WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirhting is a simple and unique antenatal preparation that combines relaxation and breathing techniques with visualisations. By practising these, the subconscious mind is reframed and obtains a positive approach towards pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood, while relieving any fears and concerns. Especially through visualisations and relaxation scripts, the woman concentrates and communicates with her body and her child, while the calming touch and the relaxing massage strengthen the relationship between the woman and her partner.
WHAT ISN’T HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing is deep relaxation, rather than deep hypnosis. Many people are worried that hypnosis will make them say or do something that is embarrassing or something they would rather not do or say. However, hypnosis is simply the positive use of words to help a person let go of some of the negatives he/she has acquired in life. Couples might feel more comfortable with it if they are aware that we all enter into hypnosis at least twice every day: when we fall asleep and when we wake up. In that state the conscious mind (logic) moves to one side and allows the subconscious part of our minds to receive beneficial suggestions.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing is based on the knowledge that labour is a natural process and hormones find such a balance that the woman does not feel severe pain. However, many women have a very painful birth experience either due to unnecessary interventions and restrictions (e.g. of movement) or due to their fear. All these factors disrupt the physiology of labour and especially that of hormones and uterine muscles. Hypnobirthing is a complete preparation of both mind and body for labour and also provides the couple with information that is necessary to make informed decisions regarding childbirth. The appropriate tools are offered in order for the woman to be able to enter into a state of deep relaxation/hypnosis whenever she wants to, either on her own or with the help of her partner. The aim of Hypnobirthing is to give every woman the chance of a calm, natural labour without extreme pain and fear or stress.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HYPNOBIRTHING?
- Early bonding between mother and child.
- More active and practical role of the partner.
- Strengthening the relationship between the woman and her partner.
- The woman learns to listen to her body and has a feeling of control over her body during labour.
- Contributes to an empowering birth experience.
- Optimism and trust in the body.
- The child is welcomed to the world in an environment that is more calm and less stressful.
- Dealing with stress more efficiently (even during examinations in pregnancy) by using the relaxation techniques.
- Better oxygen supply to both mother and baby.
All of the Hypnobirthing sessions include not only discussion and useful information, but also experiential techniques, relaxation scripts and videos. The programme is the following:
- Introduction to hypnotherapy
- Introduction to Hypnobirthing
- Concerns and fears. Positive way of thinking.
- The use of words and how it can affect us.
- Conscious and subconscious mind.
- Mind and body.
- The physiological process of labour. How the uterus and the hormones work in the human body.
- Circle of “fear-tension-pain”.
- The birth environment.
- Practising breathing techniques.
- Visualisations during surges.
- Breathing techniques with calming touch or stroking.
- Self-hypnosis or short relaxation techniques.
- Music for relaxation and concentration in labour.
- Statements for an empowering pregnancy and birth.
- Positioning of the woman.
- Possible positions of the fetus and practical suggestions to encourage them to change position.
- Options that the mother has in case that a caesarean section is necessary for the health of her baby and herself.
- Nutrition in pregnancy.
- Pelvic floor exercises.
- Massage of the perineum.
- Birth positions.
- Due date: causing stress? Normal range and prolonged pregnancy.
- The role and practice of healthcare professionals in maternity care.
- Τhe role of the partner. Practical ideas.
- Official guidelines and protocols within maternity clinics. Rights and choices of every couple.
- The responsibility for birth.
- Induction of labour. Official guidelines. Helping labour start naturally.
- Signs of early labour.
- Techniques to deal with stress.
- Choices around place and mode of birth.
- The role of the partner in pregnancy, labour and postnatal period.
- Early labour.
- Active labour.
- Communication with the midwife.
- What to pack up for the hospital.
- Suggestions when the woman is transferred and arrives to the hospital.
- Non-pharmacological methods that promote relaxation.
- Back stroking.
- Use of water in labour.
- Expulsion stage. Breathing and visualisations.
- The “golden hour”.
- Birth plan.
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