Marie Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing®, succinctly answers this question by saying: “HypnoBirthing® is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. The concept of HypnoBirthing® is not new, but rather a "rebirth" of the philosophy of birthing as it existed thousands of years ago, and as it was recaptured in the work of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read. Dr. Dick-Read was an English obstetrician, who, in the 1920s, was one of the first to forward the concept of natural birthing (Lamaze® is also greatly inspired by his work). HypnoBirthing® teaches you that, in the absence of fear and tension, or special medical circumstances, severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labor.”
Let me expand on that. I get asked about it a lot from those who are unsure that a “method” that “guarantees outcomes” is really a wise choice for birthing moms. Here are my thoughts:
Let’s tackle the question of method versus philosophy first. I can say with confidence that the two are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist very nicely, and do so within the HypnoBirthing® program. HypnoBirthing® has a detailed philosophy statement, that when it is boiled down, falls very much in line with the philosophies of other well-respected childbirth education organizations: Birth is normal and healthy and women/families should be empowered to make decisions that protect their health and the health of their baby. HypnoBirthing® takes it a step further, explicitly imploring parents to take personal responsibility for their birth choices and for the care and safety of their baby in pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
When it comes to HypnoBirthing® as a method, there is no doubt that we teach specific skills to women and their companions that allow them to experience birth in a more confident, natural, and joyful way... And they are awesome. However, let me be clear, there is no “failure” in HypnoBirthing®. There is zero pressure for moms to have a “prescribed” type of birth experience. Moms are most certainly not “brainwashed.” Rather, the key takeaway is that mom feels confident, safe, and free from unnecessary fear. She knows more about how a healthy pregnancy (think nutrition and fetal positioning) lends itself to a healthy birth. She knows how important it is to surround herself with a stellar birth team. She is able to follow her own instincts and use the ‘tools in her toolbox’ that she learns in class to guide her during her birth. She calls upon the power of the mind-body connection and feels tuned-in to her baby. Her birth companion is involved and equipped with his/her own tools, so they also feel confident and less fearful of the birth process. She enters into her birth with much less stress and much more clarity. She may even experience a more physically comfortable birth… And who doesn’t want that?
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner