Saturday, 13 June 2009

Is it possible to have a pain free birth?

The simple answer to this question is YES!

Can I promise you that attending HypnoBirthing or Hypnosis for Childbirth sessions with me will guarantee you a pain free birth?

Sadly NO?

We are beautifully designed to give birth with no discomfort. In that respect we are no different to other animals and we don't see them huffing, puffing, screaming, swearing and scratching the fur off of the paw of the dad-to-be. They find themselves a nice quiet, SAFE place, settle down and gently without barely a murmur birth their babies.

How do I know it is possible to have a pain free birth? Because I've done it. I had very little discomfort when I had my daughter.

I remember saying to my sister it is amazing isn't it that I slept through most of my labour and really only got a true sense that anything major was happening in the last 10 mins before Evan was actually born. So really at the point when I felt her head come down, then out and followed by her body 2 mins later as she literally swam out into the birthing pool (which I'd only been in for 20 mins). Her response was "well you are totally brainwashed aren't you Dany?"... But not as you would expect from my training. I was also lucky that I'd never heard negativity about birth. My mum had my brother in hospital and then my sister and I at home. She said I flew out in 4 hours and I never heard a negative word from her about any of our births. I didn't actually realise that birth was considered awful until I became an Hypnotherapist and women starting asking for my help. In fact the only negativity I had about childbirth was the epidural. I remember seeing an awful documentary about it and thinking "why would anyone want one of those? I am never having that done to me".

But why if it is possible can I not promise it? Sadly because most women haven't escaped the horror stories over the years and by the time they attend one of my courses they are either petrified or at the very least accepting that it is going to hurt but want to learn ways of 'coping' with that. The shift from excruciating pain to 'it doesn't have to hurt' is a step too far for some and can in itself create a fear of not being able to achieve that. The annoying thing is it is the very horror stories that create the problem. The reason animals find a SAFE place to give birth is quite obviously survival. There is no point giving birth in the middle of a pride of lions who are going to enjoy those newborn babies as a nice mid-afternoon snack. And unfortunately every time a woman hears a negative story about birth her subconscious gets placed right in the middle of that pride of lions. In other words it becomes frightened and believes that she is not safe. Of course this doesn't really cause any harm until the woman goes into labour (unless it is very profound which can in itself create fertility problems but that is something to be discussed on a different post). When a woman goes into labour full of horror stories she is of course frightened and because the subconscious interprets that as she is not safe it actually takes steps to stop the baby coming. This is exactly what would happen should a labouring animal suddenly find itself in close proximity to a pride of lions (unless it was a lioness of course ;-)). One scenario is appropriate the other is not. Can you guess which one that is?

What I teach during HypnoBirthing and my private Hypnosis for Childbirth classes is how the female body is designed to work and how fear impacts on that. The fear changes the hormones within the labouring mother to stop the baby from coming until she reaches a place of safety. Unfortunately, this is what causes the great pain because instead of the muscles that need to dilate being nice and relaxed they constrict and tighten. The subconscious is waiting for the woman to reach a place of safety, relax and in turn give it the instruction that it is now OK for the baby to be born. But if the fear is in her head how does she reach the place of safety?

So I look at any fears the woman has and remove them at a subconscious level using hypnosis. And I teach a variety of hypnosis techniques in order for her to learn how to quickly go into and maintain a deep state of relaxation and calm. These two things combined gives a woman the best possible chance to have a pain free birth (and many of my clients do). However, some find it to scary to completely open their minds to this possibility and if the mind is focused on something hurting then inevitably it will. They don't want to set themselves up for failure and in fact I am the first to say if I tell you it will be pain free any sign of discomfort would have you thinking that it is not working and you could then spiral out of control. But without special circumstances (complications as described by a doctor) there is no need for pain.

The good news is though that whether one of my 'mums' reports back a pain free birth, or that she had felt her contractions more strongly, or indeed had special circumstances which led to a more difficult birth, they all feel that the hypnosis techniques helped them to remain calm and in control.

All are amazed at the difference in their birth story to the many other stories they hear from women who have not attending HypnoBirthing or other forms of Hypnosis for Childbirth classes.

My aim is to brainwash women into believing that they can have comfortable births rather than the brainwashing we currently have that labour and birth is a difficult, painful experience that a woman has to endure to have her beautiful baby.

Happy Birthing Days everyone!
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  1. i couldn't open the link above :( i need to "brainwash" my mind that giving birth is not traumatic event, but joyful event. i'm pregnant 5 weeks now :)
    please fix the link. i wanna read inspirational stories :) thank you

  2. Hi Lely, Sorry for the delay I have only just seen your comment. The link is now fixed. I appreciate you letting me know an if you email me I will send you one of my hypno 4 birth mp3s as a gift to say thank you. xx