Hypnobirthing: The Perfect Way for a Calm Pregnancy and birth

hypnobirthing support exercise

Published on April 5, 2020 – Last Updated on March 29, 2022

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You may already know what hypnobirthing is because many famous women went through pregnancy and birth using these techniques (breathing, relaxation & visualization). Basically, with hypnobirthing, you will be able to release the fear and anxiety you have around birth. We have developed this hypnobirthing app to make it easily accessible to pregnant women from the comfort of their homes. You should also check out our partners at Happy Pregnant Mom!

How Hypnobirthing Techniques Can Make Labor Less Painful

From the moment you found out you were pregnant, you probably started thinking about the labor and delivery of your baby.  Most hospitals and birthing centers teach the Lamaze technique. However, there is another method besides Lamaze that you might want to consider. It’s called hypnobirthing.  This article will explore what hypnobirthing is and how it works.

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What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a form of natural childbirth and helps control pain through relaxation techniques, breathing, and visualizations.  It first came to light in 1989 when hypnotherapist Marie Mongan wrote the book Hypnobirthing: A Celebration of Life

Through self-hypnosis, hypnobirthing can help women manage their anxiety and fear around the labor process.  Hypnobirthing centers around the idea that if your body and mind are relaxed, the birth can happen quickly without a great deal of pain. 

It also advocates that knowing precisely what is happening with your body while in labor and giving birth reduces the fear and anxiety associated with childbirth.

Hypnobirthing achieves this through relaxation techniques and preparing a woman psychologically for the natural process of birth. As a result, hypnobirthing can help you have a calm and gentle birth.

Hypnobirthing can be done even if you:

  • Have a C-section
  • Give birth at home (water birth, doula, mid-wife)
  • Have an epidural

What’s Involved in Hypnobirthing?

hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing starts while you are pregnant by taking classes.  Classes will teach you the preparations you need to do to help you have an optimal birth experience.  However, we managed to develop a hypnobirthing app that can be used from the comfort of your home. We know that when you are pregnant, you have lots of worries on your mind. That’s why we have come up with the Hypnobirthing: Calm Birth – Meditations Relaxation Hypnosis app. We have done the most comprehensive review on the best hypnobirthing apps, where you can view all features of the most known hypnobirthing apps in the market.

Your Birth Partner

Your birth partner is a vital part of the hypnobirthing process.  Not only should your birth partner help you with the birth plan, but the two of you are a team.  Your birth partner should be going through every step of the hypnobirthing process with you so they can give you support during labor and delivery.

The Baby’s Position

The best position for the baby to be in when you are ready to deliver is to head down facing forward.  Not only are you encouraged to take frequent walks, but when you sit down, you should be sitting straight up with no reclining on the sofa.  Regular yoga is also a part of hypnobirthing.  Doing yoga positions on all fours and other activities helps the baby get properly.

Preparing The Pelvic Area

During birth, you may need an episiotomy, or you may tear in the perineal area.  Hypnobirthing teaches you exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles and teach perineal massage.  Doing perineal massages from 34 weeks on can help reduce tearing during delivery.  Hypnobirthing exercises also introduce you to relax your strengths instead of straining when you are told to push. In addition, not testing and pelvic floor exercises and the perineal massage will help your skin stretch instead of tear.

Relaxation Techniques used in Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing consists of two different parts breathing and meditations.  Because every woman is other, they may use various techniques to relax; therefore, several relaxation techniques are taught during hypnobirthing classes.

Breathing

Breaths are geared to give you a calming effect during labor to relax.  Breathing deeply during labor can help reduce sensations which helps make the birth easier.  Here is a sample of Surge Breathing which is done during contractions:

  • Place your fingers on both hands so they are gently touching your belly button.
  • Take a long slow breath, breathing in as much as you can.  Breathe into the abdomen.  You will feel your fingers slightly pull apart as your abdomen expands.
  • Slowly breathe out your mouth until your fingers are touching again
  • Breathe in again for as long as you can with a count (try for the count of 10 but count out whatever number is comfortable.  
  • Breathe out for the same count
  • Slowly breath in for the count
  • Then breath out through the count
  • Do this 5 more times

The breathing should be even and slow.  Surge breathing helps expand your abdomen, giving the uterus more room.  This reduces the intensity of the contractions, so the pain is more manageable.

Massage

Another technique used in hypnobirthing is massage.  One of the reasons women fear birth is that they believe it will be a painful experience.  Many women hear stories from friends and relatives about how sad and challenging giving birth can be.  Learning ways to relax and relieve pain can help alleviate the fear of giving birth.

Massage can help mom relax by helping to relieve the pain from back labor by using counter pressure.  Back pain is usually experienced when the baby is lying on your backside. Therefore, counter-pressure massage should be started with the contraction.

With this massage technique, you put pressure with your fingers on the portion of your back where the baby is pressing. Then, by pressing on the area between your tailbone and lower back, the baby’s head is pushed back, relieving the pain. 

You want to go up and down your back and from side to side, putting pressure for only a few seconds by applying pressure with your thumbs.  You can do the counter-pressure yourself, or your birthing partner can help.

Meditative Recordings and Visualization

The second technique used in hypnobirthing is visualizations and meditative recordings.  These contemplative recordings are different from mindful meditations. 

In mindful meditation, you have an anchor such as a sound, mantra, or phrase.  Mindful meditation takes effort because thoughts come into your head; you notice them, observe them without judgment and choose how to respond to those thoughts thoughtfully without fear or anger.

Mindfulness is not a relaxation technique that can relax you and is different from meditation.  Mindfulness is not about deep breathing or meditation, and it’s about being present in everything you do.

How often have you put something down and forgotten where you put it? That’s because you were not fully aware of what you were doing or your environment.  Mindfulness is an awareness of what you are doing, how you are feeling, and what’s going on around you.

In hypnobirthing, meditations and visualizations are used for relaxing the body so the birth process is more straightforward and can be done with less pain. 

While mindful meditation concentrates on thoughts that are let go as you go back to your anchor, visualizations and hypnobirthing meditations encourage your mind to wander—helping to achieve a self-hypnotic state.

Hypnobirthing meditation does not require effort, and it allows you to drift off and even take a nap.  Listening to a slow, soft voice or imagining you are in a beautiful relaxing place or meeting your baby for the first time helps relax the mind and body, alleviating fear and reducing pain.

Does Hypnobirthing Work?

Hypnobirthing has science behind it.  Studies have concluded that deep breathing can help trigger the relaxation response. For example, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology looked at 40 individuals and their response to stress and deep breathing.   After eight weeks and 20 deep breathing sessions, they found the participants had a lower emotional stress level and lower cortisol levels.   It also helped their ability to focus. 

These findings indicate that deep breathing during labor will not only relax you but also help you focus on visualizations and affirmations during hypnobirthing. 

Studies have also indicated that individuals who meditate can improve certain health conditions and control pain. For example, practicing meditation while pregnant and during labor can help lessen giving birth.

Lastly, self-hypnosis has been shown to help women experience less pain during labor.  Researchers have found that women who participated in childbirth studies had unexpected and positive experiences during labor and delivery when using self-hypnosis. In addition, the women indicated that their skepticism was replaced by confidence and the belief that they could use this technique in other areas of their lives.

Who Has Used Hypnobirthing to Deliver a Baby?

Many well-known celebrities have used hypnobirthing to deliver their babies.  Here are a few who have used this method to give birth.

Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) and Jessica Alba (Actress) are among a variety of celebrities who have used hypnobirthing to deliver babies. However, it’s not just celebrities that use hypnobirthing in an article in Parent’s magazine women just like you tell about their experiences with hypnobirthing.  Every woman’s experiences are unique.

Suppose you are looking for a peaceful method of giving birth and reducing the pain experienced during labor. In that case, hypnobirthing is the perfect alternative to traditional methods of giving birth.  Regardless of what type of birth you have, even if it’s a c-section, hypnobirthing can help you stay calm and have less fear and anxiety about the childbirth process. 

At the root of hypnobirthing is the power of suggestion.  A woman in labor can use positive affirmations during their meditative sessions while giving birth. Affirmations can be recorded and practiced ahead of time, so they are a part of your thought process.  Verbal affirmations can be used to put you in a relaxed, calm self-hypnotic state along with visualizations.

Hypnobirthing #1 Bond with your baby – prepare for childbirth

This beautiful recording helps the expectant mother bond with her baby. Talk to the baby and welcome them into the world by connecting with them in the womb. It also takes her to the beach and helps her relax deeply with the sound of ocean waves and visual experiences. Once she is relaxed, she will find it easy to talk with her new baby developing in her womb, creating a warm welcome for her baby. Finally, it helps her visualize her perfect baby and the perfect birth experience she is making for herself! Positive affirmations are woven throughout to keep her positive and feeling in control of her experience.

Ocean metaphors and diving beneath the waves, compared to contractions, help her empower herself as each wave rides over her, and she readies herself for the next wave. She will experience one wave at a time, one minute at a time. Metaphors for her cervix unfolding like a flower and the birth canal opening wide for her baby to pass through easily are all part of the beauty of this recording. Her delivery is successful in every way as she visualizes herself at home with her new baby, a natural mother happy and relaxed.

Hypnobirthing #2 – Drug-Free Anesthesia and Natural Childbirth

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In this recording, the mother will relax profoundly and create her inner sanctuary inside her mind. She will make a place she can go in her mind during labor to relax more deeply. She will be starting her birth experience with trust and peace of mind. The mother will learn how labor is a normal process, and women have been doing it for thousands of years. She will learn to let her body flow with its natural rhythms and learn to numb her body with just her mind. 

Through relaxation and breathing, her labor will progress steadily using breathing techniques she has learned.

Affirmations will be said to help her stay positive as she learns to numb her midsection, consciously dulling her nerves from her knees to her chest. Finally, she will see her birth canal like a wide tunnel for her baby to pass through easily and comfortably.

It takes her through birth, after birth, and recovery.

Hypnobirthing #3- Release the Fear of Childbirth

In movies and television, we see childbirth portrayed as an extremely painful experience but using hypnobirthing can be completely different. It is natural for a pregnant woman to have concerns about her baby and fear of the unknown.  This recording helps the mother visualize the labor clearly through all the stages of birth from the beginning to the end. It allows her to relax during her pregnancy and childbirth deeply. Hypnotic suggestions and positive affirmations are throughout the recording while you have practice time to visualize going through the birth precisely as you want it to be. It is good to know that our amazing bodies create their relaxant called endorphins, which can relieve pain when the mother is not filled with fear. White light enters your body and works as natural anesthesia, pushing away all doubt, anxiety, and tension.

Hypnobirthing #4 – Relaxation and Chakra Balancing

There are seven primary energy centers in the human body. They are called chakras. Chakra means vortex, spinning wheel, or circle. They direct the flow of energy through our bodies. Yogis in ancient India discovered them. You can’t physically see the Chakras as they are very subtle. However, they are part of every human being, and they are essential to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. They are located along an imaginary line from the top of your head to the base of your spine, and each is associated with a different part of the body. The color of the rainbow represents each one.

As you may feel during pregnancy, stress and low energy can cause the chakras to become unbalanced. Therefore, it is good to give your body a tune-up and re-energize once in a while. This meditation will improve your health and well-being, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Think of it as a tune-up for the body and soul.

Crown chakra affirmations are an excellent relaxation recording for pregnant women.

Hypnobirthing #5 Breathing and Affirmations for Labor

(This recording can be used throughout the entire pregnancy and going into labor and giving birth.)

It teaches breathing techniques as well as many affirmations to stay positive!

This recording will help the mother trust her ability to give birth naturally. It will allow her to visualize the birth going exactly as she is planning and stay confident and optimistic during her labor. She will focus entirely on the birthing of her baby and keep focused on her birth breathing. There are beautiful affirmations on this recording, and it is great to take to the birthing center and use while in actual labor.

Hypnobirthing #6 – Meditations and Affirmations for Breast Feeding

This recording helps the breastfeeding mother enjoy a relaxing meditation and gives her affirmations to help stimulate her milk glands and increase the flow of milk to her breasts. It is enjoyable to listen to while breastfeeding.

Positive imagery and affirmations have been shown to increase milk supply and improve the let-down reflex.

You will be able to relax and let go of stress, as well as let go of the fear of nursing and allow the milk to flow. There are ocean waves and seagulls in the background to enhance the relaxation.

You will spend quality relaxing time with your baby.

Hypnobirthing #7 – Quit Smoking Before you become Pregnant

This recording helps you to stop smoking before you get pregnant.

You will learn techniques to quit smoking to have a clean, happy future for yourself and your baby. Imagine being a healthy mom to set an excellent example for your kids and give birth to a healthy baby!

Smoking is one of the number one causes of adverse outcomes for babies, including many complications. It is your baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients.

Listen to this recording and learn to quit so you can give your baby a healthy chance at life!

Hypnobirthing #8 – Post-Natal Depression

Post Natal depression is not baby blues, and it is a real thing due to hormones and natural chemicals in your body readjusting themselves to their natural balance. Giving birth is a significant life event, and for some mothers, it is enough to trigger depression. However, post-Natal depression lasts much longer than baby blues.

It will pass in time, but it is essential to get as much support as you can in the meantime. Mothers who don’t have a support network when they come home are more likely to experience this. It is hard when irritability, fatigue, and depression interfere with your ability to care for your newborn. 

Listen to this recording learn about Post Natal Depression. Realize you are not a bad mother and, along with this recording, get all the support you need. Take whatever time you have to listen and relax.

Hypnobirthing #9 – Birth Partner

Learn coaching techniques for the birth partner

Learn coaching techniques on how to help your partner in labor, preparation, relaxation, and pre-birth parenting.

By learning techniques to support the mother’s practice at home and knowing what to do during labor, you can become an essential part of your new baby’s life. In addition, it will help the birthing mother’s emotional well-being, knowing she has someone beside her who knows what to do.

Learn the importance of pre-birth parenting, light touch massage, coaching techniques and have your own relaxation time on this recording.

Hypnobirthing #10 – Mindfulness Meditation for busy mom’s or mom’s to be

Mindfulness is fully aware of what you are doing, thinking, or feeling. It is just noticing what is going on each moment without judging yourself. This mindfulness creates the concentration and helps you be more aware and more able to practice meditation. It brings you more into the moment, not in the future or past.

If thoughts come floating into your mind, rather than getting involved in the content of the ideas, going from one to the next, see each thought as it comes up in your mind as just a thought and let the thoughts come and go.

This is a beautiful meditation recording for those seeking mindfulness.

Hypnobirthing #11 – Breathing Techniques for Labor

This is probably the most important of all the recordings in that it gives you the three main breathing techniques to be used during labor.

They are Sleep Breathing, Slow or Surge Breathing, and birth breathing.

Sleep breathing is a meditation technique that will help you relax and practice imagery and visualization. Oxygen is an essential fuel for working the muscles in the uterus. You will use this breath to resume relaxation between uterine surges during birthing.

Surge breathing involves a prolonged, quiet, slow intake of breath from your abdomen that redirects your focus and helps you work with each surge. It would help if you practiced it a couple of times a day. The goal is to make your breath (both in and out) as long as possible. You will use this technique during labor to breathe through the surges.

Birth breathing is used when you are breathing you, baby, down during the birthing phase of labor. Its purpose is to assist the natural expulsive reflex of your body and move your baby gently down to crowning and birth.

Check out our hypnobirthing video.

2 Comments

  • Isham

    Hypnobirthing is an antenatal education program that teaches you and your birth partner simple but specific self-hypnosis, relaxation, and breathing techniques for labor and birth.

  • Mike Sanders

    I like what you said about using hypnosis to help you stop smoking before you become pregnant. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to have a kid soon. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for hypnobirthing that can help her with this.

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