Hypnobirthing explained: the science and the benefits.
We have a special guest blog post from our friends at The Positive Birth Company all about Hypnobirthing.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at The Positive Birth Company to learn all about hypnobirthing. You may be surprised to know that it’s actually nothing to do with hypnosis, rather it’s a way to learn all about your body and how to manage the journey of childbirth in a way that works for you.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Let’s start with what hypnobirthing actually is! Hypnobirthing is a logical approach to childbirth. It’s a fully comprehensive program of antenatal education, which is scientific and evidence-based. It will leave you feeling calm, confident, and excited about your birth.
You learn about birth physiology, how your body works on a muscular and hormonal level, and what you can do to help make your birth easier, quicker and more comfortable. Once you know why it's so important to be relaxed, you learn how to achieve this, so your body can work comfortably as it's designed to, allowing you to navigate your birth feeling calm and most importantly, in control.
You also learn about induction, caesarean and other interventions which may be offered, because we know that pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable. Hypnobirthing gives you the knowledge so you might choose to embrace these options or decline them.
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Is Hypnobirthing for me?
The easy answer is YES. If you are growing a baby in your uterus, hypnobirthing is for you. There is no scenario where what you have learned won't help you.
What is the science behind Hypnobirthing?
Let's talk about the two hormones that are at play when you give birth; oxytocin and adrenaline. Hypnobirthing is all about creating oxytocin, and getting rid of adrenaline.
Oxytocin is our ‘feel good’ hormone. It’s what the body releases when we have a cuddle, when we have sex, or when we have a laugh. It’s also the hormone that fuels labour. No way, you’re thinking? YES, way. Labour is designed to feel GOOD. Whether your labour is spontaneous or induced, you’ll be fuelled by lovely oxytocin.
Now let’s talk about adrenaline, aka the enemy of birth (so to speak). This is the hormone the body releases when we’re stressed, anxious or frightened. Unfortunately for a lot of people, those are the emotions they experience when thinking about birth - so you can see how unhelpful that is. Adrenaline will make the heart start pumping more blood to your arms (fight mode) and to your legs (flight mode). This is great for some scenarios, but not for birth. This is because the blood is being taken away from the uterus (where it needs to be) and is being sent to your arms and legs, which isn’t helpful. The blood needs to be in our uterus because it’s full of oxygen, which our muscles need in order to do their job (yes, the uterus is a muscle!). Without the oxygen, it’s going to become really difficult.
Essentially, we want ALL the oxytocin and NO adrenaline. Oxytocin will fuel your labour, carrying blood with all of that lovely oxygen to your uterus so it can do its thing. This will make your labour more comfortable and quicker too. Adrenaline will inhibit this process. Hypnobirthing teaches you the tools you need to create Oxytocin - such as breathing, light touch massage, and more!
What are the benefits of Hypnobirthing?
Doing a hypnobirthing course has many benefits. It will ensure that you are armed with all the knowledge and practical tools you need to navigate your birth, no matter how it pans out. You’ll feel confident enough to speak up and make decisions that are best for YOU!
Check out these journal posts for more tips on preparing for birth