Do you believe that childbirth has to be painful?
We have been brainwashed by movies and by what people tell us into believing that giving birth has to be utterly painful. It has been suggested to us that labour is often an unmanageable experience without modern drugs. Yet, for centuries, women have been giving birth naturally.
There are several comfort techniques I teach women when they come for Hypnosis for Birth.
Entering into a deep relaxation and trance state in itself is a comfort technique. The muscles in the body release their tension.
- Relaxed Muscles
All pain has a muscle-tension component, because this is how we guard against the pain. It is never an effective method to fight the discomfort. Relaxing into the pain makes it easier to cope.
Using different techniques to shifting from shallow breaths to slower, deeper breaths allows us to relax.
“Stepping outside of your body” and going somewhere else in your mind, for example to a place you love, is a common technique. Some women feel like they are watching themselves have their baby. Dissociation is very powerful.
We can get quite creative about distancing ourselves from discomfort, for example by putting the discomfort inside a box, a closet, or somewhere in your special relaxing place. Some women put a buffer between themselves and their perception of the discomfort, for example a plexiglass or plaster wall.
- Reframing/Substituting an Alternative Awareness
Another important way of changing the experience is reframing it from pain to discomfort or even something more comfortable like pressure, stretching, burning, warmth, tingling or numbness.
- Moving the discomfort to another part of your body
Bringing discomfort from deep inside your body up to the surface and letting it evaporate, or letting it flow down into your legs and into the earth helps to let go of the discomfort.
- Fast Time – Slow Time
Speeding up time during the contraction and slowing it down during the rest periods is a technique some women find very helpful. Time is to a great extent perception and we can alter our perception.
- Changing the image of the discomfort
Depending on how you perceive it in your mind, discomfort has an image: a size, colour, shape, temperature, even a consistency and density. By changing the image, we can change the discomfort to comfort. A hard, red, spiky and hot ball can, for example, turn into a pink, soft, warm and smooth ball.
In the same way you can change the image of a feeling, even uneasiness can be turned to calm and peace through imagery.
- Drawing in comfortable feelings
A simple breathing technique is drawing the feelings from the most comfortable part of your body and sending the comfort to the part of your body where it is needed most.
- Reminding yourself of the positive aspects of birth
What you tell yourself about the birthing experience is extremely important. You are the only thinker in your reality. Remind yourself that every contraction is good because it brings you closer to holding your baby.
- Closing the “Gate”
Closing a “gate” to the uncomfortable middle section of the body and turning on the endorphin tap brings relief as well.
Learning to create numbness in your hand and transferring the numbness to other parts of your body, including your mid-section, is a technique some women get very good at.
For more information on learning Hypnosis for Birth, please contact Angelika