I started writing some of this information on my website and I thought I would write a blog on it as well. And then I started writing it all down and it turned into a very long article! So I am going to do it in parts. Here is part 1...
Firstly, a brief history of HypnoBirthing®
HypnoBirthing® was created by Marie Mongan in the early 1990's. Her daughter, Moira, fell pregnant in 1989 and she came to Marie and asked her to tell her everything she knew about giving birth.
Marie had had 4 children in the 1950's and 60's - a time when women were heavily sedated, forced to labour lying down, isolated from their husbands and family, and more often than not had their baby by forceps. Marie instinctively knew that this is not the way women should be having babies. So she 'fought' the system and by her fourth child (Moria, who was now pregnant) won on most of the points - she didn't want to be medicated, she wanted her husband present, and she was going to give birth naturally. Marie became the talk of the hospital!
So Marie sat down and wrote down everything she knew. Two of Moira's friends were also pregnant and they joined the 'class'. In June 1990 the first HypnoBirthing® baby was born to Moira.
Now HypnoBirthing® - the Mongan Method is taught in 50 countries by about 2000 practitioners. Its methods have been studied and found to reduce intervention and increase satisfaction of the labour and birth experience.
The basis of HypnoBirthing® is that birth is not to be feared and that a woman's body is designed to grow and give birth to a child.
"But its so painful!" I hear you cry. "So many of my friends have had caesareans/assisted births, something must be wrong!"....Yes, something is wrong, but its not with a woman's body.
The HypnoBirthing logo and Gold Seal which certified practitioners are allowed to display
Fear in childbirth
In the 1950's a doctor by the name of Grantly Dick-Reed wrote a book called 'Birth Without Fear'. In the book he talks about a number of women he witnessed giving birth without pain relief. When he asked them why they refused analgesia, the majority of them answered 'because its not painful'. Over time he realised these women did not FEAR birth, therefore they did not find it overly PAINFUL. Hard work, yes. Uncomfortable, maybe. But NOT painful.
He surmised that because these women accepted that birth was just a natural bodily function, and allowed their bodies to go through the process as it needed to, they did not fight it, and this allowed them to remain calm and relaxed. Unfortunately his theories were ahead of his times and his theories were dismissed by his peers. We now know that there was a lot of truth in them!
Why fear effects labour and birth
When we fear something and that something happens we release adrenaline. Click here to read an article I wrote about the effects of adrenaline on oxytocin. The function of adrenaline is to prepare the body to either fight a danger (real or perceived) or flee from it. Adrenaline dilates blood vessels in organs that are necessary for this to happen, and constrict vessels in organs that are not. The vital organs include the heart, lungs, and muscles of the legs. The uterus IS NOT needed to flee or fight! Therefore blood flow is re-directed from the uterus.