Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- How does Hypnosis for Birth work with other childbirth preparation techniques?
Hypnosis for Birth works well with all childbirth preparation techniques. Due to the nature of most childbirth classes there is limited time to actually learn and develop the relaxation and coping skills they present. The ability to relax deeply is critical to staying out of the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle (increases pain). Developing relaxation skills and focus is a major aim of Hypnosis for Birth, and is essential to diminishing discomfort and pain.
- What is the main focus and goal of Hypnosis for Birth?
There are 2 main goals in what I teach and how I work with couples. First, for women to learn how to very quickly go into a deeply relaxed focused, and aware, place to work with their contractions, while diminishing their perception of sensations and discomfort. These skills amplify and build on the information and techniques taught by other childbirth classes, and will work in a variety of birthing positions and situations.**
I’ve had women comment after their birth took an unexpected turn [C-section, transfer to hospital, etc.] that the hypnosis skills were a huge help in staying calm and flowing with the change.
Secondly, to enhance a couple's confidence in each other and to feel connected and bonded with each other through the birth process. This helps to launch new families off to a better start.
- Are there particular types of clients for whom hypnosis is most helpful?
Most of the women I work with are interested in avoiding or minimizing their usage of pain medication in birth. They are either planning on not using any drugs, birthing out of a hospital, or want to avoid systemic drugs while they consider/plan on using an epidural as needed.
I receive referrals from other birth professionals (midwives, doctors, doulas, and childbirth educators) for women with anxiety around birth, panic attacks, a history of abuse, or previous birth related traumas. I also see couples with anxious fathers or couples who have difficulty communicating with each other.
Any of these clients and situations can benefit significantly from what is taught in Hypnosis for Birth; particularly because I mostly work in private sessions with women and their partners. Working privately allows me to more specifically meet the needs of each couple and tailor the skills and tools I teach to their needs and particular situation. Extra sessions are available, if needed, to further address the couple's needs.
Of course Hypnosis is also very helpful for women, and their partners, who are coming into birth without any added challenges – providing tools for both partners to navigate birth more calmly and smoothly!
- What are the biggest myths/misconceptions about hypnosis and Hypnosis for Birth?
Probably the biggest is that with hypnosis the person’s mind is going to be put to sleep while the hypnotherapist does whatever they want. For birth specifically, women are usually concerned they are going to spend their labor in "la la land" and not be present in the room with their partner, or thru the process. Neither of these could be further from the truth!
The bottom line is you are always in control. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, and is always completely controlled by the individual using it, not the hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is a natural state we all go into, and out of regularly. [An example would be pulling into your driveway and not really remembering the last 10 minutes of driving, or zoning out during a boring meeting or class.] By practicing hypnosis, people can develop the mental muscles to focus their minds and hold the focus where they wish.
Actually there are many similarities between meditation and hypnosis. Research has shown that the same areas of the mind are activated whether you are in meditation or hypnosis, tho the sequence of how the mind gets to that activated state differs between the 2. If you are curious how well you might do with hypnosis click here to take an online quiz to discover for yourself.
As with any tool, women can choose how they use hypnosis during the birth process. The method I teach is for the mother to go very quickly into her deep focused state at the beginning of a contraction and come back to the room at the end. If needed, she can also stay in her focused state and catch a cat nap between contractions. Additionally the hypnosis works with your eyes closed or open. You are always encouraged to find what works best for you.
- What about claims that hypnosis in birth can make it pain free?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if this were true for everyone? I truly wish I could say it was. Hypnosis is a proven method for reducing the perception of pain and increasing relaxation during birth, and at other times. However, the actual amount of pain reduction is very individual. Some women report hypnosis allowed them to labor with little discomfort, while others say it allowed them to cope with the labor sensations, and discomfort, more successfully.**
Hypnosis is very effective at assisting a woman to maximize her individual ability to achieve her greatest level of comfort throughout birth, and often shortens the length of labor. More importantly, it assists women in staying calm and working smoothly with whatever their birth experience brings. Ultimately I believe that is one of our greatest powers – to manage our response to life events. These learned skills are really life tools and are helpful long after the birth is past, for the woman and her partner.
- How is this training different from other techniques such as Hypnobirthing, Hypnobabies, or Calm Birth?
Different techniques are like different flavors of ice cream – they reflect their originator’s background, experiences, and beliefs. There are some basic ingredients and similarities between methods but they can taste and look very different in how techniques are taught and used in labor. To understand how what I teach is different we need to talk about my background.
- What is your background, training, and approach?
The techniques I teach have evolved over the years from my original certification in clinical hypnotherapy in 1993, and in Hypnobirthing The Mongan Method® in 1995. Additionally I’ve studied other methods of hypnosis for childbirth including; LeClaire’s Hypnobirthing®, Gail Peterson’s Body Centered Hypnosis®, and Chantal DeSoto’s techniques. Those are some of the layers and flavors, but what I teach is most strongly flavored by my personal experiences with birth.
I am a mother and a grandmother. I first became involved in childbirth after giving birth to my daughter, at home with a midwife in 1977, and began studyng with a midwife shortly after. In the mid to late 90’s I was a midwife’s assistant for 2+ years attending numerous births in addition to the births I have attended as a doula. Of the over 360 births I’ve attended 70% have been out of hospital births. My techniques are grounded in what I’ve learned by sitting at the knees of midwives, comforting laboring moms and dads, and studying the science of the mind-body and physiological birth. I have added a healthy dose of common sense, and always come back to my belief in the power of the human spirit, and the elegance and wisdom of birth.
- How can I learn more?
Contact me at your convenience. Also once a month I offer a free introductory session on Hypnosis for Birth. For upcoming dates and to register Click Here.
- Does hypnosis help in post partum period?
Absolutely! Clearing birth traumas or difficult births can be immensely helpful. I have also helped moms in increasing their breast milk supply with hypnosis. Please contact me any time if I can be of assistance with a particular situation, or if you have questions.
You can expand the following questions to read answers or download FAQ pdf here.
**Hypnosis for Birth Helps to:
- Diminish fears and anxiety
- Learn to very quickly and deeply relax and focus
- Reduce/Modify your perception of Pain
- Build your confidence and calmness
- Reduce/eliminate the need for medication in labor
- Reduce the need for interventions (c-cection, forceps, etc.)
- Expand your emotional and mental control in labor
- Smooth the transition into parenting
** Everyone is unique in what works for them, how they give birth and process experiences. Individual results will vary.**