hypnosis in childbirth
Enjoy a stress free and relaxing pregnancy and prepare for a positive and natural experience of childbirth, the best for you and your baby. Encourage a plentiful supply of milk and post natal fulfilment for both mother and child.
The power of the mind is extraordinary. Through an understanding and retraining of the brain the client and Hypnotherapist work together to enable the best possible outcome. Of course we already know that when we are feeling good about ourselves it has a positive effect on those around us and most definitely on the unborn child.
"By working together in a solution focused way all the fears and problems are transformed into workable solutions within the clients life."
By keeping the focus on the preferred outcome the best options in life become available and beneficial opportunities are acted upon with confidence.
Clinical research has shown that for women using hypnosis for birth there is a:
- Reduction in length of labour – Studies showed a reduction from 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours for first time mums, and 6.2 hours to 5.3 hours for second time + mums
- Less reported pain – Mothers gave an average of 6 on a self scoring model of 0 – 10 with 10 being the highest.
- Reduction in medical intervention and use of forceps – Studies reported an 84 – 99% rate of spontaneous non surgical deliveries.
- Reduced caesarean rate – Studies reported caesarean rates of between 5 – 8% compared with the national average of 24%.
- Reduced need for pharmacological anaesthesia/analgesia – Studies reported a 55% – 79% rate of non medicated births.
In addition research showed that for women who used hypnosis but then needed any chemical anaesthetics, it is administered more easily and smaller amounts were needed to have the same clinical effect.
Patients using hypnosis and positive visualisations before and during childbirth have noticed many benefits. Among the most usual are:
- Deeper and more restful sleep both before and after the birth
- Feeling less worried and anxious about the birth
- Less worried about life issues in general
- Fewer digestive problems and less heartburn
- Lower blood pressure – this can be immensely important to anyone susceptible to high blood pressure, which causes pre-eclampsia. If this condition isn’t detected early it is potentially fatal to both mother and child. Women are becoming heavier which increases the risk, as does having a child over the age of forty. Babies with hypertensive mothers (ones with high blood pressure) are smaller because due to the high pressure the blood flow through the umbilical cord is restricted, therefore the baby is less well nourished. Ironically this can also work in their favour as slightly premature or smaller babies are at less risk with pre-eclampsia than larger full-term babies. Relaxation is a very good tool to lower blood pressure and mothers who think that they might be more at risk should take relaxation very seriously. At the Initial Consultation the mother will be given a CD or MP3. Listening to the first track on the CD and one of the next three twice daily should become a routine. For working mothers this is even more important. One of the times can be as you settle down for the night. The other time will need to include one of the ‘Birthing’ tracks. It’s better to do this during the day when you can concentrate more easily.
- Labour more often than not begins spontaneously and there is less need for an induction.
- When fewer or no drugs are used there is less risk of side effects for both mother and baby.
- Labour is shorter. When the mother is relaxed and not in pain the muscles in the uterus contract more strongly. Pain can create resistance in the muscles to contract. Oxytocin levels, the hormone in control of the strength and duration of the contractions, are as they should be and not reduced by stress.
- A shorter, relaxed labour means that the mother has more energy.
- When suggestions have been absorbed during trance for being able to stay relaxed and in control no matter what happens, the mother can remain calm, stay in trance and work with the hospital staff in a manner that helps everyone.
- The atmosphere in the labour ward remains peaceful and tranquil.
- Generally fewer interventions are needed and fewer complications arise.
- Babies sleep and feed better when they have fewer drugs in their systems.
Altogether, there are many reasons for using Hypnosis and Self-hypnosis and none against. It cannot cause harm in any way whatever when used as described here, in the sessions and on the CD.
The techniques of relaxation, using Self-Hypnosis using the CD, and taking yourself to a calm and comfortable place in your mind to ‘chill out’ can be used at any time. You can use it to give yourself a quick boost of energy or confidence whenever you need it. By imagining yourself being how you want to be you can make it happen, exactly how it happens with having a baby. This isn’t magic.
"It takes some work and practise, but in the end what you're using is a power that we all have in our minds."
It still isn’t something that can be measured by a machine, although brain-scanning machines can now see the areas of the mind that are activated when this type of work is being done. So it does provide proof of a sort that this is not ‘blind faith’. These skills are practical and down to earth, easily learned with almost unlimited potential – all you have to do is put in the time and relax!
Clients usually have at least 4 sessions during their pregnancy starting with the Initial Consultation which lasts for about an hour. It is beneficial for the birthing partner to attend sessions too if desired.
The Gate Control Theory helps us understand how hypnosis can “close the gate” on pain. Hypnosis can direct attention away from the pain sensations as well as transform your perception of the pain sensations. This can inhibit or slow the transmission of pain messages from the source.
At the most basic level, non-painful stimulation of the peripheral nerves (like massage and rubbing) can stimulate the fastest A-fibres, which in turn can inhibit upward travelling pain impulses transmitted by the slower A-fibres and slowest D-fibres. All of these fibres interact with each other in the back of your spinal cord.
If pain sensations are not blocked or inhibited before they travel up the spinal column, other mechanisms can still influence the final outcome; that is, how pain is perceived, and how much pain is perceived. One such mechanism is the intensity of arousal of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. It is activated automatically when you encounter stress or threat.
As we know, this has been called the “fight-flight response”. The sympathetic nervous system causes the release of chemical neuro-transmitters such as adrenaline and other stress hormones such as cortisol that tend to pump up the activity of the nerve fibres and transmit pain messages to the brain.
Things that turn down or turn off the fight-flight response can also modulate or turn down pain, closing the pain gate. One such factor is relaxation. This is because relaxation is associated with the activation of the opposing branch of the autonomic nervous system, the branch that controls rest and restoration of body functions. It is called the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.
Another pain-inhibitory mechanism involves controlling and diminishing the negative emotional overlay associated with pain: a person’s negative mood states, and negative thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Pain associated with anxiety, depression, and anger hurts a lot more and causes a lot more suffering. Keep in the left pre-frontal cortex!
Contact Melanie today for an appointment in confidence to suit you in private and professional surroundings.