Hypnobirthing is based on the work of Dr Grantly Dick-Read, an English doctor whose principles are also the foundation of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). In his book ‘Childbirth Without Fear’ originally published in 1933, he states that “there is no physiological function in the body that gives rise to pain in the normal course of health. In no other animal species is the process of birth apparently associated with any suffering, pain or agony, except where pathology exists or in an unnatural state, such as captivity.”
When we’re afraid, our body diverts blood and oxygen from non-essential defence organs to large muscle groups in our extremities. Dr. Dick-Read hypothesized that the fear felt by a woman during childbirth caused blood to be filtered away from her uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee the dangerous situation. As a result, the uterus was left without oxygen and could not perform its functions as efficiently or without pain.
This belief led to the theory that fear and tension cause the labour pains in approximately 95% of birthing women. He termed this phenomenon “the fear-tension-pain syndrome of childbirth,” and he believed that by eliminating the fear, women could return the uterus to its normal function, thereby eliminating the pain.
Hypnobirthing doesn’t mean you’ll be in a trance or asleep. Rather, you’ll be able to chat and be and in good spirits – totally relaxed, but fully in control. You’ll always be aware of what is happening to you, and around you.
How I Can Help
By incorporating different types of therapy including hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, NLP and mindfulness, my aim is to work with you to teach you techniques and skills and help build your inner resources so you have the ability to calm yourself, be relaxed and feel much more in control throughout your labour.
What you can achieve:
- Learn breathing techniques that actually help the birth
- A decreased use of pain relief medication such as gas and epidurals
- A decreased average length of labour
- Lower caesarean section rates
- Increased ease and comfort of labour and birth (self-reported and observed)
- Being confident and informed when dealing with the medical staff – when to question, what to ask… and when it’s time to let them take charge
- The release of any fears you might have about childbirth…regardless of where they come from
- Most importantly, you’ll know how to relax and stay calm – regardless of what’s happening around you
Remember – the aim of Hypnobirthing is not a completely pain-free and picture-perfect ‘natural’ birth (although that is perfectly possible). It is to have a calmer, easier, more comfortable birth – where you are in control – and in a way that most mirrors nature.