FAQ about Confident Childbirth hypnobirthing
I’m a very down-to-earth person. Is Confident Childbirth hypnobirthing for me?
I’m very practical, too! Birth is a physical process, after all. I just happen to know that your mindset can influence your experience and that tension and fear can interfere with the body’s natural work of giving birth.
How you approach the birth of your baby is entirely up to you and my whole aim is to support and guide you to find the thought processes and mental skills that work best for you.
Surely pain is purely physical – how can my mind have any effect on it?
Neuroscience shows that thoughts and beliefs in the mind influence how pain is experienced. For example, relaxation has been shown to raise the pain threshold by releasing endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers which block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Neurologists at the University of Iowa scanned the brain activity of hypnotised people as they dipped their hands in lukewarm water and in painfully-hot water. When it was suggested under hypnosis that the painfully-hot water was lukewarm, the brain activity in the part of the brain which registers subjective pain was the exactly the same as when the water actually was lukewarm.
Your attitude to pain can also diminish its importance to you. Think of how marathon runners cope with and overcome discomfort so that it becomes very secondary in an experience more marked by a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Will I be able to learn self-hypnosis?
It’s surprisingly easy. You go in and out of trance all day long so your mind knows how to, even if you’re not aware of it!
When you daydream, drive on autopilot or become absorbed in tv, music or a book, then you’re in a trance. When you imagine yourself on your next holiday or evening out, you’re taking yourself into trance. If you find yourself reliving your school days or a job interview, you’re in trance.
For Confident Childbirth hypnobirthing, it’s not necessarily a matter of going ‘deep’, it’s more like having an inner focus, a concentration on your own mind, and a choosing to put your attention on to things that are helpful to you.
Most people can do this by the time they come for the second session. During the rest of the course you learn to deepen it and to prepare for the birth itself.
I don’t want to be “out of it” during the birth!
You won’t be! You’ll be in control, communicating clearly with your partner and medical staff. All of your sessions are directed towards your having more control than you would have thought possible.
I’m going to yoga classes, isn’t that enough?
Yoga’s fantastic. In combination with self-hypnosis and other Confident Childbirth hypnobirthing skills, you can be even more in control. And then you can use your self-hypnosis to cope more easily with family life (like getting easily back to sleep during any disturbed nights after your baby is born!)
What about antenatal classes?
There’s so much you can learn from going to NCT or other antenatal classes.
I aim to give you what you’re unlikely to get from them, which is to prepare your mind so that it can support your body in giving you and your baby a positive experience. So I teach you skills like self-hypnosis, visualisation and pain control, as well as a range of practical ways for managing your experience positively and feeling in control, during the remainder of your pregnancy and in new parenthood as well as during the birth.