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Hypnosis & Birth

Posted on January 25th, 2013 by | 6 views
BY Giuditta Tornetta CCH, CD

How Helpful is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is an ancient form of healing that dates back to the times of ancient India and Egypt. It is still widely used in modern China instead of anesthesia for many surgical procedures. "Hypnosis is helpful to anyone who is going into medical treatment, because it helps the person stay relaxed and de-stressed," says Joanne Marrow, PhD., professor emeritus at Cal State Sacramento. The common outcomes of therapeutic hypnosis are: improved self-image and confidence, and a profound sense of achievement and empowerment.

How Does It Work During Childbirth?

Preparing your mind and body is the singular most important factor for the successful outcome of your birth. Far too often, our joy and excitement are overshadowed by fear, uncertainty and questionable self-confidence. With the help of a professional hypnotherapist, you can reach and embrace the ability to change your state of fear, worry and stress into calm and self-confidence. When your mind, body and soul are in harmony, you have essentially created the perfect balance for physical comfort, mental relaxation and emotional confidence. Relaxation, achieved through self-hypnosis techniques, releases the fear and tensions that cause long labor. Therefore, pain is lessened and in some cases even eliminated. This is not to say that you will not experience any sensations during labor and delivery, but hypnosis can redirect your experience of labor's intensity from an unmanageable sensation to something you can comfortably manage.

Fear creates tension, and tension creates pain. Fear also makes the body release adrenalin, which contracts all muscles preparing for the 'fight or flight' reaction, and catecholamine, which is a hormone that closes the cervix in response to fear. In essence, the body recognizes fear as a dangerous situation, and tells the body to stop labor and flee. Using hypnosis to understand where the fears lie before labor, and recalling how you have learned to achieve a state of total relaxation during labor, can transform labor into a very pleasant and sacred experience. The negative cycle (What is happening to me? I can't handle this!) is replaced with confidence, calm and comfort (My baby and I are working hard to bring a new life into this world.). Through hypnosis, a naturally induced state of relaxed concentration, suggestions are communicated to the subconscious mind.

Can you do it on your own?

With the help of self-hypnosis audio tapes or CDs, you can train yourself to reach a state of relaxation that can and will help you achieve the birthing experience you desire. Of course, the help of a professional before and during birth insures that you will stay on course. If you're willing to stay focused and use the techniques learned, you can achieve a painless experience. Our subconscious mind directly influences what we think, how we feel, and the choices we make.

Changing Behavior

Once ingrained in our childhood, most behavior becomes largely automatic; We experience a stimulus or trigger and react without conscious thought. That is why trying to change behavior and emotions, or trying to improve physical performance by using only our self-will often fails. It has nothing to do with our intentions, or our commitment to change, or our willpower. Our minds just don't work that way. We need to uncover the roots of the behavior, discover how and when they trigger us in our conscious living, and heal and rebirth a new behavior rooted in self-love and self-acceptance. Working with a hypnotherapist can help you do just that.

In order to achieve our goals, we need to empower ourselves and be ready to change some aspects of our being. Comfort with your role as a mother often depends on what others have told you about who you are and what you should expect. The role your own mother played in your life. Information you've gotten from friends, relatives, books and/or a care provider. It's up to you to decide: You can live by what others say you should be, do, or think — or you can take full responsibility for your state, here and now. If your mental and spiritual programming is based upon fear and worry, there is only so much you can do on your own to manage your state during labor and delivery. The waves of labor will take over your conscious state, and your unconscious will run wild with whatever information you have given it.


Giuditta Tornetta is a birth and postpartum doula, a certified clinical hypnotherapist and the author of "Painless Childbirth: An Empowering Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth." She offers virtual tools for hypnosis and birth on her Web site,, and teaches her methods during workshops in Los Angeles.

Reposted with permission from

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