Is Hypnobirthing Worth the Hype?

Is Hypnobirthing Worth the Hype?

Hypnobirthing has been incredibly hyped over the last few years. However there are still many misconceptions when it comes to birthing technique. There are many out there that feel that to practise hypnobirthing is to have your head in the clouds when it comes to the realities of childbirth. Truth be told, it couldn't be further from it. To practise hypnobirthing is to be in tune with both your body and your mind. So let's take a look into the birthing phenomenon. Is hypnobirthing worth the hype?

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a pain relief technique used during childbirth. Women use self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques to overcome pain in labour. It promotes women being more in tune with their bodies and understanding exactly what is happening to them during childbirth. Using this knowledge encourages relaxation and empowerment through birth.

Hypnobirthing Techniques

Self-hypnosis inspires you to visualise a happy place. You'll be able to take yourself to a place of calm, reassurance and of peace. This feeling of tranquillity and confidence in your body provides a calmer birthing experience. It means that no matter which way you birth your baby, you're in the best head space to do so. Controlled breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth helps to stay calm and reduce stress. It also gives you something to concentrate on and distract yourself from the discomfort of labour. Hypnobirthing uses positive affirmations to promote an empowered birth. Quotes such as 'I trust my body' or 'every surge brings my baby closer to me' can really help make your birthing experience a powerful one.

You may think this sounds a bit 'hippy' but scientifically speaking these techniques manage adrenaline which is the stress hormone our bodies naturally produce when we're in a 'fight or flight' situation. Ideally, we want to reduce the amount of adrenaline our bodies are producing as it counteracts the happy hormone oxytocin. Managing these hormones is said to reduce the fear and sometimes even the pain associated with labour.

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Misconceptions of Hypnobirthing

At present, there's limited research into hypnobirthing. Although it's a tale as old as time, hypnobirthing feels like a relatively new concept. Fear of the unknown is very real. And there's nothing more unknown than giving birth to your first child. Empowering yourself with knowledge and positive affirmations that your body's doing exactly what it should be doing is highly reassuring. Mixing this with self-hypnosis and visualisation techniques will make for a calmer, more serene birthing experience.

There are people out there that scoff at the illusion that hypnobirthing means that if you just breathe through childbirth it won't hurt. That's not true. Childbirth is going to hurt. *sorry* It's not going to be easy. But if we know that and understand exactly why our body's reacting the way it does, surely that's got to help for a more positive, empowered experience right?

Is hypnobirthing worth the hype?

I practised hypnobirthing throughout both of my pregnancies and births. It's a technique I'd recommend to anybody who'll listen as I feel like it really revolutionised my mindset, which in turn made for two positive birthing experiences.

Hypnobirthing absolutely worked for me. I had two quite different births, my second being the most bizarrely calming empowering water birth experience. Without the hypnobirthing techniques I'd learnt, I don't think my experiences would have been so strong.

Although I suppose you never really know which way your birth is going to go, using hypnobirthing techniques can put you in a really positive mindset. I knew exactly what my body was doing and why, which made me trust in my own abilities. Even the ones I didn't know I had yet!

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