When it comes to giving birth, there are a thousand different options available to mothers to relieve pain and allow them to try and enjoy the experience. Some mothers opt for the more traditional path of hospitals and pain medication, whereas others choose the ‘less medical, more natural’ approach, including home births, water births and pain relief methods that don’t include prescription drugs. One of these methods is Hypnobirthing, and it’s popularity is on the rise in Australia, after being a widely accepted form of childbirth for years in the UK and America.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a childbirth method that focuses on encouraging a calm and peaceful pregnancy and preparing parents for a gentle and natural birth. It works on the understanding that women can learn to release fear during childbirth and create endorphins instead. Hypnobirthing differs from other childbirth methods as it teaches a state of self hypnosis and deep relaxation through abdominal breathing, usually resulting in shorter and more comfortable labours without the need for medical intervention. Hypnobirthing has proven to be effective in expectant mothers without any pregnancy or birthing complications.
Do I need to ‘learn’ hypnobirthing?
Yes, expectant parents need to attend classes with a certified and experienced practitioner. Classes prepare you with the knowledge, confidence and tools you need to get the most benefit out of your hypnobirthing experience. Other techniques taught in the class include:
- Techniques of deep relaxation
- How to create your own natural relaxant
- Natural ways to bring your body into labour without artificial chemical induction
- How you can create a birthing environment that is calm, serene and joyful, rather than tense and stressful
- Gentle birthing techniques that allow you to breathe your baby into the world without the violence of hard physical pushing
- How to use your natural birthing instincts
You should take your birth support person along to classes so they can fully understand the process and get to learn the techniques to provide support during labour and birth. The best time to start hypnobrthing classes is between 20 and 30 weeks, so there is time to practise the self hypnosis and relaxation techniques, which can also assist during times of stress during pregnancy. Hypnobirthing classes can be undertaken in conjunction with or instead of ante-natal classes, however most obstetricians/midwives/doulas will recommend you obtain as much information as possible should any medical intervention be required.