Last week I published an article on fear in labour and birth - reasons why we might fear it and what can happen because of it (click here to read the article). And it seems I caused some controversy with it!
My intention wasn't to pit one program against the other. I get a lot of questions from people asking why they should spend the time and money doing HypnoBirthing® when other programs offer online courses or are cheaper - so I thought I would write out why I believe it is worth it.
I seriously considered changing the title to "Why combining the techniques of HypnoBirthing® is worth attending in person classes and hundreds of dollars", but obviously decided against it!
If you believe doing a different program is worth it, then so be it - that's your opinion. For the people sitting on the fence I hope you find this information useful and I would encourage you to find out why practitioners of other programs believe their program is better, and then make a decision for yourself.
Note: unless otherwise stated, anytime the word HypnoBirthing® is used I am referring to the program founded by Marie Mongan. Other names for this program include 'HypnoBirthing® International' and 'HypnoBirthing® - the Mongan Method'.
Aim of the HypnoBirthing® program
The aim of the program is to prepare you for a calm, comfortable labour and birth. Yes labour and birth is hard work. Many people liken it to running a marathon and it really is. And you wouldn't be able to just wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon. The same can be said for birth - you need to prepare your mind and your body for what is going to happen. Centuries, or even just decades ago, we would watch our mothers, sisters, aunts, and cousins giving birth. But we've lost that and now many women do not know what it involves.
Fear is a big reason for why labour is either painful or doesn't progress as nature intended it to. If you can get rid of the fear, the chance of having a calm, and relaxed birth increases. We are not saying that it will give you a totally pain free experience (although some women do experience this!), but instead we aim for a 'comfortable' and positive experience.
Labour is hard work and the sensations can be confronting. But think of the what your body is doing - your cervix is thinning and opening and a baby is coming down and out, through your pelvis and vagina! This is an experience to be embraced, not feared and fought. You only get to birth this baby once!
By combining the techniques of HypnoBirthing® I believe you are giving yourself the best possible chance.
“My dream is that every woman everywhere will know the joy of a safe, satisfying birth, for both her herself and her baby”
Marie F. Mongan 1999
Techniques HypnoBirthing® includes, and why I believe they are important
There are lots of childbirth education programs out there. Some offer online courses. Others tell you to buy a book and do the prescribed exercises. Some use only breathing and/or visualization techniques. Others teach only hypnosis.
The techniques HypnoBirthing® uses are:
Self-hypnosis (to read a definition on hypnosis click here)
Evidence based information about pregnancy, labour, birth, and beyond
Breathing - In Part 1 I explained that when a muscle contracts it loses its oxygen supply for a moment. If you can continue to breath during a contraction (or surge) then you are increasing the circulating oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide . You are therefore