• thebarefootdoulall

Hypnosis + Labor. Does it work or is it “woo”?

Hypnosis during labor is gaining momentum these days. Many people are unaware of the benefits, how it works and even that it is an option. In general, there are several myths surrounding hypnosis, but, when it comes to labor and delivery…can it really help?

First, I will break it down simply. What exactly is HYPNOSIS? Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion. It is believed that every person naturally enters a state of hypnosis at least twice a day. The moments just before falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. In addition, most people easily enter a state of “environmental hypnosis” while watching movies, reading, and even while driving. We have all had moments where we have been so enthralled in a movie that we are unaware of what is going on around us (I'm looking at you fellow Netflix bingers). That is a form of hypnosis!

One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis is that it is a form of unconsciousness. Some fear that if in a hypnotic state that they will unwillingly confess to things, do things that they wouldn’t normally do, have memory loss of the time under hypnosis or they fear they will not be able to "snap out of it". FAKE NEWS, folks! These are just myths induced by Hollywood fiction.

Let us talk about Hypnosis during labor as form of pain control. There are several companies that offer training courses to teach techniques for birthing people to learn self-hypnosis. To make a long story short, birthing people listen to hypnosis tracks that re-train their subconscious to produce easier and more comfortable birthing sensations. So, if we are speaking of the stereotypical Hollywood form of hypnosis then yes, that is definitely “woo” and absolutely will not work to help reduce pain during labor. But, since we are talking about self-hypnosis, or a form of meditation, where you can train your brain to pick up on specific cues (spoken or touch) that can induce a sense of relaxation and calm. Then the answer is YES! With some dedication, focus and commitment it CAN work!! If you could train your brain to relax your body in hopes to take away or, at least reduce, your perception of pain, would you try it?

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