Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hypnosis and Childbirth

Can Hypnosis Help During Childbirth? The Answer is Yes!

Many of you might be familiar with how hypnosis can help with weight loss and smoking cessation. But, did you know that hypnosis can also be used during pregnancy to help relieve anxiety and aid in a pain-free birth?

Hypnosis has been used for quite some time to help in numerous health-related issues, from relieving IBS symptoms to preparing for surgery to alleviating fear of dental procedures. Many pregnant women are now enjoying the benefits of hypnosis, allowing them to experience natural births with little to no pain.

In order to better understand how hypnosis can help pregnant women, it helps to gain a better understanding of hypnosis itself. To put it in simple terms, hypnosis is intense focus and concentration. Many people have likened the concentration with getting lost in a good book or television program. Utilizing that intense focus, hypnosis can actually slow down your brain waves.

Right now you’re probably in your waking state, which is Beta consciousness. But, by altering your conscious state through hypnosis, you are able to enter Alpha consciousness, where your brain waves actually slow down. And, when you slow down your brain waves you lose the “critical chatter” of the conscious mind and are able to slip in positive suggestions to the subconscious mind. These positive suggestions can be about any behavior you’d like to change, or any outcome you’d like to see take effect, such as having a natural, easy birth.

In addition, when you’re in a relaxed stated and imagining a desired outcome, the brain can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and reacts as if the desired outcome was a reality. This phenomenon can be seen in pain management, when hypnotherapists use hypnosis and imagery on pain sufferers to help them lessen the intensity of their pain.

Hypnosis can aid pregnant women in so many different ways and in so many different stages of their pregnancies.

Hypnosis Can Aid in Fertility

Where inability to become pregnant is not due to a medical condition, many women have found relief with hypnosis. There are many who believe that if you can imagine it you can create it, and hypnosis is often paired with imagery to “visualize” oneself becoming pregnant and imagining a baby coming into one’s life. Hypnosis is also used to alleviate stress, which may be inhibiting a woman from becoming pregnant. Of course, women aren’t the only ones whose stress and anxiety may be inhibiting pregnancy. Many men feel the pressure to help their partners conceive. This stress can affect men’s sperm count and mobility.

Hypnosis can Aid in Helping a Woman Become more Comfortable

Many women experience discomfort from being pregnant, such as morning sickness, the intensity of which can be lessened through hypnosis. In women with high blood pressure, hypnosis can be helpful in helping them to relax, which in turn can help control the symptoms.

Hypnosis can Help in the Actual Birth Process

Many women are now using hypnosis to help them have their baby naturally. Utilizing hypnosis, women can help themselves relax during the baby’s birth. Since pain responses are greatly enhanced with fear and anxiety, creating a sense of calm helps in reducing the sensation of pain. The women will be awake and aware of everything that’s happening, including the contractions, but will be able to dictate to a great extent the intensity of the sensations she feels.

There are numerous hypnosis tapes and CDs available which can help reduce the fears and anxieties associated with pregnancy and the birthing process. If at all possible, it’s preferable to meet face to face with a hypnotherapist who can tailor the hypnosis to your specific fears, anxieties or needs.

How to Find a Hypnotherapist

The first place to look is your own doctor. Ask him or her if they can recommend a hypnotherapist. If your doctor does not have a recommendation you can utilize internet hypnotist referral networks to find one in your area. One good referral website is www.registeredhypnotist.com, where you can look up hypnotherapists in your area.

Another good internet resource is www.hypnobirthing.com, which lists practitioners across the country who’ve gone through the HypnoBirthing® The Mongan Method, a program specifically tailored to natural birthing.

Whether you plan on a natural birth or not, hypnosis can still help you relax more about the entire birthing process. Becoming more relaxed can help you gain control over your pregnancy, rather than have your pregnancy gain control over you.

For more information on expecting a baby, visit www.expecting-baby.net, where you'll find out about such things as water birthing

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