To some, "Comfortable Birthing" may sound like an oxymoron. But did you know that in some cultures woman give birth easily and in complete comfort with absolutely no medical intervention? So, what's the difference? Are their cervixes able to dilate larger? Are their uteruses somehow more powerful? No. The difference between "us" and "them" is not physiological, it's psychological! Stay with me here.
These woman may go their entire lives never hearing a bad birth experience. They watch their mothers, sisters, and aunts give birth is peace and comfort. They witness the natural, normal process of birth and honor it in the way nature intended. They give birth in comfort because they very much expect to.
Unfortunately, in our culture, many woman may never hear a positive birth story or witness a natural birth. Instead we see woman screaming on TV, being rushed through the hospital in absolute, unbearable pain. The stories we hear from other woman are of long, horrible labors full of intervention and medication. How could we possibly expect any different for ourselves? Birth can be easy. Birth can be comfortable and here's how.
3 Elements of a Comfortable Birth
#3 Fear Clearing
Use a mindfulness practice to recognize and release your fears. We all have fears of the unknown. And, when it comes to childbirth, we've been taught that it will be the worst pain we've ever felt so of course we fear it! This fear works against us in a big way by causing unnecessary pain. Your uterus is made up of muscles that need to work together to open your cervix. Fear causes tension in muscles and tension causes pain. Fear actually tells your body to stop birthing and to close things up, making the muscles of your uterus work against each other in a painful way. Release your fears and eliminate this unnecessary pain!
#2 Deep Relaxation
Learn and practice techniques for deep relaxation that you can use during your birthing time. When your muscles are relaxed your body is free to be open and to surrender to the power of birth. When your mind is relaxed you can more easily slip into the primal part of your brain that gives in to instinct and the wisdom of your body. Your body knows just what to do. Relax into it, breath deep and let go.
#1 Believe Comfortable Birth is Possible
This is the big one. The other two elements cannot work without the deep seeded belief that childbirth can be comfortable. Otherwise how do you not fear it? And if you fear it, how can you be deeply relaxed?
OK, so here I am, telling you that birth can be comfortable and you're thinking, "yeah, OK. I guess I believe you. I want to believe you." Not quite "deep seeded" is it. Don't worry! It's easy to learn this new belief system. All of your current beliefs about childbirth are housed in your subconscious mind. Even though consciously you want to believe me, we need to convince you subconsciously in order for this new belief to become "deep seeded". Thankfully, this is easily achieved using Hypnosis! Hypnobabies Natural Childbirth program uses hypnosis to re-train the subconscious mind to know that birth is natural, normal and safe. Suggestions are given to experience contractions in labor as pressure or squeezing-type sensations. With the use of real, medical-grade hypnosis and repetition students learn to look forward to their birthing time with the expectation that birth will be easy, comfortable and joyful! If you want it, you too can have a comfortable birth.
The wonderful thing about Hypnobabies is that it is a complete childbirth program which covers nutrition, exercise, common hospital policy and procedures, and even birth partner training so that you are completely educated, informed and confident when the big day arrives!
by Danae Jensen
Danae is a natural childbirth educator and hypno-mom teaching in East Vancouver.