The Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing is both a technique and a philosophy. The concept is old, but has been redeveloped in the 1920s by Dr. Grantly Dickread, and English obstetrician. The method teaches that severe pain does not have to accompany childbirth. Practitioners will learn how the birthing muscles work and how you can relax and allow the muscles to work in harmony during childbirth. Women will also learn about their natural birthing instincts, and how the body naturally craves a serene, calm, and comfortable birthing experience.
Practitioners will not be sleeping or in a trance during the birth. The experience has been described as similar to daydreaming, or absolute focus, such as you would be when engrossed in a book or staring at an open flame. Women have the ability to speak and are in good spirits during HypnoBirth, and are awake throughout the process. They are aware of the baby’s birth progress, but are in complete relaxation, and free of the fear of the pain. In the calming frame of mind, your body will do its natural job and relax with the endorphins.
Key Ideas of HypnoBirthing
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, the hypnotherapist is only the guide. A person chooses to enter into a hypnotic state, stay in and come out at will.
Approximately 90-95% of the population can be hypnotised. Willingness, belief and motivation have great influence over hypnotisability.
During hypnosis you are neither asleep nor unconscious, and will always “come out” when you wish.
Stronger-minded and stronger-willed people are easier to hypnotise; not the other way around as is usually assumed.
You cannot be made to divulge information or do anything against your will while in hypnosis.
What to expect with HypnoBirthing
Different from traditional western child-birthing methods, HypnoBirthing holds the philosophy that childbirth is not meant to be painful, and that if a woman is relaxed during the process, the pain will be lessened. When a woman is educated about the pain of childbirth, and understands that fear is the cause of much of the pain, they are able to release the feel good hormones called endorphins, that allow the pain to pass with little effect. They are aware of what to expect during labour, and they have positive expectations, instead of being afraid of the pain. Instead of exhaustive, shallow breathing techniques, the woman are taught the power of deep breathing, and relaxing the abdominal muscles through breathing techniques.
In HypnoBirthing, women receive a birthing companion that practices with the mother prior to the event. They will help with deep breathing reminders, and guide the mother with hypnosis prompts, deepening methods, relaxation techniques, and visualisation.
The method does not state that the birth will be completely painless, but the mother will have the ability to cope with the pain. Some women find that they do not experience pain as a result of the HypnoBirthing. What HypnoBirthing does promise is that it will help to remove the fear of the pain, which in and of itself, causes the bulk of the pain. The mother is relaxed and releasing endorphins once they are relaxed. They may experience tightening or pressure, but this is not the intense pain of childbirth that many women anticipate.
HypnoBirthing is growing in popularity. There are hospitals that are offering the practice, and the method is starting to be taught in medical school to students. It is important that all women discuss their birthing options with their doctors and choose a doctor with whom they are comfortable with, and that provides the care they are seeking.
Benefits of HypnoBirthing
- Natural method of pain management
- Provides comfort, relaxation, and relief in childbirth
- Reduces stress and fear
- Allows the mother to remain alert and awake
- Shortens labour
- Calm, peaceful birthing environment
- Fewer, or no drugs during childbirth
- Breech babies can be turned more easily when the mother is practising HypnoBirthing
- Fewer complications during labour
- Babies appear to be better sleepers and nursers
- Eliminates fatigue during labour
- Promotes bonding between mother and baby
- Fosters more rapid postnatal recovery
- Reduces pelvic floor damage
Philosophy of HypnoBirthing
The basic theory of HypnoBirthing is that the mother is working with her body instead of against it. This theory has its basis in scientific research. When humans are fearful, the body releases hormones that prepare the body to fight, flee, or freeze. During this response, much of the oxygen and blood in the body are diverted away from areas that are considered non-essential, toward the major organs and extremities. Because of this, muscles tense and work against each other, causing pain to build up. HypnoBirthing trains the mother to be aware of her body, its responses, and how it can work toward relaxation and eliminating pain.
How and why HypnoBirthing works
Childbirth is a natural and normal event that is not meant to be painful. HypnoBirthing teaches couples and mothers to surround themselves with positive messages concerning childbirth. There is to be no tension leading up to the birth. The mother is to anticipate a relaxing, calming experience. The technique teaches instant self-hypnosis as a way of dealing with the pain of childbirth.
Facts and myths about HypnoBirthing
- Hypnosis is not magical or mystical, it is a means by which to control your response to stimuli
- Hypnosis is a natural state of mind
- Hypnosis is comfortable and relaxing
- Hypnosis is self-controlled and allows you to exercise power over your mind and body