HypnoBirthing® – Empowerment for a Positive Birth Experience

Published on: July 10, 2021

Iasnaia tells us how practicing HypnoBirthing® techniques can help expectant mothers experience birth without fear and anxiety.

By Iasnaia Maximo

We live in a time and culture that views childbirth as an emergency and that this impending danger comes from the mother’s body, where until then, the baby was well and safe. So, it is no wonder that most mothers approach their childbirth with great fear, tension and stress. You’re not alone here. These fears are related to simply not knowing the physiology and not having the tools to cope with it. 

Giving birth is evolutionarily designed to be an intense experience, period. One that takes place outside our comfort zone, stretching us beyond the limits of our body and mind. When you feel you gave all that you have, it will extend you further into the innermost depths of yourself, resulting in you giving birth to your child while rebirthing yourself as a mother. And few things prepare you as well as birth prepares you for motherhood.

For years, when teaching as a doula, I never promised my clients a painless experience—which nevertheless can be achieved. Instead, I encouraged a fearless and empowering approach for labor and birthing, where the intensity of the sensations, the transformative nature of the process, and the belief that giving birth without intervention is still the safest way for mother and baby. Hence, when presented with the opportunity to train as a HypnoBirthing® Educator, I jumped at it. 

HypnoBirthing® is a holistic method to birthing and birth preparation, connecting the body and mind using powerful hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic techniques to learn a new, positive birth understanding and outlook. HypnoBirthing® challenges the preconceived ideas and myths around labor and birth, and brings families back to the fundamental principles that your body has all the tools necessary to give birth in a safe and joyous oxytocin-filled manner. It reminds parents-to-be that birthing is not a medical event in itself. The premise of HypnoBirthing® is that pain in labor is a fear and anxiety response, and that you can avoid it by learning the right techniques along with your birth companion.

As Italian midwife Verena Schmid says, ‘Physiological birth is linked to the experience of pain. Our fear of pain and the disappearance of physiological birth is linked to our lifestyles. A frenetic pace, the pressure to be efficient, competition, the quest for success, the need for immediate gratification, refusal to suffer: all these factors leave little room for listening, feeling and assuming a proactive attitude in the face of difficulties.’ (Schmid 2005)

Likewise, Michel Odent talks about all the hormones that occur during labor and birth that initiate a process that is physiologically designed to be transformative, emotionally and neurologically (Odent 2015). Now imagine bypassing the process or interfering with it as the medicalization of birth does. This is when we see more postnatal trauma and problems with breastfeeding and bonding. 

The original Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing® that I have chosen to teach was created over 30 years ago and is unique in its way of demystifying birth by eliminating fears and misconceptions about the process.  Reframing the negative thoughts and perceptions surrounding labor and birth, it is not a method, but a philosophy, which provides families with a simple yet comprehensive course with easy-to-learn techniques about Instinctive Birth: Relaxation, Affirmations, Breathing techniques, Self-Hypnosis, Deepening, Psycho-Physical preparation, Visualization and Childbirth Education. All are equally important parts of the program that enable parents to experience birth without fear, and remain in control and relaxed. Though it is one of the longer programs available to expectant parents now, this course comprises 5 weekly roadmaps especially created for those who understand that learning a new language for your body, mind, and spirit takes time. Taking part in the program has been described as being inducted into a community of women around the world who have refused to be submissive to over-medicalisation of the birth experience.

It also involves going back to basics and engaging our primal state of consciousness, reconnecting with instinctual knowledge from a place of confidence and inspiration. Along with the sessions, it requires commitment and dedication from the parents, as it entails repeatedly listening to the scripts to reprogram your subconscious mind and preparing on a physical, practical, and emotional level. 

Each and every one of those techniques will be invaluable to you and can be used as you wish during your birthing time. All of the effort pays off with shorter labor, less need for intervention, and better outcomes for babies that are alert and ready for bonding. It births parents who are empowered by their birthing experience and confident in their abilities as this new chapter unfolds to celebrate life as a family.

Parents have said that the HypnoBirthing® practice allowed both parents to connect with their unborn child and lessened their fears about birth. They were able to get into the zone and have a beautiful, unmedicated natural birth. They felt empowered and grateful to have had this experience.”

Photo from Canva

References

Official Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing: https://us.hypnobirthing.com

Harmon, T.M., Hynan, M.T., Tyre, T.E.(1990) Improved Obstetric Outcomes Using Hypnotic Analgesia and Skill Mastery. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, October; 58 (5): 525-30.

Jenkins, M.W., Pritchard, M.H. (1993) Hypnosis: Practical Applications and Theoretical Considerations in Normal Labour. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Mar; 100 (3): 221-6. 

Martin, A.A, Schauble, P.G,. Rai S.H., Curry, R.W. Jr. (2001) The Effects of Hypnosis on The Labor Processes and Birth Outcomes of Pregnant Adolescents. Journal of Family Practice. May;50(5):441-3.

Mongan, M. (2018) HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, 4th Edition: A Natural Approach to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing

Odent, M (2015) Do we need midwives? Reed, R. (2021) Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage, 1st Edition: Weaving Ancient Wisdom With Modern Knowledge.

Schmid, V. (2005) The meaning and functions of labour pain. Midwifery Today with International Midwife. 54-5, 64.     https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7447965_The_meaning_and_functions_of_labour_pain.

About the Author

Iasnaia, a Brazilian with a pinch of Irish, who started her career as a lawyer, now dedicates her time and passion to empower and support women in all aspects of motherhood as a Doula, HypnoBirthing® Educator, Yoga Teacher, and Breastfeeding counselor. Living in Thailand since July 2016, she and her German husband and their 2 Amsterdam home-born boys enjoy eating her way through Bangkok and beyond. She is part of the BAMBI Bumps & Babies team. maedoula.com


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