The benefits of hypnobirthing
Having a baby is an exciting and positive life-changing experience, but it can also create mixed emotions. A woman’s body is naturally designed to give birth, but sometimes fear and anxiety about labour and giving birth can get in the way of this. Perhaps this may have been fuelled by ‘scary’ birth stories or a previously difficult birthing experience.
Regardless of whether the anxiety or fear is real or imagined, these strong emotions can trigger the stress response, which for a pregnant woman can cause constriction of the arteries supplying the uterus, resulting in tension and pain and prolonging labour. Heightened levels of the stress hormone adrenaline can suppress the hormones needed for birth, slowing down the body and may even bring labour to a stand-still.
What is hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing allows your body to work at its own pace and facilitates a more comfortable labour and easier birthing, utilising deep breathing, and relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis and visualisation. These practices prepare you for a more relaxed and natural birthing experience. They enable your body and mind to work together, helping you to release any fears or anxieties that you may have.
Using self-hypnosis techniques to induce deep relaxation helps to reduce pain during labour. When you are in a calm and relaxed state, endorphins are released, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Learning to relax and listen to your body, gives you the confidence to trust your intuition and natural ability to birth your baby. Making it easier for you to feel more in control and work with the flow of your body, throughout labour and childbirth.
How does hypnobirthing help?
Hypnobirthing can help in a number of different ways, including:
- Reducing labour and birthing time.
- Mums feel more relaxed and energised after giving birth.
- Can reduce postnatal recovery time.
- Babies are reported to be calmer, more content, feed and sleep better.
- Dads are more actively involved with the birth.
- Lower incidences of surgical interventions.
- Less risk of birth-related pelvic floor injuries.
- Techniques learned can be useful for future situations.
Whilst you may not be guaranteed the perfect birthing experience, hypnobirthing will help facilitate the most comfortable and relaxed birthing experience that you can possibly have.