The Modern Pregnancy Prep Tool?
When it comes to any daunting task, preparation is often your best friend. It’s always good to take a practice test before the big exam so you can get yourself into the mindset you’ll have to be in to succeed. Now, it goes without saying that giving birth is a feeling unlike any other. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, joyful experience that takes preparation. Having said that, why isn’t there a practice test for the big exam that is delivery day?
Well, there is. And it’s called hypnobirthing. Recently, hypnobirthing has entered the public eye, thanks to patients-turned-advocates such as Meghan Markle. But what is hypnobirthing, and is right for you?
The name hypnobirthing sounds pretty intimidating — almost like a science fiction method you’d see on Star Trek. But, in reality, it’s more therapeutic self-conditioning than science fiction. Simply put, it’s a recreation of what the birthing process will be like, both physically and mentally, over five 2.5-hour sessions.
Over the course of those sessions you and your birthing partner (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or other loved one) will go through the labor process. You’ll undergo treatment to visualize/experience labor pain, and, more importantly, learn how to conquer it naturally without the use of painkillers or other drugs. It’s important to note that sometimes interventions are medically necessary and lifesaving.
“Classes generally teach participants to practice and use a combination of music, visualization, positive thinking and words to relax the body and control sensations during labor,” says Yvonne Tobah, MD, of the Mayo Clinic. Simply put, the process acts as a kind of self-conditioning. Think of how you might disregard a sound as white noise over time, for example. The goal isn’t to remove the sensation entirely but to change your mental reaction to it.
Labor and delivery is a process that provides a great deal of stimuli for the body to react to. From a physical and mental standpoint, the process can be taxing. Hypnobirthing asks you to visualize the ideal pregnancy, away from external stressors, and trains your brain to simulate it for you.
Take Anna Wall, a mom featured on WebMD, who was so calm she fell asleep throughout the labor/delivery process. When Wall went into labor, she used the techniques learned in hypnobirthing classes to put herself into a hypnotic state. Ten hours later, her son Luke was born without any complications, difficulty or stress. She said, “I kept breathing deeply and felt my body move the baby down. And then he literally slid out.”
If you are interested in hypnobirthing, meet with your healthcare provider to see if it’s right for you. Who knows? It could be exactly what you need to give you peace of mind.
For more information on hypnobirthing, visit: