Giving birth is a momentous occasion, one filled with hope, dreams and too often punctuated by extreme pain. Labor and delivery comes with a fair share of pain as muscles contract and the cervix opens to allow your bundle of joy to enter this world. Historically, women had few choices beyond simply enduring, and then came pain medications and epidurals. Mothers today are looking for a more natural alternative, and honestly, one that can be utilized in any birth setting including home, hospital or birthing center.
The philosophy behind hypnobirthing is relatively simple; it is a method of relaxation that makes the birthing process smoother and less painful. You see, nature intended the process to be easy, but fear and tension result in increased pain and discomfort. A few hypnobirthing techniques include, but are not limited to:
- Breathing – Focus on deep breathing takes the mind off the birthing process.
- Education – Learning how the birthing process occurs, and prevention of an accumulation of fear or anxiety.
- Envision – imagining, if you will, an easy birth. Visualize the cervix opening wide to allow your child into the world.
- Relax – understand when your body relaxes, your baby relaxes.
Hypnobirthing techniques will vary depending on where you take the course; some partners decide to take a class together while others may opt for a hypnobirthing CD or a hypnobirthing home study course. There are pros and cons to all of the above. You should choose the one that best fits with your needs and ease of access.
Versus Other Options
Hypnobirthing stories will too often resemble the reminiscing of old war veterans, and therein lies a big part of the problem. Focusing on the intense experiences of others can ramp up the fear and anxiety many months before birth, leading to a frustrating and painful experience, especially for first time mothers. Mothers who are well informed, and taught that the process does not have to be agonizing, will have a much better experience.
Hypnobirthing techniques have been around for thousands of years, but it has only been in the past 30 years or so that they have moved into the mainstream, thanks to celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore and many others. Does the idea of a relaxed and beautiful birthing experience sound ideal to you? Thankfully, it is a viable alternative to harsh medications, or simply going it alone and just getting through it. Whether you choose a hypnobirthing home study course or hypnobirthing online class, rest assured that the techniques you learn will vastly change your birthing experience.