What is HypnoBirthing®?
HypnoBirthing® is a practice based on the philosophy that a woman's body is designed by nature to give birth naturally, and that when properly prepared she has the ability to birth easily, more comfortably and often times without pain. We believe babies are happiest when welcomed into the world in an atmosphere of peace, calm and joy and that your birthing day should be one of the most beautiful days of your life. Through education and specific birthing techniques acquired during a HypnoBirthing course, mothers and their birthing companions gain the skills to release fears and empower themselves so that they may approach their birthing day relaxed, confident and filled with joyful anticipation!
How will HypnoBirthing® prepare us for birth?
The HypnoBirthing® program guides mothers and their birthing companions through a variety of techniques including deep relaxation, self-hypnosis, special breathing, visualizations and affirmations to help prepare for a calm birth. Mothers will learn to release pre-existing fears about birth, understand why discomfort does not need to be a part of the birthing experience and build confidence to trust in their own ability to birth naturally.
How does HypnoBirthing® work?
Our minds and bodies are directly connected to one another. When our mind perceives a situation as stressful it sends our body into "fight or flight" mode. This is a defensive mechanism designed in our bodies to protect us from harm. It stems from the days of cavemen when our ancestors needed to physically "fight" the large bear threatening to eat them, or "flee" from it. In such a situation, adrenaline in their bodies increased their heart rate allowing blood to flow to their arms and legs so they could physically fight the bear or run away from it. In our current day and age, we don't have to worry about fighting bears very often, however our bodies still perceive stressful situations as threats to our health and put our bodies into "fight or flight" mode regardless of the life threatening situation occurring. Because our minds are directly connected to our bodies, thoughts of fear and anxiety create physical stress in our bodies and thus the "fight or flight" mode occurs.
To create a comfortable pregnancy and birth, it is ideal to be in a situation free of any fear and stress. When a mother holds pre-existing fears about birth being painful, her body goes into fight or flight mode. This causes her heart rate to increase, and blood and oxygen to move to her extremities and away from her uterus and baby. Instead of the muscles of the uterus relaxing and functioning the way they are intended to do by nature during childbirth, they tense up. Moving a baby through tight, tense muscles rather than relaxed ones can cause pain for the mother. The more pain there is, the more stress the mother feels, causing her to tense up even more and create even greater tension and stress. It becomes a vicious cycle that continues until often times mothers become very worn out and opt for medical interventions to ease the pain.
Birth however, doesn't need to be a painful experience. That's where HypnoBirthing® can help. HypnoBirthing® teaches mothers and their birthing companions a variety of techniques so they can learn to release their fears and anxieties about birth. Mothers can then approach their birth from a place of peace and calm, relaxing their minds and bodies so they can birth in an easier, more comfortable way.
Why use Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a heightened, focused state of awareness which allows you to access your subconscious mind. We actually go in and and out of hypnosis every day when for example, we are daydreaming or find ourselves having driven home on "auto-pilot" without remembering how we got there.
Our subconscious mind makes up 95% of our brain which is where all memories, both good and bad, are stored. Hypnosis helps you access the negative patterns of your subconscious and reprogram them into positive thoughts. Once your subconscious accepts a new idea, you automatically accept it at a conscious level. Similarly, the HypnoBirthing® program helps mothers release pre-existing fears about birth being painful and scary so that parents can create the positive birth experiences they desire.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis so you don't need to worry that you will reveal your deepest secrets or, like stage hypnosis, run around impersonating a monkey! With hypnosis, you are the one allowing your mind and body to do what you feel comfortable with. So you can sit back and relax knowing that you are the one who is always in control.
Check out this great article in Health Magazine on the success rates of Hypnotherapy. . .
WILL MY BIRTH BE COMPLETELY PAIN-FREE?
Like anything, HypnoBirthing® works best with dedication and practice. You will be given an MP3 download to listen to daily, as well as positive affirmations, readings and exercises to help prepare you and your birthing companion for birth. The more you practice, the better HypnoBirthing® will work for you.
Not everyone experiences a birth completely free of discomfort, however most parents who took the course feel HypnoBirthing® helped prepare them for birth in ways more than just the physical comfort level of the mother. Parents will learn about how a woman's body works during childbirth, how to prepare for birth and the arrival of your baby, questions for your birthing facility and care providers, the uses and effects of drugs on mom and baby, and much more. While HypnoBirthing doesn't guarantee a pain-free birth, it gives you the tools to enter your birth educated, empowered and confident so you feel ready for whatever path your birth takes.
When should I start the class?
It is never too early to start HypnoBirthing®. The more time you have to practice, the better. The recommended start time is around 28 weeks, but you can begin earlier or later. It is important to note that the course takes 5 weeks to complete so try to schedule the finish date prior to your estimated due date.
If you don't have 5 weeks to wait, then contact Lara directly to schedule a private course so you can still get all of the material in before your baby arrives!
Who attends class with me?
One of my favorite things about the HypnoBirthing® course is that it focuses not only on the mother, but also on the important role of the father/partner/birthing companion so that they are equally involved in welcoming their baby into the world. It is best for both mother and birthing companion to attend all 5 classes so you are entering your birth with the same focus and understanding. Birthing companions will be a very strong support system for moms so their role during the birth is very powerful.
If your partner is not able to participate with you, don't worry. We invite you to bring your mother, a friend, or someone close to you to attend the classes with you. Ideally, choose someone who will be able to act as your birthing companion throughout the course as well as during your birth.
Is HypnoBirthing® only for women who want a drug-free birth?
The focus of HypnoBirthing® is to prepare mothers for a natural, unmedicated birth, however is in no way opposed to medical intervention when deemed medically necessary. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we have access to drugs, and surgical procedures such as cesarean sections are available should special circumstances occur during childbirth. Often times however, pharmaceutical drugs and medical interventions may be encouraged by care providers when they are not necessary, increasing the risks to the health of mother and baby.
HypnoBirthing® believes that a woman's body is designed by nature to birth easily and comfortably, and when given the right educational tools and space to do so, can birth in such a way. The HypnoBirthing® series will teach you to empower yourself by releasing fears, relaxing and "letting go" which will prepare you for a natural, vaginal birth. HypnoBirthing also helps educate couples so they can ask the right questions to really determine whether medical interventions are necessary. If special circumstances do arise and pitocin, an epidural or cesarean section becomes a necessity, most parents will find that the HypnoBirthing® techniques help mothers continue to remain relaxed throughout the procedures and welcome the birth of their baby calmly. As I always say, "knowledge is power!"
While little is still known about the long term effects of pharmaceutical drugs on mothers and babies during birth, studies have shown that there are many benefits to a natural, vaginal birth that outweigh those of medicated births* Regardless of what path your birthing takes HypnoBirthing® will give you the tools to help you experience your birth in a calm, peaceful, loving way. . . exactly how every baby should be welcomed into this world!
*Articles on the side effects and risks of medical interventions . . .
Side Effects and Risks of Synthetic Oxytocin (Pitocin):
Side Effects and Risks of Epidurals:
Side Effects and Risks of Cesarean Section: