Hypnobirthing has only recently come into the mainstream. It's been around for quite a while but recently it's had a lot of media coverage. It seems everyone from Royalty to footballer's wives to TV presenters are doing it. However, most people still don’t know exactly what hypnobirthing is. There are a lot of myths about hypnobirthing so below I try and bust some of the more common ones.
Hypnobirthing is for hippies
Hypnobirthing is for everyone! I do teach the occasional hippy but the vast majority of people who take a course are like you. Hypnobirthing may have a reputation for being an airy fairy alternative therapy but it’s actually based on science and logic. So many dads start off sceptical of hypnobirthing but once they've done a course and see how it works they're often it's biggest fan.
Hypnobirthing will put me in a trance
Hypnobirthing will teach you how to go into a hypnotic state so you can relax in labour. This does not mean that you will be in a zombie like trance oblivious to the rest of the world. Going into a hypnotic state is something we all do naturally several times a day. It happens just before we wake up fully or when falling asleep. When you're day dreaming or driving on auto pilot you're in a hypnotic state. Hypnobirthing teaches you how to put yourself into this state using deep relaxation techniques. The techniques you learn in pregnancy will then be used in labour. You'll be as relaxed as possible during labour but you'll still be aware of everything going on around you.
I won’t be in control of myself
A lot of people associate hypnosis with being out of control and doing things you wouldn't normally. With hypnobirthing it’s the opposite, you will feel very much in control of yourself and your labour. Hypnobirthing is not just about the relaxation and hypnosis. It is also an antenatal course that empowers you with the knowledge of all your options. You learn the tools to ask questions that help you make informed decisions about medical procedures offered to you. With these skills you will be 100% in control of yourself and whatever path your labour takes.
I won’t feel any pain
Hypnobirthing is often wrongly categorised as a pain relief but this is incorrect. Hypnobirthing works on the premise that when a labouring woman is calm and relaxed her body is working as it is designed to. When a woman is working with her body rather than against it there isn’t pain in the first place. Many hypnobirthing mothers describe their contractions, or surges, as intense rather than painful. Pain is subjective and each person has their own threshold for pain. What one woman can easily stand another might not be able to and may want some additional help with pain relief. Hypnobirthing is not about saying you can’t have pain relief. If you feel you need it then have it as it’s your labour and only you know how you feel. I would hate for anyone I taught to feel bad or like they failed because they wanted some pain relief.
I have to have a ‘natural’ and drug free birth if I do hypnobirthing
Doing hypnobirthing is about having positive birth experiences. It's about making informed decisions that you are happy with. If you want to have have pain relief during your labour and are choosing to do so from an informed place then you should. That will be what is right for you and your birth. Hypnobirthing is not about making women feel bad that they chose to have pain relief. It's about supporting couples to make informed decisions.
Women who do hypnobirthing are more likely to have a natural and drug free birth but all births are different. Sometimes there are circumstances where the baby does need a little extra help be born. You would definitely want to have pain relieving drugs if you needed a cesarean! You wouldn't feel bad about having a cesarean if you knew it was the best thing for you or your baby. Hypnobirthing will teach you how to make sure that any medical procedures offered (from a sweep to a c-section) are the best option for you.
If you are in the minority of people who need help with their birth, hypnobirthing will help you calmly face any circumstances that arise. Although hypnobirthing can’t guarantee the 'perfect' birth it does massively stack the odds in your favour.
You can’t make any noise when you’re in labour
Hypnobirthing mums are more calm and can be quieter but they most certainly can and do make noises when giving birth! No hypnobirthing text book will ever tell you you have to be silent. My hypnobirthing teacher said she moo’d like a cow. I remember myself at one stage during active labour making some kind of animal roar! Whatever noise you feel like making, go with the flow and make it! It can be very cathartic having a long low groan or even a wild roar.
at funny things have you heard or even thought yourself about hypnobirthing? Let me know in the comments below.