So what is hypnobirthing and how does it work?
In our minds we have two levels, the conscious mind where all our analytical decision-making thoughts are. And then there's a much bigger part of the mind, which is the subconscious which is where all our fears and beliefs tend to reside. So we can change our conscious mind quite easily. We can have very analytical or logical thoughts about something. So for example, if I am afraid of spiders, I can tell myself that it's just a tiny harmless spider not some bloodsucking monster. But, if my unconscious mind has a huge fear of spiders, then it will drive my behavior rather than the conscious mind. So no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, I will still run away from all spiders. Therefore in order to deal with this fear I need to tackle it as a subconscious level and this is what hypnosis does so well.
Too often we have absorbed messages about birth unconsciously from friends and family that labour is a terrible ordeal. The dramatic births we constantly see in the media don’t help us either. All these negative stories are sending a constant message to our minds that birth is something to be feared. But hypnosis can help. We can use it to accesses that deeper subconscious level of our minds and aim to change the fears or the strongly held beliefs that we might have about pregnancy or birth. Repeated use of hypnobirthing tracks during pregnancy can help replace that fear with excitement. If we have beliefs about ourselves and our ability to cope with labour then hypnosis can help update those beliefs also.
Research into hypnosis shows that it has many benefits including
Reducing anxiety and increasing confidence
Improving blood pressure management
Reducing pain perception
Reducing phobias such as needle phobia
Additionally, studies of women in labour have found that those who practice hypnobirthing have
Reduced labour times
Less need for medication
And who wouldn’t want that for their birth?
In the GentleBirth workshop I teach how hypnosis works, the myths around it and how to use it to benefit you throughout your pregnancy y and birth. The GentleBirth app has loads of different hypnobirthing tracks to practice at home and use during labour. There are tracks for confidence, tracks specifically for during the labour and tracks for anxiety and fear release. There are special tracks for example for a breech baby, induction or C-section. In fact there's a there's a track for pretty much every situation that you're going to encounter in your pregnancy or your birth.
When I was pregnant my favorite thing to do was to put on a GentleBirth track at bedtime and drift off to sleep while it was still playing. It was so relaxing, especially after a busy day running around after a toddler. And the best thing was that it still worked even though I was asleep.