It was widely reported that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, used a technique called ‘HypnoBirthing’ to ease labor while delivering her new son. The news, whether or not it is true, shines a light on a slightly misunderstood yet brilliant natural supportive addition to the birthing experience.

Hypnosis for childbirth, or HypnoBirthing, does not involve “going under” or being unaware of what’s going on. Rather, it helps with anxieties and impending fear of the experience of pain that oftentimes accompanies labor.

So what exactly does hypnosis for childbirth consist of?  It involves a breathing technique, relaxation, visualization, and guided imagery. The most important part is to teach the mother how to relax with each contraction thus releasing any fear, tension, and anxiety associated with the birthing process.

Our society recognizes childbirth as being painful. Every birthing film shows someone screaming and writhing around in agony. If you’re in a state of fear, the body produces stress hormones. Yet what you want to produce are endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relief, helping mom remain calm and relaxed.

Hypnosis for childbirth helps speed up labor and delivery in addition to speeding up the recovery process for the mother. The newborn also experiences a more peaceful birth. These techniques aren’t necessarily meant to replace the need for epidurals or pain relief, but the brilliance of it is that it can be used in addition to all the other care provided by the hospital.

Marie Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing said, “Babies don’t need to come into the world in pain, and their mothers don’t need to suffer as they do.”  That was the starting point for her method which relies on deep relaxation and powerful affirmations to promise not a pain-free delivery, but an easier one. It works by shutting down the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system. If a woman heads into labor in fear, her muscles tense up blocking needed blood flow to the birthing muscles. As the baby moves along the birth canal, that tightness creates pain which begets fear, and the cycle continues.

Through hypnosis for childbirth, many babies don’t even cry when they come into the world because they haven’t experienced birth trauma, and they are more content as a result of the HypnoBirthing process.

Jessica Alba is a fan as she used hypnotherapy when delivering daughter, Honor.

The Motivational Institute of Hypnotherapy will be offering Hypnosis for Childbirth classes in November 2013.  We’ll keep you posted.

Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.

To Your Success,

Marla Brucker, DCH, R.HA