How can help me enjoy my birth experience to the fullest?
Women have been giving birth for millions of years. Throughout that time evolution has turned their bodies into a wonderfully efficient system for pregnancy and childbirth. This system is regulated by a powerful cocktail of hormones, with oxytocin and beta-endorphins being the 2 superheroes of childbirth!
Both of these hormones are produced when the mother is in a place of calm (also called the parasympathetic system). Oxytocin increases the efficiency of each contraction, while beta-endorphin acts as a pain reliever (it is in fact an opiate, with properties similar to morphine and fentanyl).
This means that remaining in the calm system is paramount. To do that the more primitive, emotional part of the brain (the limbic system) has to take precedence over the more rational, overthinking brain (neocortex). This shift in consciousness is the focus of Hypnobirthing. It can be aided in several different ways:
- – Mothers can learn to remain in their emotional brain by switching off the noise of the rational brain through the use of breathing and visualization techniques.
- – By being given all the necessary information around pregnancy and childbirth, parents may gain a feeling of control over their own experience, which in turn makes it easier to move into the emotional mind.
- – Parents can come up with a birth plan where situations that would negatively impact the production of the hormonal cocktail (e.g.:bright lights, loud noises, long conversations) are avoided.
- – Hypnotherapy can help embed positive, childbirth-related suggestions in the mind of mothers, helping them to move more easily into the calm system when the time comes.