Misconceptions about Hypnosis for Childbirth

By Kerry Tuschhoff and Carole Thorpe

 We are very proud to announce that it is now common knowledge that Hypnobabies is a very successful childbirth hypnosis program. Women seek out our program in ever increasing numbers, and it is obvious that they know exactly what they want and need, or they wouldn’t be investigating the possibility that childbirth can be joyful AND empowering by using hypnosis. In terms of helping women have much easier, more comfortable and even pain-free birth experiences, we have taught hundreds of thousands of expectant women how to trust in their bodies, their minds and their babies. The results are effectively and very positively changing the way women experience childbirth, the way babies are being born and the way the world perceives natural childbirth. It seems only realistic and logical that those who work with expectant women would be supportive of childbirth hypnosis and willing to learn how they could help women have this kind of birth experience, with the ensuing positive feelings of empowerment and memories of a joyful birth. 

Yet curiously, regarding support for hypnotic childbirth from some childbirth educators, midwives and doulas (labor assistants), that is not always the case. The good news is that most of them are so amazed and in awe of the kinds of births our Hypnobabies moms have that they react very positively indeed, with comments like, “That was the most beautiful birth I’ve ever seen”, and “What in the world did she learn to remain so relaxed and focused on her own body and baby?” They express their gratitude for how  relaxed and fun it made their own participation in the birth, while their special Hypno-Mom was able to have such an easy natural birth instead of suffering, and how much peacefulness there was as the babies slide out into the world. 

They have seen the value of greatly reducing childbirth discomfort and helping women look forward to childbirth by using deep hypnotic suggestion and relaxation. Most witnesses to a true Hypnobabies birth are extremely positive, affirming what they have seen, heard, and learned while attending a Hypnobabies birth. They come to recognize childbirth hypnosis as an innovative step forward towards helping more women choose natural childbirth in the future, or even towards helping women choose homebirthing or birth center births, since they have seen that the woman’s fear of childbirth was eliminated, and that Hypnobabies trained moms are able to fully trust the birth process and their own inner voice. 

In fact, most of our moms find their outer voice for the first time and realize they have the right to express it, since Hypnobabies teaches them birth empowerment as well as birth hypnosis. Hypnobabies doulas have expressed delight at seeing the positive reactions of doctors and nurses to what natural childbirth can truly be, as demonstrated by our Hypno-Moms experiencing fewer complications and much less discomfort. Many are recognizing this use of hypnosis as a way to enhance the mind-body connection, and as a natural progression and evolution of natural childbirth. 

And then…there are birth professionals who have some very interesting ideas and misconceptions about: what we teach in our 6-week Hypnobabies class series, how eyes-open childbirth hypnosis is learned, practiced and used in labor, or how hypnosis affects the birthing mother’s emotional state and her connection to her body’s sensations and to her baby during the process. Comments such as, “What is wrong with childbirth pain anyway?”, or “Why should women spend time learning something so difficult just to give birth?”, tell us that those birth professionals must not comprehend what true hypnosis for childbirth is and how it can benefit women, their birth partners, their babies, their caregivers and…their/our own futures. It has been speculated that anyone who would say these things simply hasn’t dealt with their own pain and difficulties in childbirth and therefore want all women “to have to bear up like I did”, in order to validate their own unsatisfying experience with birth. 

I choose to believe that inside every birth professional is someone who cares deeply for birthing women and truly desires that we help each other as sisters, caretakers and soul-mates. With a little bit of information and education to learn the truth about hypnosis, I believe most would be willing to value and treasure hypnosis for childbirth as the gift that women give themselves and their precious babies. 

** Very Important! 
On that note, if you are a Hypnobabies mom who plans to hire a doula or midwife, (Excellent!) please make certain that the labor assistants you have chosen to attend your birthing are fully supportive and knowledgeable about your choice for a natural, comfortable birth using hypnosis. They may need a little education, which is excellent, but anyone who is inflexible and will not work with you to learn your Hypnobabies words, cues and techniques is *not* a good choice. Choose well. You only have the opportunity to give birth to this baby..once. You deserve to have the kind of birth that you want, and all aspects of this once in a lifetime experience are for you to decide. Beautiful, easier and much more comfortable childbirth is in your grasp, so keep it there!