If I didn’t lose you with this post, I might lose you with this one. Although I must say that I was so pleasantly surprised with the comments I had from total strangers full of encouragement and positivity surrounding natural birth! Thank you, women who likely had a Google Alert set for “Natural Birth!” Maybe I’ll get you back here with this post!
I’m sure you’ve all heard of a bunch of natural birth birthing classes that offer techniques to cope with or get past the pain. Lamaze. The Bradley Method. I’m not doing these. I’m doing Hypnobirthing, also known as Hypnobabies. I prefer this second title because it reminds me of when Michael first heard of it and he waved his hand in a hypnotizing gesture and said, in a very soothing voice, “Baby, you will enter this world in a calm, submissive state.” Made me laugh because this terminology is the vernacular used by Cesar Milan when talking about training bad dogs. (“You must put them into a calm, submissive state!”)
Hypnobabies draws a lot of raised eyebrows because of its name and all the imagery it invokes, which I can understand. So here’s a very brief synopsis of my understanding of the Hypno technique, and why we decided to go with it:
Hypnosis does not involve you being conked out, out of control of your body, under someone else’s power or without the ability to remember what happened. You are not in a zombie-like trance the whole time. The whole point is that you can put yourself into and pull yourself out of this relaxed state if you want or need to. It is all about self-guided meditation. It is relaxation techniques, visualization and some repetition of sayings to keep you in a focused state of mind. You can keep your eyes open, walk around and talk all while you're in your relaxed state.
Their information compares the mental state you go into to how you feel when you’re driving a familiar route and can’t remember much of anything about the commute. (“Wait, I didn’t run any red lights, did I?” Kind of funny, we also discussed this state of mind in one of my college psych classes.) Or when you are so focused on a book or task that you don’t realize someone has been talking to you for the past 5 minutes. This is the kind of selective focus and meditative state that you enter in hypnobirth.
I can hear all you skeptics out there rolling your eyes.
Well, I’ve done my research. According to a study done in 2001, 42 pregnant women received either normal counseling or hypnosis training before their births. Only 1 in 22 hyno-moms needed to stay in the hospital more than two days after birth compared to 8 of 20 “normal” moms. And NONE of the hypnobirths required medical intervention, whereas 60% of the other births did! WOW!
One of the techniques I’m looking most forward to is learning about the functions of the experiences you go through during birth. I think the idea is that you experience less pain if you go into it knowing what is happening in your body (and why) when you’re having a contraction, for example. There is also a lot of fear release and positive repetition. I read a woman’s birth story and she talked about how this really helped her – repeating that, even at the most uncomfortable moments, “I am safe. Our baby is safe.”
I’m probably not describing it very well. If you’re open, I’d encourage you to read up about it.
My first class is on January 2nd and I can’t wait to go and check it out.