One term that expectant moms may hear about during pregnancy or read in a book is hypnobirthing. This may sound exotic, but it's just another method to manage the discomfort of childbirth, especially for those who want to stay drug free during labor.
Relaxation is key
Hypnobirthing focuses primarily on preparing moms-to-be for gentler births, as opposed to what they may expect. When attending classes, they can learn specific techniques that can help them achieve deep relaxation, visualization and self-hypnosis. These methods can help a mom feel more comfortable during the delivery process.
"I could hear everything and respond when I needed to, but I was so relaxed that I remember falling asleep between contractions," Anna Wall, a first-time mom in Austin, Texas, told WebMD.
The main focus of hypnobirthing is to teach expectant moms to manage any discomfort that they feel. Although it doesn't necessarily make labor pain free, by creating a more relaxing environment, childbirth may be easier on the mind and body.
One component of hypnobirthing is the assistance of a birth companion. This professional helps a pregnant woman in labor go through all the learned techniques from the classes and may even receive the little one as he or she enters the world.
Some women refrain from this experience because they worry that the hypnosis techniques may make them unconscious and prevent them from remembering the birth of their little ones. However, this is not true. Even though those who practice hypnobirthing are in deep states of relaxation, they are actively involved throughout labor.
For those who aren't having natural childbirths, either by choice or due to special circumstances, hypnobirthing techniques can still be beneficial. The relaxation skills learned during the classes can help women remain calm and in control no matter how they are giving birth.
Even celebrity moms, such as Jessica Alba and Tiffani Thiessen, have been known to advocate hypnobirthing. The method has been around for centuries, but has been getting increasingly popular over the past three decades, according to WebMD.
What are your thoughts on hypnobirthing? Would you consider it? Do you know anyone who attended classes or used the services of a birthing companion? Leave your answers in the comments section!