Three Ways Hypnosis Can Powerfully Influence Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth
If the image of a pendulum swinging in front of your face, with a creepy hair slicked back guy counting backward, is conjured up when you hear the words hypnosis, you’re not alone. But this uncomfortable scene is not what modern day hypnosis is about at all.
Hypnosis is actually the induction into a state of consciousness, usually your subconscious, due to suggestion. Because all change happens in the subconscious mind, hypnosis can be used to efficiently and quickly access fear and reactionary triggers, to more controlled mindful responses.
This is why hypnotherapy and hypnobirthing are such powerful tools in consciously reprogramming your innate responses to support you instead of work against you during labor and birth.
The first way hypnosis can assist you during this sacred time is to eliminate fear. With images of media births and horror stories from friends or family swirling in your subconscious and conscious mind it’s no wonder you might have some fear around birth and labor. You might not even be consciously aware of the fear but social conditioning may still be affecting you deep down.
Hypnosis assists you with dealing with and overwriting these natural responses. If you know you have fear, a hypnotherapy session can release these reactions and help you affirm new ideas and feelings that support a pain-free experience.
To manage and eliminate fear and pain during the birthing process, especially if you are opting for an unmedicated birth, hypnobirthing assists and guides you through the entire birthing process allowing you to slip into a controlled state of consciousness where you manage the birthing experience through visualization, relaxation, affirmations and intentional breathing techniques.
During my 43 hour home birth hypnobirthing techniques saved me from worrying about the time and allowed me to sink into the experience while enjoying the process. I know without this powerful tool my experience would not have been as peaceful or controlled.
Grantly Dick Read suggests that fear produces tension and tension increases pain and discomfort. He believed "Healthy childbirth was never intended by the natural law to be painful.” He states by using the power of the mind and staying conscious during the process the mother is equipped to fulfill herself emotionally when she sees and welcomes her child into the world. (Childbirth Without Fear)
Replace Fear With Excitement
The physiological response for fear and excitement is the same within the body. Meaning, when you feel fear or excitement the body reacts in the exact same way, the only difference is the meaning you place to the response determined by what is happening in your mind.
Because of this switching the fear response to excitement is as easy as reframing the situation. Hypnosis can prepare you for this and put you in a state of excitement when normally you might have picked to experience fear.
This is done through practicing deep relaxation, visualization and affirmations so when you get to labor your body already knows what to do and you can trust and allow the body to do what it knows how to while you support it through breathing and positive mind work. The process of hypnobirthing, done with a birthing companion, allows you both to shift to a place of excitement all through the laboring and birthing process.
When you understand that contractions (surges) are designed to naturally expel your baby from your body you can look forward to each one with excitement knowing it’s working to bring your baby to your arms quickly and easily. When you meet the surge with relaxation rather than resistance, labor is sped up and much more comfortable and manageable while conserving your energy. You are then able to flow with the rhythm of labor as you float along and ride each wave.
Access A Powerful Tool To Support The Process Of Birth
The mind is the most powerful tool you have. With it you have the power to determine how to access a situation and respond to it accordingly. Sometimes you might think you are a victim to the mind's whims and what it says is fact, but in fact the mind is just a computer working on inputs and outputs. When you reprogram this sophisticated apparatus to register in the inputs in a new way you are able to control the situation and allow your mind to work with you instead of against you.
As you learn to harness the power of the mind it can set you free.
Hypnosis is a simple way of altering your conscious awareness (mind) and increasing your responsiveness and suggestibility. Evidence suggests that while pregnant your suggestibility increases making you even more impacted by negative stories, movies, and others suggestions about birth. Now more than ever it’s so important to filter the information and suggestions you expose yourself to.
Hypnotherapy works mainly with Theta and Delta brainwave frequencies which are just below Alpha.
Alpha is a common place for artists, athletes, musicians and deeply intuitives to hang-out in. Alpha is an extremely pleasurable and relaxed state of consciousness essential for stress reduction and release of anxieties. It can be accessed by meditating or being in a state of creation.
Theta brain waves are naturally accessed for a moment upon waking and just before sleep comes to you. For many it takes a disciplined meditation practice to access this powerful and dreamlike brainwave state while awake, which is ideal for stress release, increased focus, boosting the immune system and much more. But in hypnotherapy we enter Theta easily and quickly as we access the subconscious mind and it’s programming.
Delta brainwaves are ideal for gaining access to the subconscious for deep and powerful reprogramming which is attained during a hypnosis session. This is where the magic happens and the mind is told that the body will relax during labor, open easily and effortlessly and feel numb wherever you direct it to feel so.
This doesn’t mean you won’t feel anything, rather you will feel sensation, pressure, movement, but if done correctly, no pain at all.
In conclusion, the most powerful tool you have is your mind and you have the ability to influence how it perceives sensation and inputs from the body and external world. Because of the heightened state of suggestibility during pregnancy (it’s almost as if the body was meant to be hypnotized during this time to support you) hypnosis, either hypnotherapy or hypnobirthing, is a powerful tool for you to gain control over how your body registers what is happening during labor and birth creating a pleasurable experience instead of a painful one.
After my first birthing experience I knew I wanted to share this powerful tool with the world and assist other parents to also shift the perception and experience of what our bodies are able to experience during this sacred creative process.
If you are interested in learning more about hypnobirthing or hypnotherapy please visit my website for virtual classes and private sessions. I am open and available to answer questions personally so please schedule a call on the website's contact page.
Certified HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator, Hypnotherapist, Doula