I'll be the first to admit: I was skeptical when I first heard of HypnoBirthing® (or any use of the term 'hypno,' for that matter). I had never been successfully "hypnotized," and wondered how on earth mothers could give birth while in some "trance-like" state. Who would want that? Wouldn't you feel less in control? Does it even really work? All I could picture were those stage hypnotists, like the one we had visit our senior party in high school... Making my fellow students who were "hypnotized" do foolish things like falling off their chairs or falling asleep at a snap of the fingers.
But I was intrigued - So I attended my now-co-teacher's HypnoBirthing® Techniques for Birth Workers training... and I was hooked. Women having calm, confident births during which they were fully aware, yet peaceful and empowered?! Re-framing the language of birth to make it less medical and more gentle?! The videos of HypnoBirthing® moms were amazing, and the first-hand accounts of hypno births from others in the class even more so. Then I learned that all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis - That we are in control of our ability to enter a deep state of relaxation. Oh, and did you know that you are often in varying states of hypnosis in everyday life (i.e. driving your car or while you are falling asleep/waking up...)? As a "numbers girl," I was thrilled to see the research that shows mamas using childbirth hypnosis are having wonderful births (check it out for yourself here). I decided then to pursue my certification as a HypoBirthing® Practitioner.
Still, there were a few lingering doubts within me. It wasn't until the first day of my practitioner training that I had my true "Ah-ha!" moment. We were working with pendulums, and I saw first-hand how strong the mind-body connection truly is. Then we did other 'convincers' - Like the 'Lemon Experience' script and the 'Pen Drop' exercise. Oh boy. If I can do this, other women can do this and use these skills to truly experience birth in a more instinctual and confident way. And the rest is history, as they say.
When clients or friends ask me to describe HypnoBirthing®, I often draw a comparison to what Lamaze® was when it first came on the scene in the 1960s. At that time, it was a method for helping mamas enjoy a more confident, calm, and less painful childbirth experience by using breathing, relaxation, and the involvement of a caring birthing companion. That is much was HypnoBirthing® is today. While Lamaze® has transformed into an all-around 'prepared childbirth' philosophy, HypnoBirthing® sticks to the basics - Positive messages create a positive birth experience with women enjoying shorter, less painful labors. Don't get me wrong! I am also a Lamaze® Certified Childbirth Educator and see the benefits to both programs. After all, both have the goal of creating confident, empowered families. But, if you are wondering more about HypnoBirthing® and all that it has to offer, please give this one-time skeptic a shout and I will tell you all about it! More information on upcoming classes can be found HERE!
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Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner