Childbirth is one of the most natural events in the world; approximately 490,000 babies are born every day – that’s almost 6 births every second! Yet in the developed world, having a baby has been medicalised to the extent where women are groomed to expect the process to be long and painful. Many Mums are so nervous about going into labour that their fear prevents the birth from progressing spontaneously. This in itself may require the need for drugs to speed up the birth. These drugs increase the rate and intensity of contractions, which become more and more painful until the mother can cope no more and demands pain relief. Some drugs used in labour for pain relief e.g. the anaesthetic in an epidural, have the effect of slowing down labour, as well as completely masking any feeling from the waist down, including the urge to ‘push’ the baby out.
What happens in a natural Childbirth?
A normal birth, without any drugs, reduces possible risks and complications for mother and baby and therefore the need for obstetric interventions that may follow as a result of having those drugs. The contractions in labour are powerful but necessary to ensure the baby is delivered smoothly and safely. Yes, they might be painful, but there are amazing, natural things going on inside the mother’s body so it makes sense to work with the body, managing the pain, seeing it as a helper, not an enemy.
Why choose a pain-controlled, natural birth?
If you are motivated to choose as natural a birth as you can for you and your baby, hypnotherapy to manage the pain might be a positive method for you. Within the active birth setting, where Mum is encouraged to move between and during contractions to find the most comfortable position whilst actively listening to her body, hypnotherapy for childbirth helps Mum to relax deeply, reducing anxiety at each stage of labour and maintaining energy levels. The positive experience reflects well not only on Mum but on Baby, too.
What is the evidence hypnotherapy for childbirth works?
Midwives are increasingly training in hypnotherapy for childbirth and may books on hypnosis and self-hypnosis are available through the National Childbirth Trust www.nctshop.co.uk. There are increasing numbers of testimonies in local and national newspapers with women who have attended classes before their due date finding the technique has worked for them. As with any form of hypnotherapy, the 10% of the mind which is consciously mediated must be motivated for this method to succeed, over-riding the 90% which is under sub-conscious control.