HypnoBirthing uses self-hypnosis, fear release, visualizations and baby-led breathing to gently bring the mother into a deep state of relaxation, similar to meditation. Once relaxed, the laboring mother will work in harmony with her body, releasing feel good hormones that lead to a quicker, calmer more meaningful experience.

Unlike other childbirth techniques, HypnoBirthing does not teach you how to cope with pain.

In fact, it doesn’t assume that childbirth has to be painful at all.

(gasp!)

It basis this philosophy on the fear-tension-pain phenomenon. HypnoBirthing assumes that stress in the body caused by fear is what leads to the constricting of the body and the ultimate sensation of pain.

To understand this, we will have to rewind and entirely erase some of our preconceptions of birth.

{Rewind}

Let’s start with some of the terminology we are using.

The word contraction, for example, makes it confusing to understand what is really going on during labor.

Contrary to what you might think given the language used, your uterus doesn’t contract with each surge, it expands!

The horizontal muscles of the uterus open up to make room for your baby to move down, and then the vertical muscles push your baby down into the space that has been created.

With that knowledge, we can understand why stress or fear, which cause a constricting of these muscles, are counterproductive to this process.

Anything that causes the muscles to relax and open up like they are meant to will lead to a quicker, easier and calmer birth.

Anything that tenses the muscles will lead to a failure to progress.

 

Failure to Progress=Fear-Tension-Pain

Listen to this story:

I stayed home with my doula until I was ready to go to the hospital.

We lit candles and danced in a slow circular rhythm around the room. The contractions came and went like a wave, but I floated through them paying them little attention.

When we were ready to go the hospital I started to get a little nervous about having to leave my familiar surroundings for the stark cold corridors of the hospital.

When we got to the hospital my husband was able to calm me down by speaking softly to me and reassuring me.

I was checked when I came in and found to be 7 centimeters.

That’s when I was told my doctor who had taken me through the last nine months of pregnancy was conveniently on vacation and would be replaced by the other doctor on call. I was devastated and could no longer internalize my husband’s well-intentioned words.

3 hours later I hadn’t budged. I was still sitting at 7 centimeters. I was pronounced ‘failure to progress’ and began to here chatter of induction.

The connection between the emotional and the physical is impossible to ignore.

Woman pulled over by policeThink of what happens when you are driving ‘slightly’ over the speed limit and suddenly you hear the sirens of a police car.

As you see the sirens approaching in your rear-view mirror, you tense up and your heart starts to beat faster. You break a sweat as you try to remember whether you renewed your registration on time. Suddenly, as the car races past you in a different direction you relax and let out a deep audible sigh.

What does seeing a police car have to do with your heart rate increasing? Seemingly nothing. Looking further , however, we understand that fear, like many other emotional states do indeed have an effect on our physiology.

And still, you protest.

“Birth? Calm??!” you exclaim “What kind of bubamaisa is this?”

Trust me, I said the same thing. Don’t take my word for it. Watch this video of a non-believer turned proselyte.

Heather Van Nest of WSTP News in Florida documents her own HypnoBirth. You can actually watch her laying comfortably on her hospital bed as she is eight centimeters dilated, the most heightened part of the labor process.

Could it be that mediation and self-hypnosis helped relax her body enough that she didn’t need to feel that excruciating pain we women have come to regard as a necessary right of passage?

The proof is in the pudding, sista’s. One birth at a time, HypnoBirthing is taking the birthing world by calm.

Please share your thoughts about the video below or watch it here on Youtube.