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Hypnobirthing: Using Hypnosis for Child Birth


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HYPNOBIRTHING is more of a philosophy than a technique. It simply means using hypnosis to assist child birth. It is a safe, easy and a natural process, where the mother births her child comfortably and naturally with minimal or no pain.

Isn’t pain a part of birth process?

Birth is an instinct. Pain is something women have learnt to experience. Birthing is supposed to be as natural as our other bodily processes like breathing, digestion or excretion. None of this is painful!

HypnoBirthing helps mothers realise that birthing need not be accompanied by severe pain or discomfort; and they can rely on their body and mind to get through the process.Pain actually comes from fear which leads to undesired changes in the body and hinders the process of child birth. This philosophy emphasizes the mind body connection. Wherein our body is the action component of mind, thus, the body executes what happens in mind.

Fight flight mechanisms defines the mind body link. These are survival mechanisms that get activated when we are in a crisis. This activation causes a lot of physiological changes in the body, like contraction of the muscles, high blood pressure and so on.This means, when we hear/ read/think of unpleasant things, we are likely to create unpleasant representations in our mind related to those topics. This in turn triggers flight fight mechanisms and creates changes in the body. Therefore, when birth is perceived as a threat; mind creates negative thoughts and images whereas the body would activate its defence mechanisms which interfere with the birthing process.

Now, why is Childbirth perceived as a threat?

This is because of known yet unknown conditioning involving three primary factors.

  1. Lack of awareness and scientific knowledge regarding pregnancy and birth
  2. Media depiction of childbirth as extremely painful, traumatic or comic. Many programs and movies show the entire process in a different light.
  3. Negative stories shared and passed on shared from generations to generations.

So how Hypnobirthing help?

Over a period of 5 sessions (2-2.5 hours each), the mothers along with their birthing companion (husband/ mother/ mother in-law/ friend) will learn

  • Positions for labour and birth
  • Deep relaxation and Self-hypnosis: These methods can help you to stay alert, at the same time help you focus on your body.
  • Release fears and anxieties related to child birth
  • Breathing and Visualization techniques
  • The crucial role of partners: both in pre-birth practice exercises, and throughout childbirth itself
Hypnobirthing does not go against medicines. Women can give births the way they do in a nursing home or a hospital under the supervision of their gynaecologist but without any medication or surgery by using all the learning. Hypnobirthing is not about “training mothers to give birth”—when undisturbed women already know how to do that instinctively.In short, Hypnobirthing helps the mother make her body work with her and for her!

If you are a gynaecologist or a mental health practitioner and would like to learn more about application of hypnosis, checkout this comprehensive course for physical and mental health practitioners.