Self-Hypnosis for Childbirth… What Is It? How Does It Work?
By Jan Segers Rysdon, M.A., C.Ht.
When I introduce my comfortable childbirth program to women, they ask, “How is it possible to be comfortable? Labor and delivery mean PAIN!” Yes, women emphasize the last word, but I quickly eliminate it from their vocabulary and focus on the word “COMFORT.” The truth is, childbirth creates a natural state of ecstasy that is life transforming. Utilizing self-hypnosis and deep relaxation techniques magnifies that state and creates comfort before, during, and after the wonderful birthing journey.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state of heightened, focused attention best achieved through physical relaxation. You do not sleep. Your mind is alert and always in control. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and unlocks your own inner intelligence to allow desired changes leading to enhanced control over the body’s responses. Most anyone can be hypnotized, even teenagers and children. Each person responds differently and goes into a state of trance appropriate for the individual and the situation. Learning self-hypnosis and other important strategies generally takes several sessions; a session may last 60 to 120 minutes depending on the work to be done. The American Medical Association accepts the therapeutic use of hypnotherapy, and many scientific studies have revealed the benefits of hypnosis.
What do Moms-to-Be learn? How do they use self-hypnosis?
Moms-to-Be begin my Comfortable Childbirth Education Program at any point up to Week 30. The earlier pregnant women learn how to create comfort by using the techniques and tools taught in the program, the easier it is to use them during the birthing experience.
While in my classes, Moms-to-Be transform negative thoughts and beliefs by talking about childbirth and creating positive and joyful expectations. New terminology for the journey becomes paramount; for example, “contraction” becomes “pressure.” She also learns self-hypnosis and progressive relaxation techniques to assist her in focusing, relaxing, and releasing fear which will assist in creating positive thoughts and emotions. Learning and using the “Comfort Tools” and techniques for any uncomfortable physical moment or experience before the baby arrives easily empowers women to be ready for the actual birthing journey. Daily, Moms-to-Be take time to practice self-hypnosis. Repetition of this exercise assists the unconscious mind to make necessary changes in the body.
Visualization is another key element of self-hypnosis. With creative visualization and mental imagery, women also connect with their babies and prepare their bodies’ muscles for the journey.
Childbirth is a journey, a climb; it’s work and each turn in the journey requires deep focus. The Partner serves an invaluable role in Mom-to-Be’s achieving the optimum state of focus and deep relaxation. The partners rehearse and practice many times before the due date to ensure Mom-to-Be will automatically reach the optimum state of relaxation when the real birthing journey begins.
Hypnosis WORKS for Childbirth!
Self-hypnosis taught in my Comfortable Childbirth Education Program is a welcome addition to information learned in other childbirth education classes. Hypnosis offers many benefits including the following:
- helps minimize pain and pressure
- prepares the body’s muscles
- empowers the mother-to-be
- improves emotional well-being
- may reduce the length of labor
- releases stress, fear and anxiety
- may reduce the need for drugs
- triggers the body’s relaxation response
- helps ensure rapid postnatal recovery
- And much more!!!
One of my clients wrote me after she delivered her baby: “The hypnosis for birthing worked as far as I’m concerned… After the birth [my husband] was the first in line to say how easy it was. It was more emotional, and he was there for that part, concentrating on his new baby girl because there was no pain for his loving wife.”
Another client told me that one of her affirmations for childbirth was, “This is going to be easy.” After she gave birth, she asked me to tell other women, “It most definitely was.”
If you are interested in exploring the wonderful benefits of hypnosis for a joyful birthing journey, consult with a Certified Hypnotherapist who specializes in creating comfortable childbirth.
Jan serves her clients by using and teaching hypnotic techniques that create changes necessary to achieve happy, healthy, and productive personal and professional lives. Learn more about Jan at www.JanRysdon.com.