Hypnobirthing classes are a popular choice among expectant mothers. However, hypnobirthing has its pros and cons. As always, do your research before investing valuable preparation time and money into your choice of childbirth class.
1. PRO: At its core, Hypnobirthing is about achieving deep relaxation, which is the foundation of a positive birth experience.
Hypnobabies instructor Kerry Tuschhoff explains that the goal is to “teach you how to enter into self-hypnosis instantly, and create your own natural anesthesia whenever and wherever you need it.” Some expectant mothers respond very well to hypnobirthing’s guided imagery to achieve total relaxation.
CON: Hypnobirthing’s inward focus might not be sufficient for the woman who wants to open her eyes, moan, or walk around.
One mom who trained exclusively with self-hypnosis remembers reaching a point in labor where self-hypnosis was no longer effective for her. Eventually, she started to feel out of control at the thought that she had exhausted all of her coping tools. At times like this, women may find it helpful to have a variety of relaxation and labor coping tools on hand, in addition to self-hypnosis.
2. PRO: Hypnobirthing classes focus on the power of words, and encourage expectant couples to eliminate negative words from their vocabulary.
For example, instead of “contractions” call them “birthing waves.” And instead of “pain” use the word “discomfort.” In many ways, natural childbirth is a mind game. Hypnobirthing attempts to harness the power of the mind to achieve a pain-free birth.
CON: Hypnobirthing students run the risk of feeling like a failure at the first sign of legitimate pain.
There is power in positive thinking. Yet for many women, the “discomforts” of labor make way to real pain. It’s important to recognize that there is nothing wrong with admitting that labor hurts. The key is understanding how to steer the cycle of fear, tension, and pain to one of positive coping.
3. PRO: Hypnobirthing encourages women to trust their bodies on a subconscious level.
Hypnobirthing classes aim to dispel the fear surrounding birth. The approach affirms a woman’s innate ability to give birth, fostering trust in the power of her body and mind. Women are encouraged to embrace childbirth as a natural, healthy process.
CON: Some women find self-hypnosis and subconscious thought to be too vague.
Let’s be honest — it’s possible to get a little lost in the process of trying to tap into your subconscious mind. Because self-hypnosis can be a vague concept, some prefer the more concrete exercise of perfecting their breathing techniques or practicing new positions of comfort.
Hypnobirthing has its strengths and weaknesses just like every other childbirth preparation course. Continue to research your options and find to find the best fit for you and your partner. The great news is that despite which childbirth preparation path you chose, your willingness to learn and practice labor coping tools–whatever they may be–will help you approach birth with greater confidence.
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!