If this is your first baby, or if you have never given birth without drugs, we strongly encourage you to consider taking a childbirth class. Unfortunately our culture does not prepare women to give birth easily and without fear. While we do believe that women's bodies were made to give birth and that you don't need to be "taught" how to do it, classes can offer a structured way to learn about the birthing process in a positive and empowered way allowing you to restructure many false and harmful notions about birth. Along the way you will also learn simple yet effective tools to minimize pain and discomfort.
A word about hypnosis and birth. Many people are concerned that using hypnosis with birth means they will be detached from the experience or controlled from outside. Others have heard that it will make the experience painless. Neither of these are true.
Self-hypnosis is simply a learned process of relaxing the conscious mind. We do this all the time in our daily lives. It happens when you lose yourself in a daydream and realize later that time (or road miles) flew by without you noticing. It happens when you get caught up in a movie or a book and forget your surroundings. It happens when you get completely absorbed in a sports activity and don't notice injuries until later.
Whether the sensations are experienced as painless or not is highly variable. Often the sensations are processed as physical work rather than pain similar to heavy exercise. Women are usually deeply connected with their bodies and their ability to move and work with their labor is enhanced. Labors that "hurt" or are very painful are usually difficult labors with poorly positioned babies or a combination of a small pelvis and a large baby. This doesn't mean that the relaxation technique failed. Often the mom's ability to remain relaxed, in-tune with her body and calm in her mind makes the difference between a successful vaginal birth and a cesarean.
The common thread between all of the "methods" is relaxation of mind and body, both through controlled breathing and managing fears, knowledge and expectations. Whatever you choose, including doing it without following any method, you will find that relaxation and letting your body do its work will make your birth easier and more comfortable.
The Bradley Method is a parent-intensive natural childbirth education class. The course places natural childbirth as the goal, but also provides information about variations in labor and birth so that couples are prepared to make informed choices. The course covers exercise, nutrition, pregnancy, the coach's role, 1st and 2nd stages of labor, including labor rehearsals, relaxation and pain-coping techniques, birth plans, variations and complications, postpartum, newborn care, and breastfeeding.
Classes are 12 weeks in length and are taught by certified Bradley Method® teachers.
The books it is based upon are: Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley and Natural Childbirth the Bradley® Way by Marjorie Hathaway
For more information visit: www.bradleybirth.com
Bradley official website
HypnoBirthing® focuses primarily on using relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques to eliminate the fear and tension that may cause long and painful labors. The hypnosis techniques used allow you to retain full consciousness and awareness. Your partner is taught how to help you relax and you are given prepared scripts to use for practice and relaxation during labor.
Five-2 ½ hour classes are taught by certified HypnoBirthing® instructors.
The book it is based upon is: HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life by Marie Mongan
Official Hypnobirthing website
HypnoBabies is another self-hypnosis based method that uses medical hypnosis techniques for labor. It is a complete childbirth course and varies somewhat from HypnoBirthing. The CDs and scripts are more comprehensive and a workbook is included. The birthing partner is an integrated part of the preparation and birthing process. They also have links for Hypno-Doulas, who are trained and certified through HypnoBabies in supporting a woman using these techniques.
A home study course is available and there are many social networks and videos on their website.
Six- 3 hour classes are taught by Certified Hypnobabies®
Official HypnoBabies website
Birthing From Within
Birthing from Within is a unique childbirth education program that focuses on inward personal preparation rather than teaching a set of coping techniques. Unlike many other methods, the focus is on helping the mother and partner identify their needs, fears, strengths and weaknesses. Because birth cannot be predicted, Birthing From Within helps parents develop personal resources to draw upon in order to face whatever come their way. The classes are based on the book Birthing From Within by Pam England. The website does not give much information about their philosophy so reading the book is essential.
Classes are directed by mentors and are structured around the needs of the participants so individual class series can vary.
Official Birthing From Within website
Some childbirth classes do not use a proscribed “method”. Classes may include information about pregnancy, birth, complications, etc. labor coping and relaxation techniques, birth art, and sessions on exploring fears and unfounded beliefs. What is included varies with the teacher and input from class members. Class lengths vary and teachers may or may not be certified.
Several organizations provide certification without requiring adherence to a particular method or philosophy:
The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators
Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association
International Childbirth Education Association
Contact Us Today: