“So, when you used hypnosis to birth your daughter, you didn’t have any pain?”
That’s one of the first questions I am asked when I share that I used hypnosis to prepare my mind and body for birthing.
However, the program that I used: Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis, is careful to stress that their program is not all about achieving a pain-free birth. Sure, there are many women who are fully capable of birthing painlessly (I’ve seen it!). Most western women, however, move into their birth so amped up to go through labor’s agony that they defeat their chances of a painless birth before contractions have even started. Tension caused by fearful expectations cause the body to birth more slowly and painfully. Knowing this, we can easily understand that the more relaxed we are throughout pregnancy and birth, the less pain we feel during our birthing time.
Personally, I did not have a pain-free experience for most of my birth. I can however, tell you what hypnosis DID do for me: Mandy's birth, "It's a girl!" Not to be published elsewhere without permission from author.
-Allowed me to address my birthing fears head-on and deal with them before I was giving birth so that my birthing time was a joyful versus a fearful event
-Reminded me every day that I was capable of birthing and mothering my precious baby
-Provided wonderful bonding time between my baby, my husband, and myself for months before my child’s arrival
-Prompted me to take time out for myself amidst life’s business. During the last few months of my pregnancy I was working, traveling, bought a house (a fixer at that!), and doing all the other baby-prep stuff. I was so relieved to have an “excuse” to escape it all for a few minutes a day!
-Provided an in-depth and complete childbirth education course. Yes, I was a professional birth doula already but the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program taught me even more!
-Really got me excited for my birthing time! I didn’t view labor as a means to an end, I looked at it as a metamorphosis; a wonderful event that would change my life forever and bring me closer in touch to the woman that I am.
-Allowed me to feel comfortable and beautiful through my whole pregnancy and birthing.
-Pain-free pushing. I pushed for about an hour and a half and while I did exert great effort, there truly was no pain during pushes nor did I ever experience the ring of fire. My daughter’s head came out along with one of her little fists (“nuchal hand” is the technical term for this, though I prefer to call it the “Superwoman Pose”) and even with this uneven, extra stretching I felt no pain.
Who knows how much longer or more intense my birth would have been had I not used hypnosis. I remember my mind pulling to its forefront specific lines and affirmations from the hypnosis scripts that I had practiced, “I accept whatever my birthing time brings me.” was the one that presented itself to me again and again. Acceptance. That could have quite possibly been the biggest benefit to using hypnosis throughout my birthing.