Let’s do a quick word association game. Look at the word below and say aloud the first word that pops into your mind:
Now do the same for:
Common associations for the above are labor – hard, hospital – sick. Your responses were probably similar, if not identical.
These two associations are ones that natural childbirth successfully contradicts.
Labor does not have to be a difficult hard task
A mother-to-be is usually in the hospital, but she’s not sick and should not be treated as if she were. Natural childbirth training encourages the mother to regard labor and delivery as a time of activity, concentration and confidence, rather than a time of passivity and suffering. Anesthetics are kept to a minimum or are completely absent. Without drugs, the woman can assume an active role in the birth process. She can experience childbirth as a fulfilling and positive event.
When hypnosis is linked with natural childbirth training, double benefits result
These two methods of preparation do the following:
- Reduce or eliminate fear
- Produce pervasive relaxation
- Significantly diminish the need for medication; make possible complete elimination of medication for some subjects
- Make possible the complete control of uterine contractions
- Shorten the period of labor
- Lessen the behavioral signs of pain
- Promote a speedy recovery
- Foster and increase positive emotions during the entire birth process
- Create an experience which has spiritual or mystical qualities
- Stimulate and maintain a strong energy level into the post delivery phase
It is important to understand that hypnosis works with natural childbirth techniques. It is most effective in partnership with the Lamaze or Bradley method. (If you are not already familiar with the specifics of natural childbirth, you will find an abundance with relating reading material in bookstores and the internet.)
Natural childbirth methods
Briefly, the natural methods allow you to develop an effective breathing and relaxation techniques. The exercises suggested in any natural childbirth program should be followed on a regular basis, as recommended. They are designed specifically to help you build up muscle support during pregnancy, contribute to effective pushing during labor, and provide healthy muscle tone after birth. One of the major results of controlling the muscles during labor is a more regulated, comfortable birth. The breathing techniques you learn prior to childbirth teach you to respond to uterine contractions with controlled, relaxed breathing. This helpful activity takes your mind away from the discomfort of contractions and maintain a balanced amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your system. Through breathing and muscle control, you coregulate the birth process, rather than submit to being regulated by it.
The hypnosis-natural childbirth partnership produce maximum results with your help
Take the care, time and energy to create the necessary support systems for this partnership. You need to:
Maintain good nutrition
It is easy to forget doing pregnancy that the food you ingest contains the only nutrients your baby will receive. Your baby becomes what you eat.
In addition, good nutrition during pregnancy has other purposes besides supplying the necessary vitamins and minerals to the baby. It also:
- Provides strength, heat and energy for you
- Replaces worn out cells in your body
- Helps regulate your kidneys and bowels
- Maintain or improve the condition of your skin
- Prepares your system for nursing
Therefore, it is important for you to increase your protein intake and eat foods high in folic acid (raw, leafy, green vegetables). A lack of folic acid results in a type of anemia which is not corrected by an increase in iron.
You should also be especially aware of increasing your calcium (milk and yogurt) intake. As your baby’s bones calcify in the last four and a half moths of pregnancy, the need for calcium increases. If you do not ingest enough calcium to provide a supplemental supply to your baby, the calcium will come from your own bones and teeth. Some even claim that calcium has the added benefit of serving as a pain buffer.
Foods with plenty of iron (beef, liver, oysters, spinach) are important, but even if you eat these foods frequently you can not assume that your iron intake is sufficient. It is wise to have your iron checked and to ask your doctor or other health professional to recommend an iron supplement as well as a prenatal vitamin.
Shield yourself from stress. Stress during pregnancy can affect you and your baby. It is associated with many complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Scientific studies have proved that stress affects the immune system and reduces your natural defense against infection and disease.
My natural childbirth program will keep you feeling balanced, at ease and pleasantly in control. The relaxation that occurs during the hypnosis can be as beneficial as one to two hours of sleep. Read more about my Natural Childbirth Program and download your hypnosis recording for natural childbirth here.
Rest and sleep. You may be more tired during the first few months of pregnancy than you are in the latter months. Because your body is undergoing radical changes, you should acknowledge your need for rest. Your ability to relax on general and relax on cue during labor will be aided by your afternoon naps and eight hours of sleep each night. If you go to the birth process with a rested body, you will have more strength and stamina, and you will have a greater ability to focus and manage your emotions.
Maintain a positive attitude. Your attitude plays a tremendous role in the ease or the difficulty of your pregnancy, as well as the length and severity of your labor. You would be a very unusual pregnant woman if you did not experience some emotional changes or sudden mood swings. Don’t blame yourself, instead try to recognize that irritability, tenseness and frequent tears are, for the most part, a product of hormonal changes. So, while keeping your feelings in perspective, acknowledge them. Once you recognize your negative emotion, give it a little time to air itself, then combat it with a strong, positive thought. Think about an aspect of your life that is going well, one that is providing you with something you need – emotionally, socially, intellectually or financially.
“Hypnosis for change”, Hadley and Staudacher