A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

What is hypnobirthing?

Happy mother with newborn baby in hospital - hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing is an up-and-coming natural childbirth technique that involves deep relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help women move through the stages of labor.

Painless childbirth. Is it even possible? Many Hypnobirthing advocates claim that it is. This up-and-coming natural childbirth technique involves deep relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to help women move through the stages of labor. Many women find Hypnobirthing the key to relaxing into labor and making their dreams of a natural, intervention-free childbirth possible. Hypnobirthing classes enable women to practice and learn techniques that help them cope with labor.

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a relatively trendy new approach to childbirth, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Also known as the Mongan Method, Hypnobirthing assumes that the pain women feel during childbirth is due to their fear and apprehension surrounding the event, thanks to all the negative stories they have heard from their mothers, aunts, friends, and family. By releasing those fears and embracing the process, the theory is that women can work themselves through a painless childbirth without any pain medication.

How do you do it?

Hypnobirthing classes allow you to practice self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques that help you bond with your baby before he or she is born, and prepare for breathing out your baby. The Hypnobirthing process involves redefining key terms in labor. By substituting a few key phrases, women are encouraged not to focus on the fear or pain of childbirth, but on the process itself. Contractions are called “surges” or “waves,” and instead of referring to cervical dilation, Hypnobirthers speak of “opening.”

Audio recordings help mothers practice the techniques they’re learning in between meetings, and relaxation and focus tracks can help relieve stress and help women enjoy pregnancy and even labor.

One of the keys to Hypnobirthing is keeping women supported, safe, and undisturbed during labor—techniques almost universally acknowledged to be the very best for a laboring woman and her baby.

Does it work?

This is the million-dollar question, and you’ll get many different answers. Few women who follow the Hypnobirthing technique actually report a totally pain-free birth, but many say that the relaxation techniques they learned made it possible for them to have a natural childbirth with minimal interventions.

More than mastering any one technique, having a practitioner you trust is your best bet for releasing fears and feeling confident in the birthing process. At Beaver Dam Women’s Health, our Hypnobirthing expert Cindy Stippich, MSN, CNM, APNP can help you better understand the certified nurse-midwifery model of care, and the ways Hypnobirthing can complement the care you receive during your pregnancy and delivery. Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment with Cindy today. We’d be honored to join you in your journey toward motherhood!

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