just let go and enjoy the relaxing hypnosis sessions.
4. It’s a Technique as Old as Time
A parent in my class had mentioned that her sister thought HypnoBirthing sounds very ‘new age’. To be honest, it’s as old as time. It’s as new as the first woman to give birth. Marie Mongan only invented the term HypnoBirthing decades after she has last given birth after realising that hypnosis is the term used to describe the techniques she had been practicing during her childbirths! It teaches you to believe in your womanly wisdom and that prior to machines and technologies, women have been birthing instinctively and intuitively all along. We present the students with facts on why our bodies are meant to work with us and for us when it comes to birthing.
5. It’s Applicable to Everyday Life and Not Just Births
The beauty of HypnoBirthing is the practice doesn’t stop at birth only. You can still practice it when you have insomnia, when you are experiencing food poisoning, when you are feeling constipated, when you are stressed out and when you just simply had a long day and want to unwind and relax. And who says HypnoBirthing is only for mommies? I’ve had daddies coming up to me to tell me that they found the calm breathing technique so useful when they are facing a rough day at work and that the J-breathing helps them with their own toilet experience!
Mother of two, Ayuni Zainuddin, is a gentle birthing and breastfeeding advocate. She has been active in both scenes since 2010. She teaches HypnoBirthing to expectant parents and also helps them with breastfeeding. When she’s not working, she’s busy surfing Damn You Auto Correct!. Get in touch with her at Birth With Ayuni.
Image Credit: Flickr user Schwangerschaft.