Pregnancy/Maternity

Self-hypnosis for a gentle birth

Self-hypnosis really deserves all our attention when we are getting ready for delivery. It is a nice way of looking at childbirth!

Increasingly, parents are looking for tools to improve delivery. These tools can be used to soothe pain, to involve the spouse or to reduce stress. There’s something for everyone… but did you know hypnotherapy? Did you know that a couple that is calm during delivery could reduce the time of labor and the intensity of pain? Did you know about endorphins, the natural drug produced by the body? Being a mom myself, I had hypnobirthing training with my husband. It is a technique that you can use during delivery and that you will also keep it in mind forever and use in various situations of your everyday life. Here is a short summary of what is self-hypnosis!

Hypnosis during childbirth is a way of giving birth gently and calmly. It is a natural approach. Based on various relaxation techniques, it gives the couples breathing techniques and allows them to understand the physiological process of childbirth and to demystify the pain that scares so many women. During our various workshops, we become aware of several parts of our body, we learn to let go, to release various tensions and it is surprising to see how distressed we can be!

Many myths exist about hypnosis. Among them, there is a misconception that hypnosis is “something that someone else does to you”, like Messmer. In fact, self-hypnosis is a state of focus that no one can force you to reach. It is a way to focus, to concentrate and to create a space where only you and your spouse can be, to avoid being distracted by what surrounds you.

In short, here is what you can learn in a hypnobirthing course: 

  • Everything you will need to give birth more safely, more easily and more comfortably; 
  • Understand the myth saying that pain is necessarily present in childbirth; 
  • Relaxation techniques to help you eliminate the fear-tension-pain syndrome; 
  • How your body is naturally formed to conceive, feed and give birth to your baby with ease and comfort;
  • To induce natural endorphins in your body; 
  • How you and your birth companion can create a calm and peaceful birth environment and how to avoid tension and stress; 
  • Gentle birthing techniques that allow you to give life to your baby by bringing him into this world without violence and without pushing hard.

 

Hypnosis is an acquired skill. Couples must take the time to practice the technique and be patient for it to work. It is not magical! A hypnosis specialist may even be there during delivery to guide the couples and help them focus on relaxation techniques.

What about endorphins?

Endorphins are hormones that create the comfort zone that you are looking for when you give birth. It is the natural drug of the body! It helps women to relax, to have a positive birthing experience, to be calm and serene, in spite of the contractions! It is the opposite of adrenaline, which has the opposite effect during labor. Adrenaline makes labor longer, increases the pain and makes deliveries more difficult. The real challenge of giving birth, in my opinion, is not to manage the pain but to produce endorphins rather than adrenaline. It is not always easy to be “zen” in a moment like childbirth. But unfortunately, endorphins and adrenaline do not work together… if one is produced, the other stops. Hypnosis is a good way to be equipped to produce endorphins more easily during childbirth.

In conclusion, once you understand how self-hypnosis works, you and your partner can use it for many reasons: reduce anxiety, overcome insomnia, stop smoking, reduce stress, achieve certain life goals… Hypnosis can help you on a daily basis in addition to helping you find your comfort zone during delivery, a zone that I would call endorphins! It is an old tool that is coming back in fashion, that couples appreciate but, above all, that seeks to eliminate the stress from the great adventure of childbirth. 

Karine Bergeron
Doula

Karine Bergeron is a doula who studied nursing and is currently completing additional training in prenatal care. As mother to little Laurence, volunteer for L’entraide maternelle, breastfeeding godmother and prenatal class teacher, it’s with joy that she dispenses her wisdom for Motherforlife.com. Bergeron is passionate about prenatal care and ready to share all her knowledge to help you enjoy life’s greatest gift: becoming parents. To find out more or ask questions, go to mereetmonde.com and look for her in the “Équipe” section.


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