Hypnosis can be helpful in many different situations, including childbirth, and the levels of consciousness vary
Dancing on a stage, acting like a monkey is a common misconception about hypnosis, said Teresa Alva, Hypnobabies Childbirth instructor and Hypno-Doula.
Hypnosis can be helpful in many different situations, including childbirth, she said.
“Until people see it, they may not believe it,” Alva said of childbirth hypnosis.
Alva wanted the birth of her child to be a natural, unmedicated process, but was scared she wasn’t strong enough to go through what everyone said was a painful experience. Hypnosis got her through.
“It’s important to focus on the positive,” Alva said.
So she brought the international Hypnobabies program, a natural childbirth education program that teaches self-hypnosis techniques to expectant mothers, to York County. She hopes it will help to change society’s perception of painful and stressful childbirth.
Her first class took place in her home in January.
During the classes expectant mothers and their birthing partners go through scripts that encourage self-hypnosis. The voice of the guide acts as a guide, similar to a yoga instructor leading someone through poses. The mothers can go in and out of hypnosis as they want.
Sarah Knee and her husband Jacob Knee of Red Lion are one of Alva’s first couples to take her classes in York County. Knee is in her third pregnancy and wanted a different experience than the last two. Though she had her last baby at home with the help of a midwife, she hopes taking the Hypnobabies classes will help her feel even more relaxed during the experience.
Hypnosis is a more intense method of relaxation, Knees said, adding that she feels more relaxed after just two classes.
Relaxation helps reduce fear, which can make muscles tense up and not work like they’re supposed to, Alva said. Because the mother is relaxed through hypnosis, the baby can then be more alert and calm after birth.
The more the mother practices before giving birth, the more comfortable they will be with hypnosis, and the more likely the technique will work on the big day, Alva said. The birthing partner’s voice becomes linked to relaxation after practicing about three times a week.
Even after the baby is out, hypnosis can be used to birth the placenta, begin breastfeeding and other stressful situations outside of childbirth.
The technique can be used throughout life, Alva said.
For more information about Hypnobabies childbirth classes, visit http://www.whiterosebirthservices.com.