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Pregnant moms would dread the arrival of their baby from all the harrowing experiences they have heard about online. Births are difficult and painful, yes. But the experience is a mixture of happiness, dread, fear, pain, and curiosity (if you are a first-time mom). Hypnobirthing techniques are a group of birthing techniques that you can follow a few weeks before your delivery date to help your mind and body relax while giving birth.
Instead of feeling like being caught in a whirlwind of emotions during birth, hypnobirthing moms feel in control of their body pain, muscles, and brain. A calm birth does not come on its own. It needs purpose, intention, practice, and value to create a rewarding and beautiful memory out of pain.
Are you now wondering how to do these magic techniques? We are here to get you started with this amazing birthing technique so that your delivery is a calm and relaxing one. Read on to know more about hypnobirthing!
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing techniques are based on the concept that childbirth is a normal and natural event even though in rare cases, medical assistance might be required. Generally, every woman’s body is made to cope with the instinctual and primal way of mammalian birth.
Hypnobirthing is a set of practices that will help you connect with your inner resources that are already ready to give birth. These practices help you trust and understand your pregnant body so that you are confident and fearless enough to have a calmer birthing experience.
Benefits of Hypnobirthing Techniques
Hypnobirthing holds several benefits for the mind, body, and soul of a birthing mom. Here’s what stands out between a hypnobirthing mom and others:
- The techniques are a set of natural practices of pain management. There are no potential side effects or medications involved that will affect your baby or yourself.
- It can provide relief, relaxation, and comfort during labor.
- It can decrease fear and stress during childbirth
- It allows you to remain awake and alert during labor.
- It helps in a better postpartum period with a reduced risk of post-traumatic stress disorder or postpartum depression.
- Your baby will nurse better and will be easy-going.
7 Hypnobirthing Techniques to Get You Started
1. Replace Fear With Trust
Most pregnant women fear labor from the scores of birthing stories they have heard. Positive birth stories are quite a few and that instills fear in them. What most people fail to notice are the female body’s miraculous abilities to adapt when there is a little human growing inside them.
Seek out real first-hand experiences and stories about childbirth and ask them questions that bother you. Keep your mindset broad for not-so-comfortable experiences too. You could watch pregnancy videos or read pregnancy books where other women share their stories. Once your knowledge is expanded, you will begin to think rationally about giving birth. Gradually, you will develop a positive outlook toward D-day.
2. Recognize and Release Body Shame
Women experience shame about their bodies at some point of time in their lives. Pregnancy changes the body dynamics and weight gain is what causes most bodies to change drastically. This might cause women to feel ashamed about their bodies, especially during birth, sex, or anything that involves the feminine parts of the body.
Learning how your body is made to cope with birth and postpartum is a crucial process of hypnobirthing. You need to practice gratitude for your body’s power to channel the positive effects of the technique. You can do so by pampering your body with gentle massages or using an affirmation like “I love my body and trust it”. Spend purposeful time holding attention, love, and gratitude for your body which is the overlooked part of hypnobirthing techniques.
3. Steer Clear of Negativity
Hypnobirthing tends to create a sense of positivity and peace around the birthing moms. Yes, it might sound a bit over the top but hypnosis has been proven to reduce the stress that might otherwise affect the baby. When you follow hypnobirthing techniques, you need to steer clear of stressful activities like upsetting news or events that might trigger you.
Even TV shows that are unnecessarily aggravating might give you nightmares. Practically, following the “no-negativity” rule will help you finger out the stress in your life and you will be able to take simple steps to resolve the underlying issues of those particular stressors.
4. Indulge in Self-Hypnosis Before Bed
One of the most important steps of hypnobirthing is the belief that the human body achieves what the human mind believes. Hypnobirthing practices self-hypnosis, i.e., listening to positive birth affirmations before you go to bed. Completely rewrite your subconscious before the time comes for you to give birth.
When labor begins, you will be able to welcome it with calmness, confidence, and softness. Most pregnant moms end up fighting against labor because of the fear of its intensity and complications. With positive affirmations and self-hypnosis, the dread of labor that they had built up for months will melt to welcome acceptance, allowance, and cooperation with labor.
5. Take Slow and Controlled Breaths When You are Dilating
Hypnobirthing breathing technique is a significant part of hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing breathing techniques have helped countless people give a calmer birth with better control of their pain-bearing capabilities. In this method,
- You take a deep breath and fill your belly and diaphragm.
- Hold your breath for a moment.
- Exhale intentionally and slowly for 6 or 8 counts.
Remember that your exhale should be twice as long as your inhale. This breathing hypnobirthing technique will activate your parasympathetic nervous system which will relax your body. Before giving birth, this technique will help you train your body to complete your stress cycles more efficiently. The more the efficiency, the lesser the pain will be.
6. Use J Breathing When You Push
J breathing hypnobirthing technique is supposed to be used while you are actively pushing your baby out. To do a J breath you need to
- Take a deep breath at first
- Lock your breath in your chest by giving a gentle push outwards instead of letting it out immediately.
- Visualize pushing the breath down and pushing your baby out.
- Release your breath and repeat it.
This technique will help you naturally bear down during contractions and helps you stay focused, calm, and controlled. The name J breath comes from the way you visualize your baby being pushed down and then up like the letter J. When you do this type of hypnobirthing breathing technique, make sure you don’t feel like you are straining your upper body or face when you are pushing.
7. Create a Relaxing and Calm Environment
Setting the birth stage is an overlooked hypnobirthing technique. Just like you would set up a romantic date night with your partner, birthing also requires having the right environment to help you focus and calm down. This could mean different things to different moms. Here’s what most hypnobirthing moms do:
- They like to prepare visuals with their favorite affirmations.
- They keep their room’s lights low and set the right temperature to create a comfortable environment.
- Wearing cozy clothes that do not come in the way of birthing is another comfort tip.
- You could also play your favorite Lo-Fi music to calm and relax your mind.
- Some moms also choose scents like bergamot, clary sage, or lavender to diffuse into their birthing room as well.
The Bottom Line: Hypnobirthing Techniques (Myths Busted)
Common misconceptions about hypnosis come no way near hypnobirthing techniques and have nothing to do with a shady stage show and a swinging pocket watch. Here are some common myths about hypnobirthing that you should not believe:
- You are unaware of your surroundings when you are hypnotized.
- You won’t be able to perform the usual functions and tasks when you are hypnotized.
- A hypnotized person has no free will.
- Hypnosis puts you in deep sleep.
- Hypnosis is a form of brainwashing and/ or mind control.
If you are keen on hypnobirthing you need to get in touch with your obstetrician who will refer you to a trained practitioner. Contact your birthing center or hospital to ask if they have hypnobirthing services and if they can provide you with the contacts of hypnobirthing specialists. Once you have found the right practitioners, you can share your birth plan with them so that they understand what you have envisioned for your baby and yourself.