Anna Rodney, owner and president of Chicago Family Doulas, first looked into Hypnobirthing after she delivered her daughter over the course of a forty two hour labor. After nearly two days, she began to look out for ways in which the next birthing process could be shorter, less painful, and more natural.
Hypnobirthing was a natural solution to counter her intense first birth. Hypnobirthing stands upon the base idea that giving birth is a natural process: women were biologically designed to deliver babies and babies were designed to be delivered. Why then, is the process often so long and painful?
Essentially, fear and anxiety—often induced by the societal notion that birth is supposed to be long and painful—lead to increased problems. When people are nervous about something that’s about to happen, they often hold their breath. This is problematic because the uterus is a muscle and muscles need a steady flow of oxygen to contract.
Hypnobirthing comes into play by teaching mom—over the course of roughly six weeks—to focus on her breathing and specific visualizations through self hypnosis so she can put herself into a calmer state and deliver her baby with less pain and less time.
Hypnosis might sound a bit strange, but it really works! In fact, most people wind up in a hypnotized state almost every day without realizing it! We might know it as unintentional “zoning out” or “daydreaming,” but your mind is nonetheless taken off of present stimuli and given a space to be calm.
We all face nerves and fear in our own ways and hypnobirthing is one of many methods that allow mom to cope with the stress and pain of labor. Whether or not you sign up for hypnobirthing classes, try to take some time out of each day to remember how strong and capable you really are! Labor will never be “easy,” but it is natural and you have no reason to think you can’t do it.
Anna Rodney is the owner and operator of Chicago Family Doulas: a place where new and expecting moms can receive support in the form of labor/postpartum doulas, mommy and me Pilates classes, placenta encapsulation, and more.