As we use hypnosis within our classes we thought it would be useful to explain a bit more about it. We know that some people may have an incorrect idea of what hypnosis is, often brought about by stage hypnosis and it appearing that the individual has lost complete control of what they are doing. In fact hypnosis is a method used for taking a person into trance, a state we naturally go in and out of every day (daydreaming, enjoying a good movie and drifting off to sleep are just a few examples). When a person agrees to be part of an hypnotic show they are willing participants and expect to be asked to do silly things, the hypnotist then helps them feel less inhibited and so they are happy to go along with the fun. If at any point they didn’t want to do something they can decide not to. In respect of birthing we use hypnosis in two different ways:
Firstly, to help women change any fearful, negative expectations of birth they might have to positive ones. When we move into trance the conscious, analytical side of the brain becomes side-tracked and we become much more open to suggestions (as we see with the stage hypnosis). Only suggestions that we are open to accepting will be useful though and for birth of course our focus is on building confidence that birth, without any special circumstances, can be a positive experience in which a woman remains, calm, relaxed and in control.
Which brings us to the second point, women learn simple yet powerful techniques that ensure that they are able to remain emotionally and physically relaxed during labour enabling their body to work at its best. This in turn will also ensure that they are able to remain calm and in control throughout their labour no matter what turn their birthing takes.