By Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI, Founder and Director of Hypnobabies
Myths & Misconceptions about Hypnosis for Childbirth
We are very proud! It is now common knowledge that Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis is a very successful childbirth hypnosis program. Women consistently show us how dedicated they are as they seek out our program and it is obvious that they know exactly what they want and need, or they wouldn’t even investigate the possibility that childbirth can be much more joyful and empowering by using hypnosis. In terms of helping women have much easier, more comfortable and sometimes pain-free birth experiences, we have taught many thousands of expectant women how to trust in their bodies, their minds and their babies. The results have effectively and very positively changed the way women experience childbirth, the way babies are being born and the way the world perceives natural childbirth. It seems only realistic and logical that those involved in working with expectant women would be hugely supportive and willing to learn whatever they can to help women have this kind of birth experience, with the ensuing positive feelings of empowerment and memories of a joyful birth.
Curiously though, we occasionally have resistance in the professional birthing world regarding support for hypnotic childbirth from some childbirth educators, midwives and doulas (labor assistants). The good news is that most of them are so amazed and in awe of the kinds of births our Hypnobabies moms have that they react very positively indeed, with comments like…
“That was the most beautiful birth I’ve ever seen” and “What in the world did she learn to remain so relaxed and focused on her own body and baby?” They express their gratitude for how relaxed and fun it made their own participation in the birth, while their special Hypno-Mom was able to have such an easy natural birth instead of suffering, and how much peacefulness there was as the babies are born gently into the world.
They have easily seen the value of greatly reducing childbirth discomfort and helping women look forward to childbirth through the use of deep hypnotic suggestion and relaxation. Most witnesses to a true Hypnobabies birth are extremely positive, and they realize that by sharing what they have seen, heard and learned at a Hypnobabies birth, they will encourage more women to choose natural childbirth in the future. They also realize that more women will choose homebirth or birth center births, since fear of childbirth is eliminated when our Hypno-Moms are able to fully trust the birth process and their own inner voice. In fact, most of our moms find their outer voice for the first time and realize they have the right to express it, since Hypnobabies teaches them birth empowerment as well as birth hypnosis. Hypnobabies doulas have expressed delight at seeing positive reactions of doctors and nurses to how excellent natural childbirth can truly be when our Hypno-Moms experience fewer complications and so much less discomfort, recognizing this as progression and evolution for natural, intuitive childbirth.
And then…there are birth professionals who have some very interesting ideas and misconceptions about what we teach in Hypnobabies, how it is learned, practiced and used in labor, and the effects of hypnosis on the birthing mother’s emotional state as well as the mother’s connection to herself and her baby during the process. We hear comments such as, “What is wrong with childbirth pain anyway?”, or “Why should women spend so much time learning hypnosis techniques just to give birth?”, and “Hypnosis is just a gimmick, and women who want natural childbirth should just bear the pain”. These misunderstandings simply demonstrate that these birth professionals must not comprehend what medical-grade hypnosis for childbirth is and how it can benefit women, their birth partners, their babies, caregivers and…our own futures. It has also been speculated that anyone who would say these things simply hasn’t dealt with their own pain and difficulties in childbirth and therefore want all women “to have to bear up like I did.” I choose to believe that inside every birth professional is someone who cares deeply for women and truly desires that we help each other as sisters, caretakers and soul-mates. Some people just need a little bit of information and education to learn the truth in order to become willing to value and treasure hypnosis for childbirth as a gift that women give themselves and their precious babies.
Therefore we always advise our Hypnobabies moms:
“Please make certain that the birth professionals you have chosen to attend your birthing are fully supportive and knowledgeable about your choice for a natural, comfortable birth using hypnosis. They may need a little education, which is excellent, but anyone who is inflexible and will not work with you to learn your Hypnobabies words, cues and techniques is *not* a good choice. Choose well. You will only give birth to this baby…once. You deserve to have the kind of birth that you want, and all aspects of this once-in-a-lifetime experience are for you to decide. Beautiful, easier and much more comfortable childbirth is in your grasp, so keep it there!”
Click HERE for much more information on misconceptions regarding childbirth hypnosis, written by Carole Thorpe, also a hypnotherapist and doula for 30 years. It lends merit to everything we stand for here at Hypnobabies: improving childbirth for all women.