Have you heard of hypnosis in childbirth? Some women are curious about this form of alternative birth, and may be considering trying it for their birth. Here is some basic information about the use of hypnosis for childbirth.
What Is Hypnosis?
Experts and practitioners say that hypnosis is actually a normal state of mind. Hypnosis is purported to put your mind into a state similar to the dreamy point that occurs just before sleep. As you fall asleep, brain scans have revealed that your brain waves change. They become “alpha” waves, and this is the state that hypnosis aims to replicate.
Other practitioners of hypnosis point to the intense concentration that most of us experience when we are deeply involved in a good book or deep in thought. We can become unaware of what’s going on around us. When your brain is in this state, it’s said to be more open to suggestion and visualization.
How Is Hypnosis Achieved?
Hypnosis can be learned by individuals so that they can enter a hypnotic state without external help. You may also go into a hypnotic state under the care of a skilled practitioner who will guide you into a state of deep relaxation. He or she usually uses key phrases and a learned script to achieve this. Ultimately, say some sources, all hypnosis is self-induced, because it’s your choice to enter the state of hypnosis. The practitioner serves as a guide.
Applying Hypnosis to Childbirth
The state of advanced relaxation that hypnosis is said to achieve may greatly facilitate childbirth. Hypnosis, say proponents, relaxes the muscles and body systems so that the body releases its own natural painkillers. The relaxed body is also less resistant to the powerful contractions of childbirth, helping the mother to release her fear and anxiety. Some sources describe the pushing phase of labor and the birth of the baby as the baby “flowing” into the world.
Hypnotherapists claim to be able to train clients to experience pain simply as pressure. Hypnosis seeks to change perceptions about pain, beginning with “re-training” the subconscious mind to perceive birth as joyful, peaceful, and other positive things. The guide will help you tap into your inner mind and rethink your ideas about birth, which may be tied up with fear and anxiety.
Hypnosis is supposed to act as a sort of elective anesthesia into which a laboring woman can tap whenever she needs it. The hypnotized mind, fully convinced that childbirth is joyful, natural, and peaceful, essentially leads the body into a relaxed state that reflects this way of thinking. If the mind is convinced that childbirth need not be painful, then the body will likely respond by relaxing. Laboring women, then, gain control over their bodies and the birth process.
Women who have given birth under a state of hypnosis claim it is a peaceful experience, and many do claim there’s a big difference between giving birth under hypnosis and giving birth the conventional way.