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What Is Hypnobirthing and Why More and More Women Are Choosing It

One of the most common concerns of women who are about to become mothers (it doesn’t matter if it’s the first, second, or third time), is the duration of labor. The birth of a child is a totally special and important moment in people’s lives. However, there are so many taboos surrounding it, that, instead of encouraging positive thoughts, most of the talk about it encourages doubts and fears.

We at Bright Side would like to talk to you about this hypnosis technique that reduces the fear, anxiety, and stress of future moms, eliminating the bad expectations about the process of giving birth.

What you should know about hypnobirthing

The term “hypnobirthing” was proposed by the British obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read in 1930, and then described in detail in 1942, in his book Childbirth Without Fear.

However, the modern hypnobirthing technique was developed by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan, who explained more about the method in her book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life (1989). The fundamental principle of this philosophy starts from the belief that every woman has within her the power to call upon her natural maternal instinct to birth her babies in joy and comfort, in a manner that most mirrors nature. In this way, the expectant mother views labor positively, with the firm belief that it does not have to be a painful process.

Based on this book, the Institute of HypnoBirthing was created, which is focused on promoting a culture of “childbirth without fear” to pregnant mothers.

What the practice is like

This method focuses on a series of self-hypnosis classes that teach deep relaxation and visualization skills. The purpose is for the expectant mother to release her fears and, at the same time, to convince her mind, through meditation, guided imagery, and deep breathing, that childbirth is a life experience. Women are taught to think of aspects of labor differently. Contractions become “uterine waves,” while pushing becomes “birth breathing.”

This practice also teaches women to imagine positive and relaxing scenarios. For example, with the “silver glove technique,” in which women imagine donning a silver glove that causes their hand to tingle, go numb, and relax. Then they visualize that feeling traveling up their arm. They can also spread the numbness around by imagining their hand touching other body parts that are experiencing tension.

Benefits of childbirth without fear

According to reports between 2005 and 2010 from the Institute of HypnoBirthing, women who used this technique experienced less pain, spent less time in labor, and spent fewer days in recuperative hospitalization.

These reports were compared with that of the United States Division of Vital Statistics, and, of the mothers who used hypnobirthing, only 20% reported having epidural analgesia, and less than 10% reported intramuscular or intravenous analgesia, contrasting with 76% of women who received an epidural and 22% who used some form of narcotics, who did not choose to utilize hypnosis. Likewise, the rate of women who required a cesarean section, even with hypnobirthing, was only 17%, compared to 32% of those who did not use this technique.

Of course, the success of these results depended on the training that the mothers performed during the first or second trimester of their pregnancies.

The effectiveness of hypnosis

According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, hypnosis is helpful in helping pregnant women during labor and the postpartum period. This was found after analyzing a control group and an experimental group (with hypnobirthing). The hypnobirthing group’s use of drugs was significantly less than that of the control group participants.

Bonus: Celebrities who have used this technique

Some celebrities who have revealed that they used the hypnobirthing method to bring their children into the world in a calm and painless way are Kate Middleton, Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie, Tiffani Thiessen, and Busy Philipps, among others.

It’s always important to point out that choosing the way in which you will birth your child should depend on your health conditions. Hypnobirthing is just one of the different assisted techniques that exists to help you give birth, and it’s recommended only for healthy mothers who have no health risks.

What do you think of this alternative to conventional delivery? Would you like to experience it? Do you know someone who has? We want to know what you think, tell us in the comments!

Preview photo credit olly18 / Depositphotos