In some cultures, childbirth is regarded as a natural, normal event in a woman's life. Birthing women are given support from other women, and children are often present to witness the event; in this way, birth is celebrated and honored. Young girls then grow up with the belief system that birth is a positive event, and their expectations of childbirth reflect this attitude. As a result, their births are similar to their predecessors': free of pain and fear.
In Western culture, the opposite is often true. For generations, women have been taught that delivering a baby means hours of painfully agonizing work. Most of us have heard stories from well-meaning friends and family that send shivers up our spines, and so the legacy continues. I like to remind my clients that we often experience pain in childbirth, in part because we expect to!
Fear in labor can create tension, which creates pain, then more fear, and the cycle continues. Fear and anxiety can also create adrenaline production in the body, causing the labor to become dysfunctional—a common reason for Cesarean-section surgery. Freedom from fear can make a huge difference in the birthing experience.
Hypnosis can help you create your own natural anesthesia whenever and wherever you need it. Women who use hypnosis during labor have more control over their bodies and are active participants in the birthing process. As labor progresses, they'll relax even more, trusting in their bodies' natural abilities.
Too Good to Be True?
Can you give birth without experiencing extreme pain? You can, but there are many variables in labor and birth that can affect the outcome, and as a couple, you need to have a positive but realistic view of hypnosis for childbirth. Each pregnant woman and her partner must take responsibility for the choices they make while in labor and how they can affect the dynamics and outcome. These issues are usually covered in a good, consumer-oriented, hypnosis-for-childbirth class.